After raising $35 million in Series B round of funding less than a month ago, startup Carousell has made its first acquisition. The deal saw it acqui-hiring Watch Over Me, a safety app principally for women which has now stopped its operations.
Since the Carousell team is based in Singapore, not the whole team chose to relocate there and have left the company. Watch Over Me had a nine-person team, and five members of the startup’s product team have joined Carousell as part of the deal, while CEO Xin-Ci Chin will be a part-time consultant to help with CRM infrastructure and processes.
The deal size is undisclosed, however the deal is a mix of cash and shares. Also, Watch Over Me’s investors, who include SEGNEL Ventures, Quest Ventures and a number of angels have earned their money back post the deal. Carousell didn’t comment on the same. CEO Siu Rui Quek in a statement to Tech Crunch said,
As this is an acquihire, we believe that the focus should be on the talented individuals joining our product and engineering team, instead of the financial terms of the agreement. Their expertise in building trust and safety, and location services are critical to improving community engagement, and accelerating our growth into new markets.
Watch Over Me was a personal safety app for both Apple and Android devices, and has shut down its services on August 31. Speaking of the acqui-hiring by Carousell, Xin-Ci, Co-founder, Watch Over Me said,
We met Carousell, and the fit seemed to be right, and the team culture was good. Both our teams are very excited about it.
Watch Over Me, claims to have 250,000 registered users and will be open sourced to Github soon in a move that Chin hopes may be of benefit to others looking to develop safety apps.
New appointment – Head of Product
Carousell has appointed Andrius Baranauskas, who formerly worked for second-hand fashion startup Vinted as its Head of Product. This is the second major appointment in Carousell, earlier this year, it hired Airbnb’s Southeast Asia lead JJ Chai to manage its international expansion plans.
It also plans to double the team by end of 2016. It will be seen hiring teams or people interested in exploring how machine learning, data science and AI can help to improve discoverability and overall community engagement via acquires or individual hires.
Launched in May 2012, Carousell is a mobile app that allows users to buy and sell a broad variety of items on an online marketplace, ranging from beauty products, fashion, lifestyle gadgets to furniture and home appliances.