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Quikr Raises $19.4 Mn Funding From BCCL’s Brand Capital

Quikr Raises $19.4 Mn Funding From BCCL’s Brand Capital

Online classified platform Quikr has raised $19.4 Mn (INR 130 Cr) in a debt financing round led by Brand Capital, the private treaty arm of media company Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL).

According to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies, the investment was done via 143,000 fully convertible debentures at INR 9,038 apiece and one equity share of the same price.

As part of the deal, BCCL has also entered into a ‘privacy treaty deal’ with Quikr. According to the terms of the deal, BCCL will publish ads for predetermined number of years in ET Now, Times Now, Economic Times and Times of India, as per people close to the development.

Earlier this year, BCCL had also picked up a small stake in Snapdeal and is also in advanced talks to invest INR 500 Cr in Flipkart for a minority stake.

Quikr was launched in 2008 by Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas. The company has raised over $346 Mn in funding till date. The last fund was raised 16 months back amounting to $150 Mn (over INR 900 Cr) in a Series H round.

Quikr counts Tiger Global Management, Kinnevik AB, Warburg Pincus, Nokia Growth Partners and Norwest Venture Partners among its investors. In the last two years, it has also made five acquisitions which included Hiree (July 2016), Salosa (May 2016), Commonfloor (January 2016 for $120 Mn), Reality Compass (December 2015), and Indian Realty Exchange (November 2015).

Soon after acquiring Commonfloor, Quikr had fired over 150  Commonfloor employees and later shut down its office in May this year. Earlier this month, Quikr also closed down Flatchat’s office – a rental flatmate-finding application owned by CommonFloor.

As far as business verticals are concerned, the company has launched a plethora of services to entice customers, these include Quikr Nxt – a messaging service between buyers and sellers, on demand beauty service – ‘AtHomeDiva’, and other value add services such as QuikrHomes, and QuikrServices, among others.

Recently, Kinnevik also revealed in a report that Quikr’s valuation surged 3.5 times in 12 months between 31 December 2014 and 31 December 2015.

At present, Quikr faces tough competition from Naspers-backed OLX. Earlier in July this year, Nasper launched used car marketplace Stradia, to further strengthen OLX’s position in India. In June, Amazon also launched a platform on Junglee where users can buy and sell pre-owned goods. It started as a pilot in Bangalore and will soon be launched in other cities.

The development was first reported by LiveMint.