Mumbai: Bangalore-based local search company Four Interactive Pvt. Ltd has received $10 million (39.8 crore) in its second round of funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, SVB India Capital Partners and Matrix Partners India. The company had earlier received funding of $2 million from Matrix Partners when it set up operations in December 2006.
Four Interactive launched its service, local information search site AskLaila.com for Bangalore city in August.
The portal allows users to search for places or utilities in areas within the city. Four Interactive will use the funding primarily to scale up services across the country and for technology investments to add product features and enhance its information database. The company will also use the capital to double its current headcount of 18 .
“The first round of funding helped us with product trial in one city,” said Shriram Adukoorie, co-founder, Four Interactive. “The additional capital will help us expand faster into more cities.” The company will launch services in Mumbai by end-October, and expand into New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad in the next 10 months. Four Interactive builds its information database independently, rather than partnering with existing classified listings companies. It hires employees on contract to verify addresses, phone numbers and to gather additional information. Four Interactive will focus on an advertising-based revenue model as it expands, although it has no advertisements on its site currently. The company had been in stealth mode until its product roll-out three months ago, and had received funding at inception stage.
“The strategy had always been to go for a second round of funding once we launched services, when we were ready to scale,” says Kiran Konduri, another co-founder of Four Interactive. Konduri had earlier founded Zephyr Software Inc. and retail analytics solutions company Cogniti, Inc. Adukoorie had worked with Microsoft Corp. for a decade, as part of which he had launched Microsoft Network in India in 1999. The local search space in India got more competitive last month when Google Inc. entered?the?start-up?game. Other start-ups in the space are Mumbai-based Burrp.com, Bangalore-based Guruji.com and New Delhi-based SM OnYoMo Infotech Pvt. Ltd.