Insider Insights


Keppel Land Live: Thinking Unboxed

Buying and selling pre-loved items has never been easier – thanks to Carousell, Singapore’s largest and fastest growing mobile classifieds marketplace. Since its launch in 2012, Carousell has expanded to more than 19 major cities worldwide in four and a half years, including in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Australia. Recently, it also acquired Duriana, a Malaysian-based online marketplace. This is its third acquisition in less than six months.

The company is a perfect fit for Keppel Land, which has been attracting more tech companies to its office spaces in recent years. Mr Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell, spoke to KeppelLandLive about the company’s decision to relocate its office from Blk71, a tech start-up hub, to Keppel Towers 2 at Tanjong Pagar Road in early 2017, and how it’s like to work there.

1) Thank you so much for speaking with us, Siu Rui. Congrats on a successful move! But we’re curious.. What made you decide to move?

carousell, founder, quek siu rui, pre-loved items, mobile classified marketplace, keppel towers,
Co-founders of Carousell: Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo, Marcus Tan

The short answer to this is that we ran out of space at our old office! Since Carousell started more than four and a half years ago in 2012, we have grown from a lean team of three co-founders to more than 100 people across 16 nationalities today. Although we have smaller offices in our different overseas markets, we are headquartered here in Singapore and we needed more room to accommodate our fast-expanding team.

2) What was your first impression of the space and how is the new office different from your old office in Blk71?

Moving into a new space at the beginning of 2017 was a great way for us to begin our new year with a fresh start. We love the natural light from the wall-sized windows, and the view that we have of Keppel Bay and HarbourFront. We are growing very fond of our new neighbourhood – it is great being near the bustling and vibrant CBD, the iconic and quaint shophouses along Tanjong Pagar Road, and within the Duxton area.

There are plenty of great food options, too, including the yummy local fare at Tanjong Pagar Market. We also like having amenities like the bank, post office, supermarket, gym and mall within a few minutes of walking distance from our office.

3) Do you have any interesting stories to share with us about how you’re designing your new office space?

The renovation we did for the office space was minimal. One of Carousell’s values is to be relentlessly resourceful, so with a tight budget, we approached outfitting the office in the most economical and resourceful way possible: We bought meeting tables, chairs and cabinets from the Carousell marketplace.

One of them, Carouseller @yesoffice, was especially helpful and swung by our new space a few times to deliver and set up the furniture for us. Our work desks are from IKEA and self-assembled by the team, their friends, boyfriends and girlfriends who all came and chipped in to help.

We see the Carousell team as a family, and want to build a comfortable and homely working environment for everyone.

We also named our meeting rooms after the stories we hold dear. They were named after the first items sold in Carousell (a Macbook, a Kindle and an iPad); the first locations of Carousell’s offices overseas (Dihua in Taiwan, Wan Chai in HongKong, Thamrin in Indonesia); as well as community stories (Snorlax and Uncle Postman).

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Carousell's meeting rooms were named after Macbook, Kindle and iPad.

carousell, office, pre-loved items, mobile classified marketplace, keppel towers

Carousell aims to be more than just a transactional platform. Our purpose is to fill the lives of people with more meaningful things and experiences by helping them to buy and sell easily. The names of our meeting rooms reflect what we like to remind ourselves of – that every interaction on our marketplace can inspire a thoughtful transaction and inspiring experience for our users.


4) Keppel Towers 2 offer companies an effective office space in the heart of Tanjong Pagar, one of Singapore’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Any favourite lunch spots yet? We hear Marcus (President and Co-founder) is a fan of Korean BBQ?

After bootstrapping for the first two years of working in Carousell, we have ingrained thrifty lunch habits and mostly eat from Tanjong Pagar Market and the surrounding coffeeshops! Our favourites are porridge from the hawker centre, 菜饭 from the Tiong Bahru Cooked Food stall (the pork chop is power!), and the $1.80 chicken rice right next door.

5) Thank you so much for speaking with us, Siu Rui. One last question: What’s your biggest tip for buying and selling on Carousell?

This might sound obvious, but take good pictures. We’ve designed Carousell to make browsing a thrilling experience, with photos at the centre of discovery. It’s like thumbing through a beautiful catalogue, which is why we encourage users to spend a little more time on their pictures. Well-taken and Instagram-worthy photos matter! Simple and neat photos tend to get more offers. Joey from the Carousell Community team shared some photography tips on our blog, check it out to become a more successful seller!