At a time when fund flow into startups is thinning, online managed marketplace ShopClues has raised a fresh round led by sovereign wealth fund GIC, becoming the latest entrant in the Indian Unicorn club (startups valued $1 billion or more). The others in this league include Flipkart, Snapdeal and PayTM.
The round, which saw participation from existing investors Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners, values the company at more than $1.1 billion, ShopClues said in a statement.
Though the company did not disclose the amount raised, media reports put the figure around $100-150 million. A report in Yourstory, reckons that the valuation of the company has tripled in 12 months as the company had raised $100 million from Tiger Global in last January at an estimated valuation of $350 million.
The capital raised will be used to focus on building and rolling out new products to enable the SME merchants to digitise their business, the statement said.
"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 ShopClues.
ShopClues said its GMV (gross merchandise value of the products sold on its platform) has grown over four-fold since January 2015, and the business is shipping out over 3.5 million items on a monthly basis.
The company has till date raised over $130 million in funding.
"The company continues to empower the sales of over 3.5 lakh registered SME merchants and has launched multiple new services for seller marketing in the past one year," the statement said.
These include working capital loans, ShopClues Connect (Chat Services), neighborhood market (hyperlocal discovery platform), logistics and payment services and domain services.
"As a long-term investor, GIC believes in the strong growth potential of India's e-commerce industry.
"We are confident that ShopClues' merchant-first mind-set and solid management team will enable the company to expand its reach, especially in the Tier-II and Tier-III cities," said Ravi Balasubramanian, Head of Asia Equities Research, GIC.
Shopclues is also looking at getting listed in 2017. “...We are confident that our capital efficiency & execution will make this our last fund raise before we become profitable with the eventual IPO in 2017,” Aggarwal has been quoted as saying in the statement.
ShopClues was founded in 2011 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sandeep Aggarwal. He bootstrapped the company till January 2012, when the company had the first institutional fund raise of $4 million.