Swiggy seeks unicorn status, in talks to raise $250 mn
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Online food delivery startup Swiggy is looking to raise $250 million, instead of $150-200 million it was considering earlier. The development comes at a time when the Bengaluru-based company is witnessing intense investor interest, leading the firm to mark up its valuation and raise more money, a person in the know told VCCircle.

South African technology conglomerate Naspers, Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank, billionaire investor Yuri Milner’s DST Global, Chinese firms Tencent, Meituan-Dianping and Alibaba are all in talks with Swiggy; however, a clear front-runner has not yet emerged.

“The only factor that is going to decide who emerges as the winner is the valuation and the funding amount," said the person mentioned above on condition of anonymity. The company's last round valued it slightly below $1 billion. Since the current discussions are happening without much of a gap, the company is looking at a valuation north of $1 billion, the person added.

Existing investors DST Global and Meituan-Dianping are not the preferred partners to lead the new round of funding.

"As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation," a spokesperson from Alibaba said in an email response to VCCircle.

Email queries sent to Swiggy, Alibaba, SoftBank, Tencent and Naspers, seeking confirmation of the development, did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Swiggy last raised funds in February this year in a Series F round led by Naspers. It mopped up $100 million (Rs 640 crore), its largest round till date. Meituan Dianping joined as a new investor in the round.

Its Series E round of $80 million was also led by Naspers in May 2017. It secured $15 million in its Series D round in September 2016 and $35 million in its Series C round in January 2016.

It has so far raised $255 million in external funding and its other investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel India, SAIF Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

The startup was founded in August 2014 by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini. Majety and Reddy are BITS-Pilani alumni, while Jaimini is from IIT-Kharagpur.

Swiggy competes with the likes of Foodpanda (owned by SoftBank-backed Ola), Zomato (backed by Alipay) and FreshMenu.

The company clocked revenue of Rs 133 crore for the financial year ended March 2017, up from Rs 20 crore in the previous year, as per the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies. Net loss, however, widened to Rs 205 crore from Rs 137 crore. Total expenditure, too, surged to Rs 345 crore from Rs 157 crore in the previous year.

*The copy has been updated to include a statement from Alibaba.

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