“Our strategy is to invest in leading technology-enabled consumer businesses in growth markets by partnering with strong management teams and like-minded co-investors. The investment in Quikr fits squarely with our strategy and we look forward to supporting its growth in the years to come,” said Mia Brunell Livfors, President and CEO, Kinnevik, in an official statement.
The investment was spread across two rounds, with existing investor Warburg Pincus providing the initial investment in September last year. The fresh deal, reportedly marked as the largest round of funding for an internet services company in India, values Quikr at over US$250 million, says a report by The Economic Times.
This is first direct investment in the country by Kinnevik, a family-run listed investment company with a market value of US$10.6 billion.
The investment in Quikr builds on Kinnevik’s existing investments in high growth e-commerce platforms in India and in the largest classifieds platforms in Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana, said the release.
The internet market in India is evolving rapidly. The number of internet users is expected to increase from approximately 200 million today to over 550 million by 2018. Similarly, online retail sales are expected to grow from approximately US$2 billion today to US$16 billion by 2018.
Quikr has raised nearly US$150 million in seven rounds. It competes directly with websites such as OLX and Sulekha in India.
Founded in 2008 by Pranay Chulet, Quikr is one of the leading horizontal classifieds platforms in India with more than 30 million unique visitors and 100 million visits per month. Individuals and businesses access Quikr to sell, buy, rent or find products and services in a variety of categories such as electronics, cars, bikes, real estate, services, jobs, education and entertainment.
Sulekha is one of India’s largest and fastest-growing digital business and consumer brands that has transformed local services ecosystem through a powerful need fulfillment and monetization platform.