Norwest Venture Partners Leads $6M Quikr Deal
Quikr, India’s leading horizontal classifieds player, has raised $6 million (about Rs 27 crore) as third round of funding in Quikr Mauritius (a holding company of Quikr India) led by new investor, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), and returning investors, Omidyar Network, Matrix Partners India and eBay Inc. With this round of financing, Quikr has raised in excess of Rs 50 crore since inception. Norwest Venture Partners, which led the round, has invested about $4 million (about Rs 18 crore) into the company, a senior executive from the company told VCCircle.
In its last round of funding, it raised about Rs 20 crore led by Omidyar Network and commitment from series-A investor Matrix Partners in July 2009.
Explaining the rationale behind the investment, Niren Shah, MD, Norwest Venture Partners told VCCircle, "there are about 8 million consumers visiting Quikr on a monthly basis. The idea is to basically help the company grow further in the C2C segment". Norwest also has an investment in online community portal - Sulekha.com. Shah said that both the companies have different target areas, focus and approach with Quikr being more inclined towards a C2C niche.
Quikr offers a web-based classifieds platform that addresses the needs of local communities in 40 cities across India. More than 8 million consumers visit Quikr every month to buy, sell, rent or find things ranging from electronics to cars to real estate to jobs, and everything in between. Quikr is the largest player in its market and the company has experienced explosive growth in the last year due in part to the increased purchasing power of the rising middle class in India.
Shah said that they have deployed about $150 million (about Rs 675 crore) in the last 12 months. They have put money into the recently concluded big-ticket Asian Genco deal, National Stock Exchange, Shriram City Union Finance and have also made a couple of undisclosed investments.
Local information and classifieds firms continue to be the favourite of investors. Last year, Helion Ventures invested in Delhi-based GETIT Infoservices, a producer of yellow pages and directories. Sequoia Capital also picked up a stake in JustDial, which has earlier raised funding from SAIF Partners and Tiger Global. Nexus Venture Partners also invested $5 million (about Rs 22.5 crore) in New York-based classifieds firm OLX, which besides India has a presence across countries in Asia, South America and Europe.
Technology as the differentiator has become the driver for the Indian banking business in the past decade. Dig