Danggeun Market, the author of South Korea’s hyperlocal neighborhood app Karrot, announced it has raised $162 million in a Series D round of funding with a valuation of $2.7 billion. (By the way, Danggeun means carrot in Korean.)
This round of funding was led by DST Global, with additional participation from Aspex Management, Reverent Partners and present traders such as Goodwater Capital, Altos Ventures, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Kakao Ventures, Robust Ventures and Capstone Partners.
The latest funding officially makes Danggeun Market a unicorn, with $205 million total raised.
The company plan to toughen its capabilities in local commerce with Danggeun Pay, or Karrot Pay, which is determined to launch this year, and Danggeun’s platform Karrot enables approximately 300,000 local SMB partners to transfer digitalized by offering offline to online (O2O) carrier. Danggeun Market’s customers access the whole lot from unusual local develop transport to essential services, together with cleaning, education, real estate brokerage and traditional cars of their local communities.
The funding proceeds from the recent round will probably be traditional for additional global expansion, trade diversification, R&D, investment in advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning expertise and recruiting team talent.
“Danggeun Market plans to deal with accelerating additional overseas market expansion for the next two years after closing Series D funding, and in South Korea, we can diversify our trade, aiming to be a shipshape app,” co-founder and co-CEO Gary Kim said in an uncommon conversation with TechCrunch.
Danggeun Market, which is fast for “the market for your neighborhood,” was based by Gary Kim and Paul Kim in 2015.
Danggeun Market also plans to launch its payment carrier Karrot Pay, expand offline to online (O2O) carrier for South Korean SMEs that exhaust its platform Karrot and invest to obtain advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning in its platform for suggesting personalized feeds for users to stay longer, Kim persevered.
Danggeun Market is anticipated to accumulate approval from South Korea’s financial supervisory carrier (FSS) as early as September for 2 licenses, such as payment gateway operator (PG) and prepaid payment means operator, to launch Danggeun Market’s payment carrier, Karrot Pay, this year, Kim said.
Danggeun Market, which already launched its global model of hyperlocal neighborhood app Karrot within the U.K. in November 2019, at the moment operates the Karrot app in 72 local communities in four countries: the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Japan.
“We behold some active transactions in Manchester, Birmingham and Toronto,” Kim said. Danggeun Market launched Karrot in Canada and the U.S. in September and October 2020, respectively. In February 2021, it opened in Japan, Kim said.
When asked regarding the next international market location, “Danggeun Market will no longer designate a particular country this time. We’re going to change our overseas penetration strategy a minute by opening the app Karrot globally and video display the countries that showcase organic snort and then we can narrow down particular countries and cities to deal with more,” Kim said.
The company will tranquil ogle the high population density areas in international markets and retain the distance limit area, Danggeun’s irregular feature that fully reveals folks listings from sellers located within 6 km radius in South Korea and 10 miles (about 15 km) maximum for the U.K. for offering hyperlocalized neighborhood carrier.
For the next round, Gary Kim said it relies upon on its global expansion snort. If its global trade works nicely and Karrot draws more global users and reaches active MAU and transactions the company has area, Danggeun Market will certainly raise another funding in two years, Kim said. “We are no longer in a bustle for an IPO at this stage since we can raise adequate capital within the private market now. We want to have in mind going public after we make stable earnings,” Kim said.
Danggeun Market now claims its total registered users exceed 21 million (South Korea has a total of 20.92 million households) and has consistently experienced over 300 % year-on-year snort since 2018.
The company reached 1.8 million month-to-month active users (MAUs) in 2019, 4.8 million MAUs in 2020 and finally increased to 14.2 million MAUs in 2021, increasing 3x every year over the past three years. According to global app analytics platform App Annie, Danggeun Market users exhaust an average of two hours and two minutes month-to-month on the app.
“Over the past few years, Danggeun Market has demonstrated overwhelming dominance within the Korean C2C market… with irregular individual behavior from location-based communities, Danggeun Market continues to showcase its potential as the hyperlocal shipshape app,” managing partner at DST Investment Management John Lindfors said.
“COVID-19 highlighted the importance of parents wanting to connect to their neighbors and neighborhood. When assembly a pal for a easy espresso can no longer be taken for granted, we realize all the more importance of our relationships and neighborhood. Danggeun Market’s carrier bridges the offline and online world, enhancing both in-individual interactions as nicely as purely digital ones. The core of Danggeun Market’s snort is its digital stay-to-stay platform that allows customers to feel both essentially part of their communities as nicely as have the consolation and safety of being part of a larger network that can develop together,” co-founder and managing partner at Goodwater Capital Eric Kim said.