Naspers, the South African internet, and media group were reportedly in talks to invest in Carousell, the Singaporean mobile app that offers listings and peer-to-peer selling all over Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Naspers’s investment portfolio of online classifieds already boasts of giants like OLX, which covers 45 countries. Additionally, it also includes Letgo in the United States and Avito in Russia.
This is an early stage discussion and so it is unclear what would Naspers’s stake be in the classifieds start-up. It is reported to be a minority investment that would value Carousell at over $500 million.
“It is our company’s policy to neither acknowledge nor deny our involvement in any merger, acquisition or divestiture activity nor to comment on market rumors,” Naspers disclosed in a statement. This news comes at an interesting time since Carousell had disclosed an $85 million investment round in May. This would add up to a total $126 million from investments for Carousell.
Other investors in the company include EDBI, the investment division of the Singapore Economic Development Board and DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest Bank. Furthermore, the Series C round of funding also saw Rakuten ventures of the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, 500 start-ups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India pump capital.
It was announced that Carousell has helped the sale of over 50 million goods and has more than 144 million listings. Naspers is perhaps legendary among the investor community for its early stage investment in the Tencent, the Chinese internet behemoth that is Asia’s most valuable company with a valuation of $500 billion.