Profile of Carousell CEO, Quek Siu Rui
Quek Siu Rui is the co-founder and CEO of Carousell, one of Singapore’s popular e-commerce marketplaces. Carousell was founded in 2012 by Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan.
The idea behind Carousell is simple and effective. Users take pictures of what they wish to sell and list them on Carousell for buyers to pick their choice. The COVID-19 pandemic has made Carousell’s e-commerce model even more applicable in everyday life with many pivoting to online platforms to buy and sell.
Quek is said to have had a passion for sustainability since young, buying and selling his own second-hand tech gear online as a student. While Quek was on an internship programme in Silicon Valley during his undergraduate days at the National University of Singapore (NUS), he and his then housemate Lucas Ngoo came up with the concept of reselling things online. They found the idea of “snapping, listing and selling within a matter of seconds” to be intriguing. Quek and Ngoo teamed up with another friend Marcus Tan, to launch Carousell in 2012.
Today, the group has a leading presence in eight markets, including Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Carousell’s investors include venture capital firms Golden Gate Ventures, Sequoia India, 500 Startups and the Economic Development Board’s investment arm EDBI.
Carousell’s aim is to make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible. Since under-used or even new things can end up benefitting someone else and create possibilities for others, Carousell hopes to inspire more people to sell and buy second-hand. Hence, Carousell continually introduces new features to the Carousell app, to “reduce the friction to creating a listing” that could prevent users from reselling or buying second-hand products. The objective is to make transacting in a second-hand marketplace so convenient and trusted that second-hand can “truly be the first choice”.
In 2019, Carousell acquired online classified marketplaces Mudah.my in Malaysia, Cho Tot in Vietnam and OneKyat in Myanmar, consolidating the company’s leading position in Southeast Asia as a “recommerce” platform.
In 2021, Carousell secured an investment of US$100 million in a funding round led by the South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments, taking its valuation to US$1.1 billion, which made Carousell Southeast Asia’s latest unicorn, a start-up worth more than a billion dollars.
Also in 2021, Carousell piloted a programme offering 12-month warranties for used mobile phones, and also launched integrated shipping with Malaysia’s national postal service to provide contactless transaction options for users in the country during its movement control order. It launched Carousell Auto Group in April 2021 to strengthen its position in the region’s auto industry.
Tee, K. (2021, December 1). How Quek Siu Rui is changing the future of retail with Carousell. Tatler Asia. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.tatlerasia.com/power-purpose/business/carousell-quek-siu-rui-changing-the-future-of-retail
Choudhury, S. R. (2021, September 15). Southeast Asia’s online marketplace Carousell is now a ‘unicorn’ valued at $1.1 billion. CNBC. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/15/carousell-new-funds-and-valuation-at-1point1-billion-.html
Pillai, S. (2020, September 25). Carousell aims for exit within 4 years, possibly at value of US$1.1b or more. The Business Times. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/garage/news/carousell-aims-for-exit-within-4-years-possibly-at-value-of-us11b-or-more
Carousell to merge with 701Search, valuing Singapore start-up at over $1 billion. (2019, November 21). The Straits Times. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/carousell-to-merge-with-701search-valuing-singapore-start-up-at-over-116