You know you’ve made it when there’s an entire Tumblr (Google “Carouhell”) dedicated to poking fun at users of your app. We chat with co-founder Marcus Tan, whose shopping app Carousell has just scored a sweet US$6 million ($7.8 million) investment deal from Sequoia India that will see it expand to countries like Malaysia and Taiwan.
How did three guys launch a shopping app?
We have tons of stuff lying around at home collecting dust and existing sites were too troublesome to sell it on. So, we took this idea to Startup Weekend Singapore hackathon competition in 2012 and, thankfully, won. People were Facebooking and Tweeting that they want to download an app like this immediately. That was when we were convinced of its potential and decided to work on this full time.
What’s your office like?
It’s simple with lots of whiteboards. We love to put our ideas down on the whiteboard and refine them from there. We also cannot survive without snacks; we have a shelf filled with chips, sweets and coffee.
If I’ve got an amazing idea for an app, what should be the next steps to scoring investors?
You need to be convinced of your company’s mission. If you don’t have a clearly articulated mission to solve a meaningful problem at a large scale, nothing else matters. Then, be clear why you need capital and how it can help achieve your company’s mission. Finally, read up about the company’s investment interest and more importantly, their philosophy.
What are your top 5 apps that you use on a daily basis?
1. Carousell. I’m currently dealing with someone who is interested in my Winning Eleven 2014 Xbox game.
2. Facebook. I like staying connected with my friends and seeing their photos and shares.
3. Whatsapp. I like messaging and communicating in real time.
4. Google Map. I need it for traveling and looking up addresses.
5. Instagram. I cannot imagine life without photography.
Who are your tech heroes?
Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Evan Williams, Drew Houston and Larry Page.