JustDial Files for IPO; The Saga Continues
JustDial after having previously shelved the plans, has filed for IPO today and plans to sell plans 9.55 million shares. Founded by VSS Mani in 1996 as a local search service provider over the phone, JustDial has become a household name in India. JustDial went on the internet in 2007 and commenced operations in the US in 2010. Some of the key metrics which give JustDial the rights to brag are 57 million users across 2000 towns and cities in India. The company has had multiple funding rounds in the following order:
2006 – INR 50 Crore from SAIF Partners
2007 – INR 77 crore from Tiger Global Management
2009 – INR 40 crore from Sequoia Capital India
2011 – $7.5 million from SAP Venture
2012 – $57 million from Sequoia Capital India and SAP Ventures
The company has gone multiple ups an downs over the years and initial journey was extremely tough. Starting as “Askme” in 1989, Mani went broke and had to shut it down (the entire story here). Having learnt from his previous mistakes, he was more prepared when he started out in 1996. They carried on slowly and moved on slowly. Getting funding was very tough and one VC told them that he wasn’t interested in their existing business, but would fund them if they converted to a BPO! Mani decided to stop chasing the VCs post which it fell into place on its own.
In mid 2012, JustDial issuing an IPO was almost a writing on the wall but they deferred and raised the final funding round. Today, according to moneycontrol, Just Dial has filed fresh regulatory papers for an initial public offer (IPO). Just Dial plans to sell 9.55 million shares in the IPO, it said in a statement. The Indian units of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are the book running lead managers to the offer, it said.
Just Dial had first filed papers with the regulators for an IPO in August last year and was seen raising about $80 million. The offering was shelved due to a sharp fall in the markets that affected appetite for new shares.
JustDial’s IPO is a great thing for the startup scene in India. A successful exit for the founders via an IPO will be very good news for all of us, and will increase the confidence in the ecosystem, both for entrepreneurs and for VC funds alike.