Infibeam eyes up to $166M through IPO in India

24 July, 2014

Ahmedabad-based Infibeam Inc, the company behind the consumer e-commerce venture Infibeam.com and B2B e-commerce platform Build A Bazaar, is looking to raise Rs 500-1,000 crore ($83-166 million) through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in India in the next couple of quarters, its founder and CEO Vishal Mehta told VCCircle.

The firm is aiming at a valuation of Rs 2,500-3,000 crore (up to $500 million), he added.

“We are looking at India to float the issue since it is our primary market,” said Mehta.

Mehta added that the IPO proceeds will be used to grow its business in the domestic and international markets. “We see huge potential for our platform business in global markets, as it is extremely scalable and supports multiple languages & currencies,” he added.

He added the company is in talks with a few merchant bankers, though he declined to share the names. Earlier, The Economic Times had reported that Infibeam has appointed Axis Capital and Kotak Investment Bank as the bankers to the proposed issue.

This would make it the first e-commerce firm to go public in India. Earlier, the parent of HomeShop18 had filed documents to float an IPO in the US. The parent firm of lifestyle e-tailer Koovs had got listed in London’s AIM exchange.

According to Mehta, the firm is seeing more than 50,000 transactions daily across its platforms, including Infibeam.com and Buildabazaar.com, and is looking to close the current fiscal at Rs 500 crore in revenues and Rs 2,000 crore in gross merchandise value (GMV).

The firm has three businesses, including its e-commerce venture Infibeam.com, which turned into a marketplace a couple of years ago; its B2B platform Build A Bazaar, which essentially helps offline retailers and manufacturers to set up their own online commerce site besides its mobile digital content download and streaming platform Indent (more on that later).

To launch niche domain name

Infibeam is also launching a platform to provide independent domain identity to its merchants. “Here we act as a domain registry. Called .ooo (dot triple ‘o’), this is very much similar to internet domain name ‘dot com’. However, .ooo is cheaper and is easier to type in on mobile, too,” Mehta added. The service will be launched in the next three months, he noted.

Overseas expansion

Mehta also informed that Infibeam is expanding its mobile music streaming and download service ‘Indent’ to 60 countries, starting with Indonesia.

“Indent is hybrid download as well as streaming mobile platform for digital content, and it builds mobile apps for large and small labels looking to monetise on content repository with operator billing or alternative billing solutions,” he said. 

Last year, Indent developed an app called Jive which is being bundled with Sony phones in India and 70 countries globally this year. Consumers can now download as well as stream unlimited music on Jive for three-six months for free, after which they need to pay.  Mehta mentioned that Indent will continue to develop and offer digital platforms to many other labels (besides Sony’s own music label).

Recently, music giant Sony Music Entertainment picked a 26 per cent stake in Indent for an undisclosed sum.

The company is also planning to expand its B2B e-com platform Build A Bazaar and its theme park ticketing platform to 40 countries in the next two years. “We have developed a platform that allows advance booking of packages and other inventory. Theme park managements will be able to reach out to millions of families and get traffic by promoting and communicating different offers, packages and services online,” he said.

Launches third-party apps store

Infibeam has also launched a ‘third party application store’ on Build A Bazaar. This store will feature apps useful for merchants to download and use to generate demand, and also to address customer queries and attend to their feedback. The store offers opportunity for developers to list their application and get networked with millions of merchants online, according to the company.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)


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Infibeam eyes up to $166M through IPO in India

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