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Quikr scores close to $20Mn from Brand Capital in a fresh round : Reports

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Quikr is one of those rare Indian internet startups which has managed to stay mostly unaffected by the ongoing slowdown in investments. It not only made a major acquisition of its rival Commonfloor this year but also witnessed an impressive increase in its valuation that reached $900 million in April last year. Now, a Livemint report says that it has secured a fresh funding of 130 crores from Brand Capital.

Brand capital is the private treaty arm of media firm Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL). It made this investment by buying 143,000 fully convertible debentures at 9,038 apiece and one equity share of the same price. The information was revealed by documents filed with Registrar of Companies.

Under the deal, Brand Capital will also give Quikr a media coverage in its key media properties for a pre-decided number of years. These properties include news channels like ET Now and Times Now and newspapers The Times of India and The Economic Times.

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Notably, this won’t be first such deal for Brand Capital. It is talking with Flipkart as well to invest 500 crores in return for publishing ads in its media properties. Similarly, it had partnered with Snapdeal in February this year.

These deals, also called private treaty deals, have become quite common these days. However, that was not the case earlier as many people objected it to propagate false media coverage.

Brand Capital has been very active in investing in new startups for the past one year on behalf of BCCL. This year alone, it has invested in a plethora of startups.

These include the recent $1.5 million investment in Salebhai, furniture rental startup CityFurnish, Meru Cabs, Edtech startup iDreamCareer, customised e-commerce store icustommadeit, to name a few. Earlier, the firm had invested in popular startups like Uber, Haptik, CourseEra, Delhivery, Voonik, and Infibeam.

On the other hand, Quikr itself has been quite active in terms of acquisitions and strategic investments. Post Commonfloor acquisition, it acquired recruitment platform Hiree to expand itself to online recruitment.

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Last year, it bought Indian Realty Exchange and real-estate analytics startup Realtycompass for strengthening its real-estate classified section ‘QuikrHomes’.

However, the firm also reportedly laid off over 150 employees from Commonfloor after acquiring it.  Recently, it also shut down Flatchat which was one of the acquisitions of Commonfloor. The company gave the reason of consolidation behind its decision. It further assured that they continue to operate Commonfloor, RealtyCompass and IRX after acquisitions.

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