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Episode 206: Carousell & Scaling in Asia with Marcus Tan

Marcus Tan, co-founder and president of Carousell joined us in a conversation on his company which he co-founded and where it is heading after their series B round with leading investors such as Rakuten Ventures & Sequoia Capital. We discussed the humble beginnings of Carousell as a mobile marketplace and how the company has scaled by focusing on their culture. Marcus shared some of the interesting lessons which he learned from his investors and how they scale their company from Singapore into Asia.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Marcus Tan, co-founder & president of Carousell (@CuriousMarcusLinkedIn) [0:38]
    • How did you start your career? [1:12]
    • From your career journey, what are the interesting lessons that you can share with my audience? [3:07]
  • Carousell (Crunchbase) [5:42]
    • Introduction: Carousell is a mobile & online consumer marketplace for buying & selling new & secondhand goods over 19 cities. Headquartered in Singapore founded by Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan. 
    • To start, what is the back story behind how you and your fellow co-founders start Carousell? [6:05]
    • What is the current vision and mission of Carousell? [7.55]
    • How does the consumer access Carousell through mobile? [10:12] 
    • How does buyers and sellers use Carousell as a marketplace and what are the interesting services that Carousell has placed to better help sellers? [11:42]
    • Who are the investors of Carousell and what stage of funding you are in? [16:40]
      • Rakuten Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, 500 Startups, Sequoia Capital and Darius Cheung
      • The backstory in how Vinnie Lauria from Golden Gate Ventures become an investor and led them to Rakuten Ventures. You can hear Vinnie’s perspective in one of our early episodes.
    • What is the footprint of Carousell across Asia? Can you discuss how the company has expanded and what are the interesting challenges you face? [20:30] 
    • Recently, Carousell has won one of the best tech companies to work in. Can you talk about what the values of the workplace you are advocating and how you facilitate collaboration within the company? [22:52]
    • You have made some acquisitions, how do you integrate those new teams and get them on board to your company? [24:08]
    • What keeps you up at night with thinking about the next steps for Carousell? [25:45]
  • Closing [27:33]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw & my weibo account)and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.

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By | 2017-09-17T09:48:02+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Analyse Asia Podcast, Podcast Shows|

About the Author:

A pragmatic idealist in technology, media & entrepreneurship.