Carousell, the app that lets you buy or sell in a snap, hopes to be more than just a trans­ac­tional plat­form



Brand Own­ers 品牌舵主

The co-founders of Carousell are its pres­i­dent Mar­cus Tan, 33; chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Quek Siu Rui, 29; and chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Lu­cas Ngoo, 29. Tan and Quek, who grad­u­ated from the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Sin­ga­pore (NUS) Busi­ness School, re­ceived the school's Em­i­nent Busi­ness Alumni Awards last year for their achieve­ments. “旋转拍卖”(Carousell)的幕后推手是创办人及总裁陈翊伟(33岁)、共同创办人及执行长郭修瑞(29岁)和共同创办人及技术长吴承翰(29岁)。毕业自新加坡国立大学商学院的陈翊伟和郭修瑞去年底因创业获颁该院青年杰出校友奖。

Brand Story 品牌故事

Launched in 2012, the mo­bile clas­si­fieds app that lets users buy and sell goods in a snap has be­come one of the world’s fastest-grow­ing so­cial trad­ing plat­forms in just five years.

To date, it car­ries 65 mil­lion item list­ings from sell­ers in 17 cities and is among the top life­style and shop­ping apps in Sin­ga­pore, Tai­wan and Hong Kong.

It all started when Tan was look­ing to sell a video recorder but could not find a plat­form that suited his needs. He de­cided to set up his own mo­bile mar­ket­place with the help of his friends, Quek and Ngoo, and Carousell was born.

The road proved bumpy at first. But the young team per­se­vered and man­aged to se­cure a $7,000 grant from NUS En­ter­prise to de­velop their idea fur­ther. To ful­fil their en­tre­pre­neur­ial dream, all three made sac­ri­fices. Tan quit his job at Or­a­cle Quek dropped out of his hon­ours de­gree pro­gramme and Ngoo jug­gled stud­ies and work as he strove to com­plete his fi­nal se­mes­ter at NUS.

They would start their day at 10am, then rush to catch the last train home, where they would con­tinue to work till 2am. The hard work paid off. On Au­gust 13, 2012, Carousell launched its iOS app in Sin­ga­pore and the An­droid app fol­lowed in Jan­uary 2013.

It formed a part­ner­ship with Sin­ga­pore Press Hold­ings’ ST Clas­si­fieds and SPH Mag­a­zines to build its user base. The trio also gained a con­fi­dence boost when it re­ceived $1 mil­lion in seed fund­ing from Ja­panese e-com­merce leader Rakuten and other ven­ture cap­i­tal firms such as 500 Star­tups in Novem­ber 2013. The fol­low­ing year, it raised an­other US$6 mil­lion (S$8.3 mil­lion) of Se­ries A fund­ing led by Se­quoia Cap­i­tal, which has bankrolled suc­cess sto­ries such as Ap­ple and Airbnb.

As it ex­pands to Aus­tralia, Hong Kong, In­done­sia, Tai­wan and the Philip­pines, Carousell also raised US$35 mil­lion in pri­vate Se­ries B fund­ing last year. 2012年8月在本地冒起的网络销售平台“旋转拍卖”,五年内成为全球成长最快速的社群拍卖平台之一,至今在17个城市有超过6500万件商品的买卖启事,在新加坡、台湾和香港被列为顶尖生活与购物应用软件。公司旗下员工超过130人,并获红杉资本、乐天创投、500Star­tups、Golden Gate Ven­tures、QuestVC等注资。

公司起源于陈翊伟想卖掉一台摄影机,但找不到合适的平台,于是自己干脆设计开发一个,旋转拍卖应用软件应运而生。他找来同窗郭修瑞及吴承翰一同参与。2012年3月,旋转拍卖在“新加坡创业周末”(Startup Week­end Sin­ga­pore)提呈方案,成为赢家。

三人寻求注资被拒一次,直到2012年4月才获国大企业旗下7000新元的开发资金。5月,创办人在Plug-in@Blk 71全职开发软件,郭修瑞没读完大学荣誉班,陈翊伟离职Or­a­cle,吴承翰边上学边工作。



Se­cret To Suc­cess 成功秘诀

The user-friendly Carousell caters to the life­style needs and habits of the smart­phone gen­er­a­tion. In just 30 sec­onds, any­one can put some­thing up for sale on the app. Buy­ers and sell­ers can in­ter­act on the plat­form, leave feed­back for one an­other and form com­mu­ni­ties based on shared in­ter­ests. To quote Tan: “The app makes sell­ing as sim­ple as tak­ing a photo, and buy­ing as sim­ple as hav­ing a chat.” 旋转拍卖能够成功,在于简单易用,符合智能手机一代的使用习惯,只需30秒就能放上平台进行买卖,相互交流,回馈意见,建立相同兴趣的社群。套用陈翊伟的话:“让买卖像拍照那样容易,让购买像聊天那样简单。”

Sig­nif­i­cance To Sin­ga­pore 对新加坡的意义

Tan says this is an ex­cit­ing time to be part of the tech scene in Sin­ga­pore. With grow­ing sup­port for en­trepreneurs from both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors, more in­no­va­tive start-ups have emerged. Many in­ter­na­tional ven­ture cap­i­tal firms have also set up shop in Sin­ga­pore over the last two years, boost­ing fund­ing for fledg­ling start-ups. In time, Tan hopes more peo­ple can make use of tech­nol­ogy to solve prob­lems for oth­ers. 陈翊伟认为,目前是参与新加坡科技业的兴奋期,来自企业与政府的支持很多,激发更多人创业。过去两年,很多国际创投公司在本地设据点,提供创业资源。他由衷希望更多人才加入到浪潮之中,借助科技来解决对生活具有意义的问题。

Plans For The Fu­ture 未来计划

In May, Carousell launched Bumps, a pre­mium fea­ture that lets sell­ers bump their list­ings to the top of the re­spec­tive cat­e­gories for a fee.

But its founders hope Carousell can grow be­yond just a trans­ac­tional plat­form. “While we re­main laser-fo­cused on im­prov­ing the buy­ing and sell­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for our users, we also want to in­spire con­nec­tions and the ex­change of sto­ries on our mar­ket­place,” Tan says. They hope to en­cour­age re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion too. “Our end goal is to grow a com­mu­nity of mil­lions around the world who share our be­lief that chang­ing the way we con­sume things can make life more mean­ing­ful,” adds Tan. 今年5月,“旋转拍卖”推出了Bump­s付费服务,让买卖更容易被看见,卖得更快。陈翊伟认为,公司的宗旨超越交易平台,聚焦买卖经验,希望用户能相互交换联系与故事。他常自我提醒“做到不足1%,路还很长”。“旋转拍卖”的终极目标是建立百万计社群,并希望用户群能认同其平台的理念——“改变我们的消费行为,让人生更有意义。”公司也致力于建立有正确价值观和具才能的世界级团队,以更好的服务全球社群。

“Our end goal is to grow a com­mu­nity of mil­lions around the world who share our be­lief that chang­ing the way we con­sume things can make life more mean­ing­ful.” — Mar­cus Tan

(From left) Carousell’s founders Quek Siu Rui, Mar­cus Tan and Lu­cas Ngoo.

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