Sulekha.com New Media Pvt Ltd, which runs a digital classifieds platform for local services, has raised over Rs 175 crore from ($28.1 million) in Series C round of funding led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, a company spokesperson told VCCircle.
Existing investor Norwest Venture Partner (NVP) also participated in the round.
Sulekha.com will use the funding to expand its platform and will also invest in technology and branding. The company plans to expand further into tier I and tier II cities.
“This investment by GIC and Norwest is a powerful endorsement of the vast potential of the local services opportunity in India and Sulekha’s ability to prosecute it successfully. Sulekha has cultivated deep expertise and built a sophisticated platform in 800+ local service categories including home/office services, coaching/training, health/lifestyle and property/rentals,” said Satya Prabhakar, founder and CEO of Sulekha.com.
“Less than 10 per cent of local businesses in India have ever advertised, according to recent estimates. Sulekha is seizing an enormous opportunity in transforming how businesses find local customers and grow and we look forward to significant scale ahead,” said Promod Haque, senior managing partner of NVP.
Four years ago, Sulekha.com had raised $6.5 million in Series B funding from NVP and Japanese firm Mitsui Global. It had raised under $10 million in its Series A funding way back in 2006 from NVP.
Sulekha competes with the likes of Just Dial, a public listed local classifieds listings company.
For GIC, this deal marks an expansion of interest in the Indian internet space. It is already one of the most active sovereign funds in the country with growing interest in real estate sector. In the tech space, it had last year invested in India’s top e-commerce venture Flipkart along with DST Global and early this month joined in DST to invest in online cabs aggregator Ola.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)