Reliance in talks to acquire JustDial to strengthen local commerce operations: sources

Reliance could hold up to 60 percent share in JustDial as it looks to ramp up its presence in the MSME and local commerce segment. The deal is likely to be announced on Friday.
450 CLAPS
0

Reliance Industries in advanced talks to acquire local business listings platform JustDial, according to sources. The deal could be pegged at $800-900 million.

JustDial is currently valued at approximately Rs 6,980 crore. RIL could end up owning close to 60 percent of JustDial post the deal.

The formal "announcement will come from JustDial" after its board meeting on July 16, a Reliance spokesperson confirmed to YourStory.

The latter's stock was up three percent on the BSE on Thursday. Prior to this, JustDial's share price had appreciated over 52 percent since the start of the year.

Interestingly, the local business listings platform was also in talks for a strategic alliance with Tata Digital, which is on an acquisition spree lately. However, the discussions held in March were inconclusive.

If the Reliance deal goes through, it would alllow the Mukesh Ambani-owned conglomerate to strengthen its merchant database as it ramps up local commerce operations across the country.

Founded in 1996 by VSS Mani, JustDial had 30.4 million listings across 250+ cities at the end of FY21. Its local search engine, which consists of a website, app, and hotline number, sees unique quarterly visits of nearly 150 million.

Revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 stood at Rs 175.7 crore, with JustDial turning a profit of Rs 33.6 crore, according to its earnings statement.

JustDIal users have contributed 121.24 million reviews and ratings for various listings till date. While business owners have the option to list for free, the platform has seen over 4.57 lakh paid campaigns till date, according to information on its website.

"JustDial's value-added offerings of huge online visibility, payment solutions, customised website, mobile site and mobile app; all packaged together, make it an attractive value proposition for MSMEs, several of whom have continuous associations," it stated.

Earlier in February, JustDial also launched its B2B marketplace platform, JD Mart.

It is aimed at enabling millions of India’s manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers to become internet-ready in the post-COVID era and acquire customers through online channels.

"The platform offers digital product catalogues to businesses, especially MSMEs, across categories. Buyers can discover quality vendors offering a wide selection of products to choose from, spread across millions of categories to suit all B2B needs," JustDial said in a statement.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai