Quikr eyes jobs portal Babajob as M&A spree continues
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Online classifieds platform Quikr India Pvt. Ltd is looking to buy blue-collar jobs portal Babajob Services Pvt. Ltd to consolidate its jobs vertical.

Quikr, which has so far acquired 10 companies across verticals, is in advanced talks with Babajob, media reports said.

Founded in 2007 by Sean Blagsvedt, an American national who had moved to India in 2004, Babajob connects employers with candidates looking for jobs as product delivery boys, office helpers, drivers, cooks, maids and security guards, among others.

The company had raised $10 million from one of Australia’s leading jobs classified companies, SEEK Ltd, in April 2015. Subsequently, it was in talks with a few investors for a second round of fundraising, which never happened.

Email queries to Quikr and Babajob did not elicit any response at the time of writing this report.

Recently, people in the know had told VCCircle that Babajob had laid off some employees over the past few months, but Blagsvedt, the CEO of the company, had declined to comment on the issue.

According to a VCCircle analysis, Babajob was one of the venture capital-backed startups in India that were most vulnerable to shutting shop. The analysis found that with its current assets, the company would find it tough to sustain its operations beyond November 2017.

Quikr on the uptake

Earlier this month, Quikr had acquired Mumbai-based Rejuvenate Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs online home services marketplace Zimmber, for an undisclosed amount.

Quikr has also bought vehicle services provider Stepni, home rental startup Grabhouse, beauty and wellness services platforms Stayglad, ZapLuk and Salosa.

In January 2016, Quikr’s acquisition of Commonfloor was touted as one of the biggest merger deals in the space.

Most of Quikr’s acquisitions have been all-stock deals. Today, Quikr has a sizeable presence across segments, including cars, education, homes, jobs and services.

The company has so far raised over $350 million from marquee investors, including AB Kinnevik, eBay, Omidyar Network, Tiger Global and Warburg Pincus.

In an earlier VCCircle report, experts had said that for an aggregation-based business model, expansion through acquisitions is a tried-and-tested method and, within the broad e-commerce space, it typically works on the premise that there is space for only two or three players at the most.

In 2015-16, Quikr’s losses had widened to Rs 534 crore from Rs 446 crore, year-on-year. However, the company had curbed its operational costs – after more than doubling in each of the previous three years, it grew about 26% to Rs 628.63 crore in 2015-16.

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