Singapore’s online classifieds Carousell plans to go ‘AI-First’
SINGAPORE’S online marketplace Carousell says it will make improvements to its use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance its fast-growing classifieds app.
This came following the success of the company in securing US$85 million in Series C funding led by Rakuten and EDBI, the company announced on Monday.
The funding round was co-led by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten’s fund, Rakuten Ventures, and Singapore’s EDBI. Existing investors 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures and Sequoia India also participated in the funding, according to Reuters.
Carousell will collaborate with another company to offer financial products and payment services on the marketplace’s platforms.
Carousell was launched in 2012 and currently operates in seven markets, including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
With the company’s “smart” listings, the buying and selling process is aided by the integration of predictive and automated capabilities.
According to Forbes, the company said the latest cash injection will allow it to invest in new talent and deep technology innovations to elevate the Carousell marketplace.
“We’re actively looking to expand our expertise in areas of data science, machine learning and many other emerging fields. We believe AI will greatly improve the overall classifieds experience for our users. We’ve already begun leveraging AI and machine learning to bring greater value to consumer lives, with several product updates rolled out last year,” the company said.
“As we deepen our expertise in AI and machine learning, we hope to derive practical insights that help our users buy and sell more effectively. This means creating more personalized experiences so buyers can find relevant items; simpler, smarter listings and chat prompts to help sellers sell faster.”
Carousell co-founder and CEO Siu Rui Quek told Forbes that the Series C round is the largest raised in the classifieds space regionally.
“The additional capital will be used to cement our leadership in Southeast Asia by accelerating our innovation to be ahead of the curve. Product leadership is critical and we are investing in the technology and world-class talent required to support our next phase of growth — from mobile-first to AI-first.