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From unicorn to distress sale: The ShopClues journey

From unicorn to distress sale: The ShopClues journey
Photo Credit: VCCircle
1 Nov, 2019

On Thursday, Clues Network, owner of ecommerce marketplace ShopClues, announced its merger with Qoo10, a Singapore-based ecommerce firm with a presence in multiple markets in the Southeast Asia region. While the specific details of the all-stock transaction have not been disclosed, multiple media reports said the deal valued ShopClues at under $100 million, a massive erosion from the more than $1 billion valuation that the company commanded just about three years ago.

In the nine-odd years since it was founded, ShopClues raised over $250 million from marquee investors such as New York headquartered alternative investments firm Tiger Global Management, the Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, and venture capital firms Nexus Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners.

ShopClues’ acquisition by eBay and Singapore Press Holdings backed Qoo100 is unlikely to hold any kind of upside for the former’s investors. While it is widely expected that all investors will have to write-off their investments in the company, specific details on the same are awaited. 

In a response to emailed queries from TechCircle, a ShopClues spokesperson said, “The mechanics of the deal are not public as of now. We will only be able to share any information a little later in the month.”

After Snapdeal, ShopClues would be the second instance of a homegrown ecommerce unicorn (startups privately valued at $1 billion or more) to implode within a span of just two years.