Home / Companies / People /  Quikr raises $150 million from Tiger Global, others

New Delhi: Online classifieds company Quikr India Pvt. Ltd said on Tuesday that it has raised $150 million in fresh funds from existing investors Tiger Global Management Llc and Investment AB Kinnevik and a new investor, Hong Kong-based Steadview Capital Management.

The company, which has so far received funding of around $350 million (including the current round) since its inception in 2008, will use the money to expand its mobile-based business and categories including cars, real estate, jobs and services.

“The big things for us going forward are to continue to innovate for India, innovate for mobile and go deeper in key categories where we already are leaders," said Pranay Chulet, founder and chief executive of Quikr.

“We’ve undertaken this transaction to further consolidate our leadership in the Indian classifieds market. Our strategy of innovating for the local market has played out really well and we intend to continue to do that as we go forward."

Avendus Capital acted as the adviser on the transaction.

India’s fast growing Internet and mobile economy is attracting a lot of private equity and venture capital.

In 2014 alone, investors pumped in more than $4 billion in Internet businesses and that amount is expected to be significantly higher this year.

Online retail in India is expected to be worth $6 billion this year, a 70% increase over 2014 sales of $3.5 billion, according to technology researcher Gartner Inc.

Quikr competes with South Africa’s Naspers-backed that came to India in 2005 and has a presence in close to 105 markets. To command a leadership position in the fast-growing classifieds market, both OLX and Quikr have been spending heavily on advertising and marketing over the last 12-18 months. Both the companies are active on television advertisements and outdoor media.

“Ultimately, it is a winner take all market and a large part of the money being raised by online classifieds is going towards building a brand, customer acquisition and improve back-end technology," said Harish H.V., partner, Grant Thornton India Llp.

Quikr gets more than 30 million unique visitors from 1,000 cities on its website, which operates across desktops, laptops and mobile phones, and allows consumers as well as small businesses to sell, buy, rent and find things online. The company was founded by Chulet, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

“Quikr has built its market-leading position by steadily innovating new features, such as messaging, which are rooted in its deep understanding of India as a market and mobile as a medium," said Lee Fixel, partner, Tiger Global.

Mumbai-based Quikr is backed by Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners India, Norwest Venture Partners, Nokia Growth Partners, Steadview Capital, Omidyar Network and eBay Inc.

Online classified companies make money through premium listings on their websites, lead generations and advertising. In India, these companies, in an attempt to expand the market for second-hand buying and selling, are trying to promote free listings on their platforms.

The classifieds market in India has seen a significant growth and was valued at 896 crore (excluding business to business classifieds) in December 2014, according to a digital commerce report released in March 2015 by Internet and Mobile Association of India. About 87% of this market comes from matrimony ads.

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