After write-offs, Info Edge bets $1.3 mn more on digital photography startup Canvera

Info Edge (India) Ltd, which owns job portal Naukri.com, has increased its stake in Bengaluru-based online photography startup Canvera Digital Technologies Pvt. Ltd by investing Rs 8.6 crore ($1.35 million).

The company said in a stock-exchange filing that it raised its stake in Canvera to 62.2% from 57% by subscribing to 777, 419 preferential shares at Rs 111.48 apiece. This is the same price at which Info Edge had invested in Canvera in 2015.

According to VCCircle estimates, the latest round values the startup around Rs 60-64 crore ($10 million). This compares with the Rs 216.25 crore valuation in August 2016, when Info Edge had invested Rs 17.3 crore in Canvera.

Info Edge had first invested Rs 35.4 crore to pick up a 23% stake in Canvera at a valuation of Rs 150 crore in 2013. It pumped in more money in March and October 2014, before infusing another Rs 15 crore in late 2015 at a lower valuation than before to raise its stake to 49%.

However, Info Edge had also written off around half the value of its investment in Canvera after the down round in 2015.

Canvera was founded by Dhiraj Kacker and Peeyush Rai in 2008 as an online photo-book company. It entered associated e-commerce in March 2011. It had also raised capital from Footprint Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, besides a few angel investors.

Both founders have quit the company. Kacker is with Amazon, overseeing its photography vertical, according to his Linkedin profile, while Rai is the vice-president of engineering at San Francisco-based enterprise security firm Vera.

Ranjit Yadav, the former president of the passenger vehicle business at Tata Motors and country head for Samsung’s mobile and IT businesses, was appointed as Canvera’s CEO in June 2015. He is now its managing director.

The company provides solutions to professional photographers on its website. It prints photo books, provides design services and offers hosted software solutions using a software-as-a-service model.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, the company has regional offices in Chandigarh, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

According to the stock-exchange filing, Canvera’s revenue fell 14% for 2016-17 to Rs 48.9 crore from Rs 55.7 crore the year before. It didn’t disclose the company’s net profit or loss. The company had posted a net loss of Rs 34.8 crore for 2015-16, widening from Rs 24.3 crore in 2014-15.

Info Edge

The company operates a slew of Internet properties, besides Naukri. These include real estate portal 99acres.com and matrimonial website Jeevansathi. It also runs education services portal Shiksha.

This apart, it holds stakes in several technology firms, such as food-tech firm Zomato, coupons site Mydala, online insurance policy aggregator PolicyBazaar and e-learning firm Meritnation.

In July, Info Edge had made a follow-on investment of Rs 8 crore in another portfolio company, Green Leaves Consumer Services Pvt. Ltd, which runs beauty services marketplace BigStylist.

Info Edge reported a net profit of Rs 204.4 crore on revenue of Rs 802.11 crore for 2016-17, stock-exchange data show.

Leave Your Comment(s)