OfBusiness to raise up to $200 mn, eyes $6 bn value

OfBusiness co-founder and CEO Asish Mohapatra.
OfBusiness co-founder and CEO Asish Mohapatra.

Summary

  • The Delhi-based B2B marketplace was last valued at $5 billion in 2021 when it raised $325 million from investors

Chasing a valuation of $6 billion, business-to-business (B2B) marketplace OfBusiness has approached sovereign wealth funds, private equity (PE) funds and crossover funds to raise $150-200 million in a new funding round, three people with knowledge of the development said.

The company has appointed investment bank Avendus to help it raise the funds. “The talks are in an early stage and the deal has just been launched. The final value discovery will happen basis the investor interest," said the first person cited above.

The Delhi-based company was last valued at $5 billion in 2021 when it raised $325 million from investors led by Alpha Wave Global, Tiger Global and SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. It has raised nearly $900 million in 11 funding rounds, of which $802 million came in 2021 alone.

OfBusiness’s fundraising assumes importance in a market where liquidity has dried up for the larger startup ecosystem. Investors have pulled back from backing companies that are burning money and far from profitability. So far this year, venture funding is down to around $9 billion in the first nine months to September, from $19.8 billion in the same period in 2022.

The maximum funding raised by a company in 2023 was by omnichannel eyewear maker Lenskart, which raised $600 million from investors in a mix of primary and secondary funding across two rounds. The company was valued at $4 billion after the funding rounds.

OfBusiness’s latest round will be a mix of secondary and primary funding, with some early backers selling some of their shares, the second person said, adding that the secondary shares are being offered at a discount of 15-20% to the last valuation. Primary funding is when a company raises funds, and secondary is when an existing shareholder looks to offload stake.

OfBusiness counts Norwest Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, Creation Investments and Zodius Capital as its other investors, and is looking at an initial public offering in the next 12-24 months. “The company was eyeing $8-9 billion in valuation, but due to market conditions, the valuations have corrected, and it would wait for liquidity situation to improve," the third person said.

Founded in 2015 by Asish Mohapatra, Vasant Sridhar, Bhuvan Gupta, Nitin Jain, Ruchi Karla and Srinath Ramakkrushnan, all Indian Institute of Technology graduates from different campuses, OfBusiness provides manufacturing and infrastructure companies with purchases of metals, chemicals, agricultural commodities and building materials. When contacted, Mohapatra denied the firm was looking to raise money.

According to the three people quoted above, the company is improving its unit economics and is already profitable, making it a better candidate to access capital easier.

As per its financial filings, OfBusiness’s revenue from operations stood at 15,342.5 crore in FY23, double the 7,139.5 crore of FY22. Its net profit also doubled to 463.2 crore in FY23 from 201.1 crore the previous year.

Its other business, Oxyzo Financial Services, a digital lending platform, raised $200 million from investors in 2022 when it turned unicorn in its maiden funding round.

Companies in the B2B segment have seen steep growth rates in the past three years. Zetwerk, InfraMarket and others have been profitable and are attracting investor interest.

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