On the way to an IPO, ShopClues raises Rs 50cr in venture debt
ShopClues had earlier stated it would do a pre-IPO round—between $50 million and $100 million—in 2017.
Online marketplace ShopClues has raised Rs 50 crore from InnoVen Capital, Livemint has reported. YourStory has confirmed the development.
ShopClues, which claims to be growing profitably, is aiming for an IPO this year. ShopClues had earlier stated it would do a pre-IPO round—between $50 million and $100 million—in 2017.
Usually, venture debt is raised for working capital, when the company is short of funds. But the news report has quoted ShopClues CEO Sanjay Sethi as saying that debt is preferred as it can be paid off, whereas equity will lead to dilution. Often, such funds are used for acquisitions. In fact, CBO Radhika Aggarwal had earlier told YourStory that ShopClues was also looking to acquire startups for category expansion.
InnoVen Capital counts OYO Rooms, Furlenco, Myntra, Practo, and BlueStone, among others, in its portfolio.
Launched in 2011 by Sanjay, Radhika, and Sandeep Aggarwal, ShopClues has kept itself apart by focusing on the burgeoning tier-II and tier-III cities in the country. Backed by GIC, Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management, ShopClues joined the unicorn club in January 2016, with a valuation of $1.1 billion, after it raised over $100 million in a Series E round.
Focusing on the fashion and lifestyle categories, this year, ShopClues is venturing into local, unbranded markets. It claims to have improved its Net Promoter Score (NPS) by over 30 points in the last one year.
In total, ShopClues has raised around $300 million, in stark contrast to the big daddy of Indian e-commerce, Flipkart, which has raised more than $3 billion and is close to acquiring Snapdeal. (Both ShopClues and Flipkart have a common investor in Tiger Global.)
According to Sanjay, ShopClues is not taking any competition lightly, although Flipkart and Amazon do not particularly focus on tier-III cities at the moment. However, he had earlier told YourStory, “Today, to seriously go after the unstructured categories and Bharat consumer and to build a business that will scale to make money, it has to be done very differently from how Amazon and Flipkart are doing now. That has to be done under a different brand.”