Launch of Carousell Campus: Leading the future of secondhand with recommerce, cultivating talent and contributing back to the startup ecosystem
Carousell Group, the leading multi-category platform for secondhand in Greater Southeast Asia, celebrates the onset of its second decade with a homecoming to LaunchPad one-north, the site of its inaugural office. On September 23, the Group announced the official opening of its new regional headquarters, Carousell Campus, dedicated to advancing recommerce capabilities as part of its goal to make buying and selling secondhand items more trusted and convenient.
Carousell’s new regional headquarters at LaunchPad @ one-north
During the launch event of Carousell Campus on September 23, Carousell Group CEO and Co-founder, Mr Quek Siu Rui expressed his enthusiasm for the journey ahead, sharing, “This space marks a coming-of-age for Carousell as a Group. Recommerce means bringing the best things that we know and like from e-commerce and availing it for secondhand products. We have been building up our recommerce business in recent years, and have grown to be the leading recommerce Group in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with tens of millions of monthly active users and 80 million new listings annually. As we take the lead in advocating for recommerce and a circular economy in the region and beyond, we believe in contributing back to the local startup community and cementing Singapore as the region’s prominent startup hub.”
Driving the future of secondhand by advancing recommerce with trust and convenience capabilities
Carousell Campus also houses the Group’s first Capabilities Centre, which brings the Group’s brands and subsidiaries into one single location to streamline operations, integrate capabilities for authentication and inspection, as well as allow for more efficient collaboration. The Group has been focused on building stronger recommerce foundations and setting new standards in trust and convenience for secondhand transactions in the region. For instance, Carousell Group launched the 'Certified' programme this year that uses shared expertise and technology from the various entities to authenticate and inspect secondhand items in the programme sold by Carousell Official Stores. Mobile phones are inspected using our proprietary AI-first diagnostic technology to remove human error in assessment. Luxury bags are authenticated by a team led by our Lead Authenticator, who was previously from fashion luxury houses, such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel. Vehicle inspections are carried out by veteran automotive inspection and repair companies.
To make peer-to-peer marketplace transactions even safer, the Group has also rolled out enhancements to the secure on-platform payment features in its Singapore and Vietnam marketplaces, with plans to continue in more markets starting with Malaysia by end of September. For instance, when Carousell users make transactions using the ‘Buy’ button, they are able to pay securely via a one-click checkout on the platform, and also enjoy additional Buyer Protection policies and integrated door-to-door (D2D) delivery options. This is on top of continuous platform enhancements across a multi-layered strategy to increase trust and safety across the Group’s platforms. To increase convenience for everyday Singaporeans selling items they have decluttered, Carousell Singapore will be the first C2C marketplace in Singapore to offer a paperless D2D shipping option to casual sellers. By the end of September, users will only need to write down their tracking number on the parcel, have access to competitive paperless D2D shipping rates, and also skip the hassle of printing out the shipping label for the courier.
“Centralising our Singapore-based entities at Carousell Campus has allowed us to strengthen our operations excellence. Our strategic focus on key growth product categories has streamlined our efforts to offer more compelling user value propositions and facilitate more collaboration opportunities to innovate on ways to increase circular economy adoption. This has allowed us to roll out a variety of recommerce programmes and features across multiple platforms and markets this year, providing an e-commerce-like experience. We will continue to invest in growth and technology across our platforms to make buying and selling secondhand items as trusted and convenient as buying brand new items,” said Mr Quek.
Nurturing the talent behind the Group’s recommerce success
Carousell Campus strengthens the Group’s commitment towards innovation and building a diverse, skilled team by serving as a central nexus for its eight regional offices to converge for strategic planning. A key component of developing the talent into a world-class team is focusing on regional collaborative sharing of best practices and capabilities as a Group. CEOs and senior executives from the various Group entities take on additional roles to mentor cross-entity business teams and provide strategic direction, or guide the development of operations capabilities collaboratively with the different entities.
Tech leaders across the Group also work together on Group-wide tech initiatives and knowledge sharing to better utilise existing technologies and drive innovation. This has allowed the Group to adopt generative AI technologies in a quicker manner to power platform features at scale. For instance, Carousell has recently started using a Large Language Model (LLM) to extract product details for search relevancy, so buyers can better find what they want and thereby increasing listing views and chats for sellers.
Contributing towards the next generation of tech startups
More than just a return to Carousell’s roots at BLOCK71, the move to set up Carousell Campus at LaunchPad was a deliberate choice to signal the Group’s commitment to being an integral part of this ecosystem in paving the way for the next generation of tech trailblazers. Recognising the challenges young startups face, Carousell Group offers a helping hand by offering access to world-class speakers from tech giants, facilitating connections and networking opportunities with startup founders, and providing a space to organise their own customer discovery events to find the right product-market fit. Hence, Carousell Campus was intentionally designed to host events to facilitate such support, with space to house over 100 pax.
Since the return, the Group has organised a plethora of events, insightful sessions, and learning experiences at no cost, with plans in the pipeline for more collaborative events involving local startups and small businesses.