Saturday 8 December 2018

Quikr raises ₹55 crore debt from InnoVen to grow ops

Quikr India Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online classifieds and services portal, has raised ₹55 crore in debt financing from Temasek-owned InnoVen Capital to grow its operations. It follows the ₹130 crore venture debt that Quikr raised in 2016 from Brand Capital, the private treaty arm of media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL). “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,” said Rahul Tewari, Quikr’s chief financial officer, in a statement on Friday.
Quikr has also raised over $350 million so far in equity fundingfrom Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, eBay, Nokia Growth Partners and AB Kinnevik among others. It is in talks to raise between $100-$150 million from new and existing investors by keeping its record valuation of $1 billion, Mint reported in September.
Quikr faces tough competition from Olx Inc., owned by South African media and e-commerce company Naspers Ltd.
Swedish investor, AB Kinnevik, which holds an 18% stake in Quikr, had cut the fair valuation of its holding in Quikr by 12% as of December 2017, reducing the company’s overall valuation to $935 million. The investor however marked up its holding by 16% to about $178 million in the period ended 30 June 2018, implying a total valuation of about $1.03 billion for Quikr.
Tiger Global-backed Quikr operates in segments such as real estate, auto, jobs, goods and services.
Real estate is among the highest revenue generating segments across its five verticals, Quikr chief executive Pranay Chulet said in a telephone interview earlier this month.
The various businesses of Quikr have recorded robust growth for the year through March 2018.
Real estate segment surged 105%, used cars and bikes 115%, goods 90%, Quikrjobs 90% and QuikrEasy 80%. The company also plans to expand its financial services business, the most recent of its businesses, Chulet had said. Quikr cut its losses by 28% to ₹231.2 crore in the last fiscal year. Revenue climbed 52% to ₹199.98 crore.
Quikr had been on an acquisition spree since 2015 and has acquired 13 companies so far across categories. These contribute nearly 55% of Quikr’s total revenue, said Chulet.
The company had sought to grow through acquisitions and create a diverse range of businesses.
It is also aiming to double revenue in this fiscal year to ₹350 crore.
“The company has showcased strong momentum, with improving unit economics and is positioned well to harness the benefits of scale and large customer base,” said Aashish Sharma, chief executive of InnoVen Capital.
Several startups are opting for venture debt capital as against traditional equity funding. InnoVen Capital, one of the biggest venture debt firms in India, has closed more than 40 deals during the year, said Sharma by telephone.
Mumbai-based InnoVen counts unicorn firms including Oyo Rooms (Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd), Swiggy (Bundle Technologies Pvt. Ltd) and Byjus (Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd) among others as its portfolio companies. InnoVen has seen 25-30% annual growth rate in investments this year, Sharma added.
Quikr’s acquisitions, however, have not worked out as well as the company had expected. Like many other online businesses, Quikr struggled to translate traffic on the platform and focussed on cutting costs and expanding businesses that are losing less money. Chulet had earlier claimed that the cash burn has reduced by 40-50% over time.

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