Stock Groups

Quek Siu Rui on IPO plans


SINGAPORE — Southeast Asia’s online marketplace Carousell will explore all options to grow the business, which includes a likely initial public offering, co-founder and CEO Quek Siu Rui told CNBC on Monday.

Last week, Carousell said it raised $100 million in fresh funds that valued the company at more than a billion dollars, making it a so-called “unicorn.” According to the company, this new capital will allow them to grow across more types of pre-owned goods and markets as well, as to make strategic acquisitions in order to increase their scale.

Potentially, an initial public offer could also be in the works. Media reports this year said the start-up was considering a potential U.S. public listing via a merger with a blank-check company, or a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Quek declined to provide details Monday.

Siu Rui Quek and Marcus Tan, co-founders of Carousell.

Source: Carousell

“In terms of a U.S. listing, in terms of an IPO, with this round of funding, we are actually in a very well-capitalized position for what we need to do, and that really is because of the great support that we have got from our investors,” Quek said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

A potential IPO, he explained, could help scale the business along with other options like raising private capital from partners or strategic investors. He stated that the company will be evaluating all possible options as part of its scaling process.

Quek said, “Ultimately we want the company to have an investor base that supports our long-term growth story and who understands our business model.”

Carousell this year hired former Razer executive Edwin Chan as its chief financial officer. Chan managed the Hong Kong listing for gaming hardware company in 2017.

A variety of well-known start-ups from Southeast Asia, including a number that have been listed on the stock market or announced they are planning to do so in 2017, have made IPO plans. They include Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab, which announced plans for an IPO by merging with a blank-check company, as well as Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak that made its market debut last month.

Last Friday, the Singapore government announced a series of initiatives to attract high-growth companies around the region to list on the Singapore Exchange. The new fund will help companies raise capital through public offerings. This could be a significant step in the direction of the Singapore stock market.

Because of the greater investor pool and easier capital access, high-growth start-ups in the region prefer to list in the U.S. Some investors say The local market is not ready to take on mega IPOs such as the Grab one that valued Grab at close to $40 billion.