Classifieds site Quikr raises $90M led by Swedish investment firm Kinnevik

12 Mar, 2014


Classifieds site Quikr.com, owned and operated by Mumbai-based Quikr India Pvt Ltd, has raised $90 million (Rs 550 crore) in its sixth round of funding, led by Swedish investment firm Investment AB Kinnevik. Quikr India is in turn owned by a Mauritius-based parent, which has attracted the VC investment.

This round of funding will enable Quikr to continue to grow its business while staying focused on aspects that are important from a long-term perspective. "Kinnevik brings a great understanding of the classifieds model as an investor and its experience in other markets will be very valuable to us as we continue to build our business," said Pranay Chulet, founder and CEO of Quikr.

This round also saw participation from existing investors, including Warburg Pincus, eBay, Omidyar Network, Matrix Partners India, Nokia Growth Partners and Norwest Venture Partners, the media reports added.

As per a report, Quikr raised this capital in two phases, which started in September last year with existing investor Warburg Pincus putting in the initial capital. With this deal, Quikr's total funding now stands at around $140 million according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. The report said Quikr is now valued at over $250 million.

This is one of the largest investment rounds for an Indian new generation tech firm behind Flipkart's mega $360 million round last year, InMobi's $200 million round from Softbank besides Snapdeal's $134 million funding last month.

Founded in 2008 by Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas, Quikr was originally started as Kijiji India. The firm later rebranded to Quikr. It is a large scale cross-category classifieds business with over 30 million consumers. These consumers come to Quikr to sell, buy, rent or find products and services in a variety of categories such as electronics and household goods, real estate, cars, bikes, jobs and services. The firm claims that small businesses across 940 cities are using the site every month.

In July last year, its co-founder Jiby Thomas quit to launch a digital marketing company called Web Butter Jam. In an interview with Techcircle.in in October last year, Chulet had said that the site is now drawing over half of its revenues from premium listing for users as well as lead generation for businesses. This marks a change in the revenue mix where earlier plain old ads were contributing over half of the business as of last year.

Last month, the firm launched a pricing guide for pre-owned goods, whereby sellers can determine a value for their used goods before posting an ad for these items on Quikr.com.

Kinnevik is a growth markets-focused investment firm, which has invested in e-commerce, media and financial services firms across India, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana. These investments include Rocket Internet and its portfolio companies including Indian fashion apparel e-tailer Jabong, Zalora and Zando, among others. "Quikr has grown rapidly based on a deep understanding of the Indian market. It's targeting a tremendous opportunity in a large growth market and we look forward to being a part of its exciting journey forward," said Mia Brunell Livfors, president and CEO of Kinnevik.

Avendus Capital acted as the financial advisor for this deal.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)