New Delhi: There’s a new unicorn in India, and its name is ShopClues.
Less than fifteen months ago, investors and analysts were uncertain about ShopClues’ survival. The firm was still coping with its founder Sandeep Aggarwal’s departure and was in the process of raising funds to keep the business alive.
On Tuesday, the online marketplace for masses (as the website sees itself) announced that it has raised a fresh round of funds led by sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, with participation from existing investors Tiger Global Management LLC and Nexus Venture Partners, at a valuation of more than $1.1 billion.
Though the company did not disclose the amount raised, two persons close to the development, and who spoke on condition of anonymity, estimated it at $100-140 million. “The money is expected to come in tranches,” said one of the two people mentioned above.
The company’s move to raise capital from the public markets fund at GIC is being viewed as a strategic step towards an initial public offering (IPO) in 2017.
GIC was the pre-IPO investor in China’s Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd as well as JD.Com Inc.
“Today, we are the dominant player in low price-point and unstructured categories like lifestyle, home, kitchen, electronic and automotive accessories, etc. Our focus on selection, value and trusted shopping for Indian middle-class consumers has given us tremendous scale with a rapidly growing buyer and merchant network. We are confident that our capital efficiency and execution will make this our last fund raise before we become profitable with the eventual IPO in 2017,” said Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder and chief business officer at ShopClues.
Investors seem to like ShopClues because it is not running the same race as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon India. Not only the buyers, but even the sellers on the platform are different. The firm is focused on taking unstructured categories online.