Carousell

About Carousell:

Carousell is a smartphone and web-based marketplace for buying and selling new and used goods. It is headquartered in Singapore and operates within Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia. Carousell was launched in Singapore on Aug 12, 2012, by co-founders Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo, and Marcus Tan.

Carousell is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing classifieds marketplace. It makes buying as easy as chatting and selling as easy as snapping a photo. With an initial user base that originally comprised mostly university students, Carousell has expanded to general users and today it has more than 158 million listings. The Carousell marketplace has a diverse range of products across a variety of categories, including lifestyle, gadgets, fashion accessories, cars and property.

Carousell's challenges:

Scaling rapidly to handle a growing user base, managing spikes in traffic on sale days and meeting intensive performance requirements, and ensuring uptime by guarding against DDoS, XSS and injection attacks.

Carousell’s Solution:

Carousell uses Cloudflare’s dynamic caching capabilities to improve performance and leveraging Cloudflare’s security features for DDoS prevention, DNSSEC, Web Application Firewall, and SSL to improve overall security and reduce risks of cache poisoning, injection attacks.

Carousell initially chose a popular cloud provider but ran into performance issues, specifically with serving images. Carousell is highly focused on a user experience that revolves around images and leverages artificial intelligence to make the experience frictionless. It serves around 1PB of images every month. When researching alternative providers Carousell was looking for a provider that provided a better return on investment in terms of performance and security improvements. Specifically Carousell was looking for a provider that would allow dynamic caching and help them improve performance for flash sales.

"One of the major advantages we got out of Cloudflare is the ability to cache dynamic pages for short durations. This allowed us to handle huge amount of traffic during Flash Sales - almost 4x our normal day to day traffic", observes Harshad Rotithor, software architect at Carousell.

Cloudflare handles our requirements of a CDN, Firewall, Caching layer, SSL endpoint, and DNS, while giving an excellent return on our investment. We are highly impressed with the quality and the speed of the technical support provided as well.

Carousell leverages Cloudflare’s global network of 151 data centres to ensure application availability. It uses Cloudflare’s web application firewall to prevent from common attacks such as SQL injection and cross site scripting (XSS) as well as Cloudflare’s one-click SSL to secure connections and keep their customer data safe from monitoring and tampering. It also utilizes Cloudflare’s DNSSEC to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks which can increase risks of personal data leakage.

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Key Results
  • Ability to handle spikes of 4x the normal traffic on sale days
  • 10K requests for just search API calls handled seamlessly

“Cloudflare handles our requirements of a CDN, Firewall, Caching layer, SSL endpoint, and DNS, while giving an excellent return on our investment. We are highly impressed with the quality and the speed of the technical support provided as well”

Harshad Rotithor
Software Architect