Bangalore: Bangalore based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India has invested Rs40 crore in Mumbai based local search engine Just Dial. Founded in 1994, Just Dial caters to more than 25 million unique users and over 200 million searches in a year and claims to have more than 90% market share in the space. Following the investment, Sequoia’s managing director Sandeep Singhal will now join the company’s board.
Prior to the latest funding by Sequoia, Just Dial had raised capital from SAIF Partners in 2006 and hedge fund Tiger Global in 2007. The firm’s future plans include expanding its footprint globally. The success of our model in India gives us the optimism to look at expanding our footprint, not only in India but also across the globe,said VSS Mani, founder and managing director, Just Dial.
Local search engines have been attracting VCs for quite some time now. The most recent deal in the space includes a $5 million investment by Nexus India Capital in New York based free classifieds website OLX. Earlier this year, New Delhi based classifieds business GETIT Infoservices Pvt Ltd received Rs20 crores from Helion Venture Partners. Other VC backed firms in the space include sulekha.com, which was funded by Norwest Venture Partners; and Four Interactive (that runs Asklaila.com) which raised capital from Lightspeed Advisory Services India, Matrix Partners and SVB India Capital Partners.
In December last year, Yahoo Inc had acquired a 30% stake in telephone-directory search service Call Ezee, which is owned by Chennai based Network Management Co. Pvt Ltd.