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Telenor Group & Carousell merge to create online classifieds giant

Released at: 16:57, 26/11/2019

Telenor Group & Carousell merge to create online classifieds giant

Photo: Carousell

Global telecommunications firm Telenor acquires 32% of online classifieds business.

by Khanh Chi

Norwegian telecommunications company the Telenor Group last week announced a merger between its online classifieds business, 701Search, and Carousell, one of Asia’s largest and fastest-growing classifieds marketplaces, in an equity and cash agreement.

The merger creates a regional leader in online classifieds. The Telenor Group has a 32 per cent stake in the company, making it the largest minority shareholder. 701Search will cease to be a subsidiary company of the Telenor Group and will merge its operations with Carousell with immediate effect.

701Search owns leading general classifieds sites Mudah in Malaysia, Chotot in Vietnam, and OneKyat in Myanmar.

“We have built a profitable and high-growth marketplace business serving millions of users every single day,” said Mr. Johan Rostoft, Head of Online Classifieds at the Telenor Group. “This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for us to take the next step in our marketplace journey and also simplifies Telenor’s portfolio. We believe that Carousell is the best partner for our online classifieds business in Southeast Asia.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Telenor Group to cement our classifieds leadership across eight markets in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong (China) and Taiwan (China),” said Mr. Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell. “With the Telenor Group’s extensive experience in each local market, coupled with Carousell’s relentless focus to use technology to make selling and buying easy and frictionless, we are confident that together we will create an even more vibrant marketplace in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.”

“In the next few months, we look forward to working with our new teammates to learn about the dynamics of these local markets, create opportunities that are mutually beneficial for our community of users, and inspire even more people to start selling and buying.”

Carousell is one of the most prominent startups in Southeast Asia, with dominant positions in Singapore and Hong Kong (China). The majority of its employees are based in Singapore.

Following the merger, 701Search’s Singapore-based regional team will be fully integrated into Carousell. Mudah, Chotot, and OneKyat will retain their individual brands and platforms, continuing operations in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, respectively. The businesses will report to Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui.

Two Vietnamese online classifieds sites, ChoTot and ImSold, which both belong to 701Search, were handed over to Telenor ASA in June 2017.

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