Noida-headquartered One97 Communications Ltd, which owns mobile commerce and virtual wallet property Paytm, has invested an undisclosed amount in media group NDTV’s new e-commerce venture Gadgets 360.
One97 Communications joins other investors who recently backed the venture valuing it at close to $50 million.
Earlier this month, NDTV said that it had raised VC funding for Gadgets 360 and Fifth Gear Auto (a new auto portal that aims to elicit the attention of those who follow NDTV’s car and bike programming) at a combined valuation of close to $80 million (Rs 500 crore). Fifth Gear Auto itself was valued at $30 million.
NDTV had not shared further details on the funding amount but said Inflexionpoint (co-founded by former Apple CEO John Scully), Pramod Bhasin (former CEO of Genpact), consumer-focused VC firm Sixth Sense Ventures, Vindi Banga (former chairman, Unilever India), Hiro Mashita (founder and director of M&S Partners) and other HNIs participated in the first round of funding for the two separate ventures.
“NDTV Gadgets has always been the most credible go-to destination for all gadget enthusiasts in India and it’s very exciting to see them move to a transactional model with Gadgets 360. We look forward to partnering with them in this journey and creating a compelling marketplace experience which marries content curation and experience,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 and Paytm, said in a press statement.
Paytm, which recently crossed the 100 million user threshold for mobile wallet, had started by offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments to customers before adding a full marketplace on its mobile platform. It is backed by Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners among others.
Meanwhile, NDTV has also appointed Bhawna Agarwal as CEO of Gadgets 360. With over 16 years’ experience, Bhawna has previously worked at Rediff.com, Times Internet and Yatra.com before she joined SeventyMM, a VC-backed DVD rental portal that later morphed into an e-commerce venture only to shut down a couple of years ago. After quitting as CEO of SeventyMM, she was serving as CEO of a firm called Luxury Retail Services Pvt Ltd. She is also on the advisory board of OYO Rooms.
“NDTV Gadgets is a very popular and well respected platform amongst gadget lovers in India and is at a very interesting stage from where it can scale up very well. The new platform will be the game changer for the category and I am very excited to be a part of this journey to help take the category to the next level,” Bhawna said.
NDTV claims its gadgets site already gets over 20 million monthly unique visitors, as per Google Analytics.
Besides gadgets and automobiles, NDTV also has food and movies as verticals. The company may be looking to monetise them too in the future.
Early this year, NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd, a subsidiary of media group NDTV that owns and operates ethnic wear-focused e-commerce venture Indianroots, had raised $5 million in a Series A round of funding from Mumbai-based KJS Group. At that time NDTV had said the deal was struck at a valuation of $85 million.
NDTV said IndianRoots has clocked a gross merchandise value of Rs 21.7 crore last quarter, over six-fold growth over the same quarter last year.