SAIF Partners scores 30x in part-exit from Just Dial

Multi-stage private investment firm SAIF Partners part-exited its investment in Mumbai-based Just Dial Ltd, which runs the online business directory, by selling just under a quarter of its stake in the company in small tranches since June this year. This is the second part exit after selling some shares as part of the offer for sale during the public issue of Just Dial in mid-2013.

SAIF sold a little over 1.6 million shares of Just Dial of which over two-thirds were sold in June and the rest happened early this week, through open market transactions. In the process its holding shrunk from 11.16 per cent to 8.71 per cent in the period.

It is estimated to have pocketed around Rs 254 crore ($41 million) and generated around 30x in gross returns.

This is one of the biggest VC exits in terms of return multiples from an Indian portfolio firm and at-par with Sequoia's more recent part-exit from Just Dial (click here for more on that).

SAIF's remaining stake is worth Rs 979 crore ($158 million).

SAIF Partners was the first large institutional investor to back Just Dial. It first invested Rs 55 crore in Just Dial. Later it invested more along with Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital and also picked some shares of an existing shareholder.

An email query sent to Ravi Adusumalli, managing director of SAIF Partners, for comments on the part exit, did not elicit any response till the time of filing this article.

This is the second partial exit by SAIF Partners from Just Dial. It had sold some shares from the original investment during the initial public offer (IPO) pocketing Rs 320 crore. At that time it had scored around 10x on the part exit.

Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global also part-exited the firm at the time of IPO.

Currently Tiger Global holds 13.32 per cent, Sequoia Capital owns 13.21 per cent and SAP Ventures has 1.1 per cent.

Founded by VSS Mani in 1994, Just Dial is a local search firm that provides both B2C and B2B listings of small and medium businesses across the country, and provides services across multiple platforms, including the Internet, phone, wireless and print.

Lately it has been expanding its business by adding transaction services for its merchants allowing consumers to buy products and services from third party vendors like a marketplace.

Just Dial recently said it is planning to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore ($165 million) through equity and related instruments.

Shares of Just Dial were quoting at Rs 1,596.35 each in mid-day trades, up 1.93 per cent on the BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Friday.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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