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Naukri parent Info Edge writes new cheques to ShoeKonnect, Gramophone
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Info Edge (India) Ltd has invested additional money in online business-to-business footwear marketplace ShoeKonnect and agri-tech startup Gramophone.

The parent of jobs portal Naukri.com and real estate website 99acres.com said in separate stock-exchange filings that it has invested Rs 6 crore ($867,500) more in ShoeKonnect and Rs 14 crore in Gramophone via compulsorily convertible preference shares.

Info Edge's stake has now risen to 29.79% in ShoeKonnect and 37.21% in Gramophone.

Info Edge, an active investor in tech startups, had first bought a 20% stake in ShoeKonnect for Rs 3 crore in April last year. It invested an additional equal amount at a higher valuation in November last year, taking its stake to 27.27%. The fresh fund infusion has likely come at a higher valuation than the November deal.

In Gramophone, Info Edge had previously invested Rs 6.4 crore for a 25% stake in March last year.

ShoeKonnect, run by Bizcrum Infotech Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2014 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 raised an undisclosed amount from the Indian Angel Network in 2016. It posted revenue of Rs 36.8 lakh for the financial year ended March 2018, up from Rs 9.6 lakh the year before.

ShoeKonnect brings footwear manufacturers, retailers, component suppliers and buyers onto a single platform. The company is based in Agra, a leather products hub in Uttar Pradesh. It says it facilitates retailers' purchases from the manufacturer, reducing costs and avoiding logistical issues.

Gramophone, operated by Indore-based Agstack Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was launched in 2016 by IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Ahmedabad alumni Nishant Mahatre and Tauseef Khan. Both founders had previously worked at agri-tech companies and venture capital funds.

The startup had, in May 2017, had raised $1.5 million in angel money from a clutch of individual investors.

Gramophone provides farmers doorstep consultancy services in agronomy during the entire crop cycle through its app. The app provides information on crop diseases and nutrition, prices and weather information.

ShoeKonnect and Gramaphone are two of many companies in Info Edge's portfolio, which also includes food-tech venture Zomato and online insurance selling platform PolicyBazaar.

Other companies in Info Edge's portfolio include medical healthcare records platform MedCords, Delhi-based lifestyle products company Happily Unmarried Marketing Pvt. Ltd, retail printing chain Printo, ZippServ, an online platform that provides risk-assessment services for real estate investments; and Hyderabad-based International Educational Gateway Pvt. Ltd, an education services startup that operates under the Univariety brand.

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