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Cashify raises $90 mn from NewQuest, Prosus and others
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Online used-phone seller Cashify has raised $90 million (₹702 crore) in its Series E funding round led by new investors NewQuest Capital Partners and Prosus, and said it aims to achieve breakeven over the next 18 months before considering a potential public listing.

Cashify, which is run by Manak Waste Management Pvt. Ltd, raised the fresh capital at 2.5 times the valuation it had raised its Series D funding in March last year, said Mandeep Manocha, the company’s founder and chief executive. He did not disclose the latest valuation.

Another new investor, Paramark Ventures and existing investors Bessemer, Blume Ventures and Olympus Capital also took part in the round.

While the latest round comprised a major primary component, it also involved a secondary sale that gave exit to “some Chinese investors”, said Manocha without elaborating. Chinese investors in Cashify’s cap table included CDH Investments, Morningside Group, Shunwei Capital and Aihuishou.

Cashify, which was founded by Manocha in 2013 along with Nakul Kumar and Amit Sethi, was initially looking to raise $50 million in the new round. The larger round signifies that good startups in India will continue to attract capital despite a funding winter.

“Investors are not just bullish on Cashify but on the segment at large because across the world, the interest on circular economy and sustainability theme has gone pretty high. Investors generally do not get a company that is growing with a path to profitability and at the same time checking all their boxes on sustainability. That is why we have been able to attract the dollars,” said Manocha.

Notably, Cashify has been quite frugal in raising external capital and prior to this round, it has raised a total of about $45 million, according to VCCEdge, the data and intelligence of VCCircle.

Cashify’s business primarily falls under three segments. First, it sources mobile devices from individuals and works closely with large format retail chains, original equipment manufacturers, and e-commerce firms to power their trade and exchange programmes. Second, Cashify refurbishes the devices in-house. Third, it sells the devices to users under its six-month warranty seal programme called PhonePro.

“We will continue to grow all three portions of the business. There are no new bets we are going to take now,” said Manocha.

In-line with this strategy, Cashify will use the fresh funds on marketing to educate customers that they can send in their old devices because that is the “backbone of our business”. “The more devices that we are able to source, the more we will be able to sell because it is a supply-constrained business,” said Manocha.

Cashify also plans to invest a large portion of the fresh capital to grow its refurbishing capabilities and is moving to a larger facility that is expected to be ready in Noida in four months. The facility will have sophisticated automation and technology that will help diagnose a device better and give it better quality parameters of the device once it is refurbished.

Part of the capital will also be used for fresh hiring, especially on the repair side of the business, such as technicians and engineers as well as field executives to pick up old devices from customer homes.

Cashify also plans to expand its network of offline retail stores to 230 stores across top 100 cities by population by the end of June next year. It currently has 120 stores across 45 cities.
“People still don’t trust buying refurbished phones online and that is why we are going offline first and then hoping for online to pick. We will continue to invest behind our e-commerce platform and hope for in the next 18 months, our online sales to overtake our retail sales,” he added.

Manocha also said that the company aims to achieve earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) breakeven in the next 18 months. “Essentially, we have the DNA of making the company profitable and it is not something that it is only coming from the investors. We are hoping to close at 1-2% Ebitda margin in FY24,” he said.

The company also aims to at least double its revenue to around Rs 1300 crore this fiscal ending March 2023 from the previous year, he added.

Manocha also said that the company currently aims to focus on the domestic market and think about setting up international operations in the next 12 months. It has already taken its enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) business to the international market, he had said in November last year.

In terms of acquisitions, the company is looking for opportunities to grow inorganically as it has the war chest from the fresh capital, he noted.

On layoffs in the industry, he said that it is a tough market but the company has always been frugal in terms of how it has built its business so with that philosophy, it has not over hired. “We have always hoped to make sure that bottom performers are let go at the right time. We are not in the zone to rationalize our manpower. So, you will not see news that Cashify has done mass layoffs,” he added.

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