Singapore's Carousell exploring US listing via $2 billion Spac deal

Carousell would be joining a growing list of companies in South-east Asia that are planning to go public in the US via Spac mergers.
Carousell would be joining a growing list of companies in South-east Asia that are planning to go public in the US via Spac mergers.PHOTO: CAROUSELL

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Home-grown online classifieds marketplace operator Carousell is considering a United States listing via a merger with a blank-cheque company, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

The start-up is working with an adviser on the potential transaction that could value the company at as much as US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion), said the people, who asked not to be named as the process is private. A listing through a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) could take place as soon as the end of this year, the sources said.

Carousell would be joining a growing list of companies in South-east Asia that are planning to go public in the US via Spac mergers. They include Malaysia's online used-car platform Carsome and Indonesia's Tiket.com as well as Singapore's PropertyGuru and Grab Holdings.

A Spac raises capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing operating company. Subsequently, an operating company can merge with or be acquired by the publicly traded Spac and become a listed company in lieu of executing its own IPO.

Discussions are preliminary and details of Carousell's listing plans could change, the people said. A representative for the company declined to comment.

The company runs several online marketplaces including Carousell, Chotot.com in Vietnam, Mudah in Malaysia and OneKyat in Myanmar, according to its website.

The platform Carousell was founded in 2012 and now counts Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, and Sequoia Capital India among its backers.

The marketplace has since expanded to eight markets across South-east Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, allowing users to buy and sell a diverse range of products including cars, lifestyle products, gadgets, fashion accessories and even cleaning services.