Quikr acquires home services start-up Zimmber in a $10 million all-stock deal

The Zimmber acquisition, Quikr’s fourth in the home services segment after Zalosa, Zapluk and Stayglad, will strengthen the online classifieds start-up’s position in the sector


Quikr boss Pranay Chulet. The online classifieds start-up is among a fistful of home-grown unicorns, valued at about $1.5 billion. Photo: AFP
Quikr boss Pranay Chulet. The online classifieds start-up is among a fistful of home-grown unicorns, valued at about $1.5 billion. Photo: AFP

Bengaluru: Online classifieds company Quikr India Pvt. Ltd has acquired home services start-up Zimmber (Rejuvenate Solutions Pvt. Ltd) for about $10 million in an all-stock deal, in the attempt to strengthen its position in the segment, said two people aware of the development.

Mumbai-based Zimmber is Quikr’s fourth acquisition in the home services vertical in the last 12 months.

Quikr, one of a fistful of home-grown unicorns valued at about $1.5 billion, had acquired home beauty start-ups Zalosa, Zapluk and Stayglad in quick succession last year. The company had committed an investment of Rs250 crore in January last year to expand the category.

A Quikr spokesperson and Zimmber co-founder Amit Kumar did not immediately respond to emails seeking comments.

Zimmber, founded by Gaurav Shrivastava, Anubhab Goel and Kumar in April 2014, has so far raised at least $7.4 million from venture capital (VC) firms such as IDG Ventures, Aarin Capital and Omidyar Network, as well as angel investors including InMobi co-founders Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena and Amit Gupta, and the former managing director of Jabong, Praveen Sinha. “Zimmber had to opt for a sale to Quikr after it failed to raise funds. Anubhab Goel and Gaurav Shrivastava will move on and Amit Kumar will join Quikr, along with the rest of the team. Quikr is likely to retain Zimmber as an individual brand,” said one of the two persons cited above on condition of anonymity.

Incidentally, Quikr had earlier acquired another IDG Ventures’ portfolio firm— online recruitment platform Hiree—while Omidyar Network is also an investor in Quikr. Zimmber itself had embarked on an acquisition spree, buying laundry start-up Dhulai, white-collar service provider FindYahan, and home beauty service provider Glamnfit between June 2015 and March 2016.

The company, currently operating in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune, has about 1,500 service personnel on its platform and handles jobs such as bike, car and sofa cleaning, handyman services and appliance repair.

While a number of home services start-ups have emerged in India in the last five years—more than 270, according to Tracxn, a start-up tracker – only a handful have been able to raise significant funds from VC funds.

UrbanClap (UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd) and Housejoy (Sarvaloka Services On-Call Pvt. Ltd) are the two best funded start-ups in the segment. UrbanClap, backed by SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners among others, has raised about $35 million while Housejoy, backed by Amazon.com Inc., Matrix Partners and Qualcomm Ventures among others, has raised about $27 million.

Over the past two years, Quikr has been diversifying into new businesses to boost sales. The company is pushing into five new business segments—automobiles, real estate, jobs, services and customer-to-customer sales.

Having raised about $346 million from Kinnevik AB, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital Management, Matrix Partners India and others since inception in 2008, Quikr has been an active buyer of smaller rivals, especially in the real estate and home services segments, as it looks to bolster fledgling revenues.

Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC) is in talks with Quikr to sell its brokerage business HDFC Realty and its digital business HDFC Red in an all-stock deal for about Rs350-400 crore, Mint reported on 27 April.

Quikr clocked net sales of Rs41 crore in the year ended 31 March 2016, against Rs25 crore the year before. Its loss surged to Rs534 crore from Rs450 crore in the same period, according to regulatory filings.

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