Sequoia trims stake, Nalanda buys more of Just Dial

Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has further lowered its holding in Mumbai-based Just Dial Ltd, which runs the online business directory Justdial.com, by selling around 1.57 per cent stake in the company through an open-market transaction on Friday.

The firm sold 1.12 million equity shares of Just Dial at a price of Rs 900 a share, pocketing around Rs 100 crore (approximately $15 million).

This is the fourth part-exit by Sequoia Capital in Just Dial. Initially, it had sold some shares as part of the offer for sale during the public issue of Just Dial in mid-2013 and then offloaded some stake late last year.

Last month, it had sold around 0.5 per cent for around Rs 34.6 crore (a little over $5 million) through a bulk deal.

As of September 2015, Sequoia Capital held 13.15 per cent stake through Sequoia Capital India Investment III, Sequoia Capital India Growth Investment Holdings I and SCI Growth Investments II. This has now come down to 11.08 per cent. It remains the single-largest institutional shareholder of the company.

The VC firm first invested in Just Dial in 2009, paying Rs 38.35 crore in a secondary deal to buy out the stake held by an early investor.

In June 2011, Sequoia Capital Global Equities along with SAP Ventures invested around Rs 45 crore in Just Dial. Then, in July 2012, Sequoia I and Sequoia II, which are Sequoia Capital’s India growth funds, invested Rs 305 crore while SAP Ventures invested another Rs 22 crore.

Early this year, Tiger Global had exited Just Dial. Last year, SAIF Partners, had also trimmed its holding in the company.

Temasek is another investor in the firm.

In a separate development, public markets focused private investment firm Nalanda Capital has raised its holding in Just Dial. The investment arm had previously disclosed that it raised its holding in the firm to 5.54 per cent in the first week of November, becoming the third-largest non-promoter investor in the firm.

Nalanda held around 2.2 per cent in Just Dial as of September 30, which means it has shelled out around Rs 300 crore to buy the stake in tranches since mid-2015 when the company's share price started to slide.

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 offers 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 and allowing consumers to buy products and services from third-party vendors like a marketplace.

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