Carousell: A Virtual Buy & Sell Monopoly In The Philippines

Carousell PH is an online marketplace where one can buy and sell products and services. Listings include used and brand new from different categories such as fashion, gadgets, furniture, luxury goods, cars and property.

Credit: Carousell LinkedIn Page

One of the pulls of Carousell is the ease of posting products for sale, which is as easy as taking a photo and uploading it and of course free ads.


Carousell PH was formerly known as OLX Philippines. Carousell merged with OLX Philippines in July 2019, with the former as the surviving entity. With the new entity, OLX Philippines’ listings as well as ads from their former real estate portal, Property24 were migrated to the website. By the time of the merger OLX had already built a strong market position and established operations in the Philippines.

The brains behind parent company, Carousell, were Singaporean friends Siu Rui Quek, Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo while OLX PH was founded by married couple, RJ and Arianne David. Currently the General Manager of Carousell PH is Raffy Montemayor.  


Carousell PH is enjoying a virtual monopoly over other buy and sell marketplaces in the Philippines. Recent data shows its website had of 3.05 million total visits and a bounce rate of 32.98% on both desktop and mobile web. In terms of traffic sources, most of their traffic came from search with 52.59%, followed by direct with 44.42%. From the 52.59% traffic from search, 96.75% are organic while 3.25% are paid. Traffic from Social Media is mainly from Facebook at 57.17% and Youtube at 24.96%.  


Carousell has been famous for its ease of use. For new users joining the platform one just has to click the register button. He can either sign up with a Facebook account, e-mail account or enter his preferred username, password, country he lives in, region and mobile number. After signing up, one can now upload the items one wants to sell or search for items that can be bought. The chat facility makes it  handy for interaction between buyers and sellers.

Navigation in the site is also straightforward, the search bar is usually at the top of the page and scrolling down the user is presented with different product/services. Their website also has a section called “fresh finds” that spotlight new listings.

Carousell Philippines uses Umbraco as its content management system, which is ASP.NET based. The domain is also protected/cached with Cloudflare. 

The Carousell Philippines android mobile app was released in the Google Playstore in January 15, 2013. Currently the android app has over 10 million downloads and is ranked number 2 among top grossing apps. Its iOS counterpart has over 1 million downloads and has a 4.6 star rating.


In 2019, Carousell revamped their logo. The redesign features a brighter color scheme and a more stylized camera icon. The new logo’s five camera “rays” represent the company’s five core values.

Likewise, the website’s look was updated with a more streamlined user interface. Red remained as predominant color on the website. Icons representing the different product categories featured new secondary colors and had a more modern styling. 


Singaporeans Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan are the founders of Carousell. Carousell Philippines is currently headed by Raffy Montemayor.

Quek Siu Rui graduated Valedictorian at the National University of Singapore with a Business Administration course in 2012. He received multiple recognitions including a Chettiars’ Temple Medal, Ban Hin Leong Gold Medal and Leslie Wong Prize. He also studied entrepreneurship at Stanford University as part of his scholarship at NUS Overseas College where he became an intern at Silicon Valley. Before establishing Carousell, he became a Marketing Executive at DBS Vickers Securities in Singapore and a Collaboration Evangelist at VSee in San Francisco Bay Area. 

Lucas Ngoo also had the same scholarship at NUS Overseas College. He also studied entrepreneurship at Stanford University where he worked with Lark (EIR company at StartX) in producing interview videos for their Global Entrepreneurial Marketing launch. Before Carousell, he also had an internship at Red Beacon in California as a Software Engineer. 

Marcus Tan had the same path at NUS Overseas College but aside from Silicon Valley, he became an intern at DDB, Coca-Cola and Yahoo! for Account Management, Marketing and Sales respectively. He also was a Business Development Consultant for Oracle when he co-founded Carousell. 

Raffy Montemayor graduated Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University and pursued a Master’s Degree at INSEAD where he received the INSEAD Syngenta Endowed Scholarship for Emerging Country Leadership. After graduating, he became a specialist in Key Account Sales at Nestle for a year before becoming the Assistant Vice President of Marketing Alliances and Vice President of Credit Card Portfolio Management at HSBC for 6 years. He then transferred to Agoda as a Country Director for 4 years before being the CEO and General Manager of OLX PH. After the merger, he became the General Manager of Carousell PH. 


During Carousell Philippines’ 7th anniversary, the company announced a successful migration from OLX PH, revenue growth in 2018, enhanced product features and improved user experience. Most of the OLX users were able to successfully migrate to Carousel. They reported over 250 million listings worldwide with 4X increase in revenue which proves that Carousell is ramping up traction in the Philippines. 

Raffy Montemayor also announced the appointment of their new head of cars, Karl Magsuci. Karl has more than 17 years of experience in marketing, brand and product strategy mostly for top brands including Honda Cars Philippines Inc, Ramcar Group (Motolite Battery) and BMW Philippines. He was hired to manage a team of 25 in the car business units and lead the strategic planning for the company. Due to the rapid growth of Carousell PH, they have seen a need to expand their platform and offer high quality deals on properties and automobiles.

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