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Sequoia, Matrix write Series A cheques to B2B marketplace Bijnis
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Bijnis, an online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for fashion and lifestyle, has raised $10 million (about Rs 75 crore at current exchange rates) in a Series A round of funding.

The round was led jointly by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, according to a press statement.

The startup, formerly known as Shoekonnect, also secured capital from existing investors Info Edge (India) Ltd and Waterbridge Ventures.

Info Edge said in a stock-exchange filing it will invest up to Rs 10.6 crore ($1.42 million) in Bijnis via primary and secondary purchases of preference shares as part of the larger transaction.

After the completion of the deal, Info Edge will hold a 28.22% stake in the company. In September last year, the operator of Naukri.com portal had said it held a 32.85% stake in the startup.

Bijnis, which is operated by Bizcrum Infotech Pvt. Ltd, will use the fresh capital to help manufacturers grow their business by expanding their distribution network of retailers across India.

It will also use the money for building out more products and scalable technology focused on manufacturers in the footwear and fashion categories.

The startup says it is focused on the fashion and lifestyle vertical. Previously, it was focused mainly on the footwear segment. Its revenue jumped to Rs 9.15 crore for the year through March 2020 from Rs 2.3 crore the previous year.

The company was started in 2015 by three economics graduates from Delhi University: Siddharth Vij, Chaitanya Rathi and Siddharth Rastogi. Rathi had earlier co-founded BeGhar.in, which is now defunct. Rastogi had been a tax analyst at PwC. Vij’s family runs footwear and apparel manufacturing businesses.

The startup had raised an undisclosed amount from the Indian Angel Network in 2016. Info Edge had first bought a 20% stake in Bijnis for Rs 3 crore in April 2018. It invested an equal amount at a higher valuation in November that year, taking its stake to 27.27%.

Info Edge invested Rs 6 crore in Bijnis in April last year and put in more money in November.

Info Edge

Info Edge, which started Naukri.com in 1997, also operates a slew of its internet properties, including real estate portal 99acres.com, matrimonial website Jeevansathi and education services portal Shiksha.

The company has been actively investing in tech startups. It also floated a venture fund earlier this year to bet on startups in a more structured way.

Last month it said it proposes to raise Rs 750 crore (around $100 million) for Info Edge Venture Fund. It aimed to raise half of the targeted corpus of its debut fund from external investors.

The fund has already made a number of investments including DotPe, a payments company set up by PayU India co-founder; Qyuki, a venture co-founded by music composer AR Rahman; Fanclash, an e-sports community engagement platform; and Truemeds, a telehealth platform.

Info Edge’s showpiece investment is in food delivery and restaurant search platform Zomato, which earlier this year acquired Uber Technologies Inc's food delivery business, Uber Eats, in India. Info Edge holds about a fifth of Zomato.

It also has a stake in online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, another unicorn with a billion-dollar valuation. It has also invested in ed-tech venture NoPaperForms and business-to-business e-commerce platform ShopKirana.

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