India’s startup ecosystem just got a new Unicorn, the third for the aggressively growing e-commerce segment. Managed e-commerce marketplace ShopClues has announced raising of a fresh Series E round led by GIC Pvt. Ltd., valuing the upstart in excess of a billion dollars. ($1.1Bn to be precise).
Apart from GIC, existing investors of the company – Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners also participated in this funding round. While the company has not disclosed the amount of funding, sources familiar with the development suggest it to be around $100-$110 million. Reports had earlier suggested a similar number, thus making this figure almost certain.
This newly infused capital will be used to build and roll out new products to enable SME merchants digitize their businesses and to further entrench itself as the e-commerce operating system on the cloud.
Commenting on the new funding round, Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-founder of ShopClues said,
The recent addition of GIC and the continued strong support from our existing investors is a validation of our capital efficiency with a clear path to profitability. This investment will enable us to double our focus on digitizing our merchants’ businesses so that they scale to fully leverage the opportunity online commerce provides them.
As for valuation
, the numbers have almost tripled in this funding round. In its Series D round of $100 million, the company was valued at $350 million. The company is claiming its GMV to have grown over 4X since January 2015, with businesses shipping out over 3.5 Million items on a monthly basis, attracting a traffic of close to 100 Million visits a month.
As per Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of the company, this round of funding could be the last one before the company turns profitable. She also hints towards the possibility of IPO in 2017. She says:
Today, we are the dominant player in low price-point & unstructured categories like lifestyle, home, kitchen, electronic & 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 & merchant network.
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.
While raising funds is one part of Shopclues’ expansion plans, the newly-crowned unicorn has also been making strategic investments in smaller companies, aligning with its own business — a trend becoming extremely common in India’s now maturing e-commerce segment.
Shopclues had recently invested an undisclosed amount in HeyBiz, a mobile application which connects both users and businesses on mobile with real time chat.