Consim to invest $10 mn, mulls fresh fund-raising

Consim to invest $10 mn, mulls fresh fund-raising
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First Published: Fri, Dec 14 2007. 11 26 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Dec 14 2007. 11 26 PM IST
Owner of the portal Bharatmatrimony.com Consim Info Pvt. Ltd, formerly known as Bharatmatrimony.com Pvt. Ltd, is looking at a second round of external capital infusion in 2008 to fund its investment plans.
In August 2006, Yahoo Inc. and Canaan Partners, an early-stage venture capitalist, invested $8.65 million (Rs34.08 crore) for an undisclosed but minority stake in Bharatmatrimony.com, and both investors have representation on the company’s board.
Consim Info says it would be investing $10 million next year. The Chennai-based company says it is looking to raise its second round of funds but will offer only a minority stake to private equity investors.
“We are looking at investors, who can also help us in strategic consulting,” said J. Murugavel, founder and chief executive officer of Consim Info. The 10-year-old firm would look at selling shares to public only after two years, he added.
Venture capitalists have invested $110 million spread across 20 deals in online services in the year till September, against $145 million in 23 deals in the whole of 2006, according to Venture Intelligence, an information and networking services provider to private equity and venture capital investors in India.
“They (Bharatmatrimony.com) were making profits when Yahoo and Canaan Partners picked up stake,” said Arun Natarajan, founder and chief executive of Venture Intelligence. “As they scaled up in other areas, they are not making profit now. They are clearly measurable in the top line (revenues).” Natarajan said the company’s valuation could be at a small discount to listed firms such as Rediff.com India Ltd and Naukri.com, run by Info Edge (India) Ltd, in the online classifieds space, and would be based on the revenue generated.
Although Consim Info started its business by offering online matchmaking services, the company has now expanded into several other areas, including an online job portal (Clickjobs.com), a property website (Indiaproperty.com), a classifieds website (Indialist.com), a loans website (Loanwala.com), and an automobile website (indiaautomobile.com).
Bharatmatrimony.com has more than 50% market share in the $30 million online matrimonial services business in India, according to the company’s internal estimate.
Similarly, the company claims its job portal has 5% market share in the $100 million market for online job search that it hopes to ramp up to 15% by next year.
These three online classifieds categories (matrimonial, job and properties) have a market potential of $135 million per year.
john.s@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Dec 14 2007. 11 26 PM IST