Quikr raises venture debt to grow transactions business
Bengaluru-based online classifieds platform Quikr India Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 55 crore (around $8 million at current exchange rates) in venture debt from InnoVen Capital.
The company plans to use the fresh capital to scale what it dubs its transaction business. It enables customers to make end-to-end transactions across multiple verticals including real estate, automobiles, jobs and education. “As a business, we continuously look to optimise our capital structure and saw a very good fit in venture debt to support growth of our transaction businesses. Rahul Tewari, Quikr’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. Tewari joined the company in May this year.
Separately, according to multiple media reports, the company is in talks with existing and new investors to raise up to $150 million in a fresh funding round. It couldn’t be ascertained whether the capital infusion from InnoVen is part of the reported $150 million round. Email queries to Quikr in this regard did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.
Founded in 2008 by Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas (Thomas left the company in 2012), Quikr has so far raised $350 million from investors such as Tiger Global Management, Kinnevik AB, Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, eBay, Nokia Growth Partners and Omidyar Network. It last raised $150 million in early 2015 from Kinnevik, Tiger Global and Steadview Capital and fetched a post-money valuation of nearly $1 billion at the time.
For the financial year ended March 2018, the company reported a 95% increase in its operating revenues besides narrowing net losses. It also said its jobs, automobiles and real estate verticals were cash flow positive. The growth in revenues came from completed transactions and a large stream of classifieds, Tewari told TechCircle last month.
The company has lately adopted an aggressive acquisitions strategy and has been buying small digital startups to expand into verticals such as real estate, jobs, automobiles and home services. Its acquisitions in real estate include HDFC Realty Ltd and HDFC Developers Ltd in a stock deal worth Rs 357 crore. In June last year, it had acquired blue collar jobs listing company Babajob Services Pvt. Ltd in a mostly stock deal.
Quikr competes with Naspers backed OLX in the online classifieds market. 99acres and Magicbricks are its competitors in the online real estate brokerage and property listing segments. Other players include Housing.com and News Corp-backed PropTiger, which merged a year ago. TechCircle is part of the VCCircle Group which is owned by News Corp.