Exclusive: Info Edge To Acquire Dating Platform Aisle For INR 150 Cr

Exclusive: Info Edge To Acquire Dating Platform Aisle For INR 150 Cr

Exclusive: Info Edge To Acquire Dating Platform Aisle For INR 150 Cr

Info Edge will be acquiring Aisle in two tranches with capital infusion of INR 75 Cr each

This will be Info Edge’s first acquisition in 2022 after acquiring two HR tech startups DoSelect and Zwayam Digital in 2021

With Aisle's acqusition and Jeevansathi under its arms, Info Edge wants to double down on its matchmaking business.

Zomato backer Info Edge is acquiring Indian dating platform Aisle for around INR 150 Cr ($20 Mn approx). According to Inc42 sources, Info Edge will be acquiring the dating platform in two tranches of INR 75 Cr each.  

This will be the first acquisition of Info Edge in 2022. Last year, the internet company had acquired two HR tech startups DoSelect for INR 21 Cr and Zwayam Digital for INR 61 Cr in June. 

Founded in 2014 by Able Joseph, Aisle is an Indian dating app. The startup prefers to call itself a ‘high-intent’ dating app for people looking for a serious relationship rather than a casual one—which Tinder and Bumble is known for. 

The startup claims that it has staked its claim to the middle ground between traditional matrimonial websites and casual dating apps. Aisle claims to be ‘uniquely customised for Indian sensitivities’ and has acquired more than 6.5 Mn users, 9% of whom are NRIs from across 100 countries.

In India, Aisle competes against the popular US-based Tinder and recently NASDAQ-listed Bumble. The platform also pits against Truly Madly, Quack Quack, OkCupid, Woo among others. It saw a tremendous increase in user bases when the Indian government enforced lockdown restrictions to curb the growing cases of Covid-19. 

The seven-year-old dating app had last raised an undisclosed amount in its Pre-Series A round in early 2021. The round was led by Anas Rahman, founder and MD of Hurun India and early-stage investor Konglo Ventures’ founder Vinod Jose. 

The startup also counts  CIO Angel Network, White Unicorn Ventures, and LetsVenture amongst its investors. 

Aisle declined to comment on the development. However, a person close to the dating app requesting anonymity has confirmed that the talks are happening between both parties.

“We refrain from indulging in any unsubstantiated and unconfirmed reports. As a well-governed company, we will inform the Stock Exchanges if we acquire a stake exceeding 5% in any company as required by SEBI,” Info Edge CFO Chintan Thakkar said.

The dating app clocked a total earning of INR 3.48 Cr in the financial year ending on March 31, 2019. This was a 161% rise from INR 1.3 Cr the startup posted in FY18. In terms of expenses, the startup posted INR 3.8 Cr in FY19, an almost 2X rise from INR 1.78 Cr it posted in FY18. 

The startup managed to reduce its loss after tax to INR 32.9 lakh in FY19, as compared to INR 46 lakh in FY18. 

As per a TOI report, during the second wave of Covid-19, Aisle saw a 28% rise in the number of users. OkCupid, another dating platform last year saw a 30% increase in daily messages. 

As per a Statista report, revenue generated by dating apps in India will reach $459 Mn in 2021 as compared to $797 Mn in the US. The revenue generated in the country is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.57% to $791 Mn in 2025. User penetration is anticipated to increase by 3% in 2021 and will increase to 4.3% by 2025. 

Founded by Sanjeev Bikhchandani in 1995, Info Edge is the parent company of popular job classifieds platform – Naukri.com. The company runs 11 subsidiaries including allcheckdeals.com, Interactive Visual Solutions and Smart Web, Newwinc Internet Service, along with Startup Internet Services, Startup Investments, among others. 

The internet company also owns a matrimonial service – Jeevansathi, which was the only profitable business of Info Edge in the pandemic devastated Q1 of FY21 (April – June of 2020).

During Q2 of FY22, billing for the Jeevansathi business dropped by 1.6% to INR 24.3 Cr, and its revenues grew to INR 25.4 Cr from INR 23.8 Cr in Q2 of FY21 

Jeevansathi claims to be a subscription-based platform to connect prospects for matrimony. Jeevansathi claims to offer AI/ML based recommendations, video profiles, video/audio calling, online-based verifications, among others. It is interesting to note that Info Edge acquired Jeevansathi almost two decades ago in September of 2004 to foray into the match-making business. 

In billing, Info Edge recorded INR 402.3 Cr, its recruitment business (Naukri.com) clocked INR 291.1 Cr, 99 Acres recorded INR 68.1 Cr, and Shiksha.com clocked INR 18.9 Cr. 

In revenue, Info Edge saw a 37.3% rise to INR 351.7 Cr, from INR 256.1 Cr in Q2 FY21. While its Recruitment saw a 40.5% jump in revenue from INR 256.5 Cr in Q2 of FY22 from INR 182.3 Cr in Q2 of FY21, 99Acres saw a 32.8% jump in revenue to INR 48.3 Cr. Shiksha clocked earning of INR 21.6 Cr in Q2 of FY22, a 60.8% jump from INR 13.4 Cr. 

With Info Edge acquiring Aisle, the company is likely to double down on its matchmaking businesses. 

Info Edge is also known to invest in tech startups. The company is best known for giving the first cheque to now listed food aggregator platform Zomato. During Zomato’s listing, Info Edge offloaded shares worth INR 375 Cr. 

Info Edge continues to remain the largest shareholder in Zomato with an 18.1% stake. The Sanjeev Bikhchandani-led firm is also an investor in newly listed insurance aggregator PB Fintech which operates Policybazaar. In October last year,  PB Fintech went public to raise INR 6,017 Cr. 

Info Edge through Info Edge Ventures has invested in about 14 startups including ShopKirana, bijnis, Ustraa among others and has participated in over 60+ deals. 

Update | 26th Jan, 3:17 PM

In the pervious version of story, we had mentioned Jeevansathi was the only profitable business of Info Edge. Jeevansathi was the only profitable business of Info Edge in Q1 of FY21. The story has been updated to reflect the same.

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