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Sulekha.com raises Rs 175 cr from Singapore's sovereign fund, NVP

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 21-04-2015 PTI

Local listings services provider Sulekha.com has raised Rs 175 crore funding from Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and venture capital Norwest Venture Partners (NVP).

The company will use the series C funding to expand its presence in tier II cities to mainly focus on technology and branding.

Sulekha.com has raised Rs 175 crore funding from Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and venture capital Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). Reuters© image Sulekha.com has raised Rs 175 crore funding from Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and venture capital Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). Reuters

"We have architected a lucrative business model because of the immediacy, specificity and location-oriented nature of the user local service needs. This investment is an endorsement of the potential of the local services opportunity in India," Sulekha.com founder and CEO Satya Prabhakar told PTI today.

The company has previously raised about Rs 100 crore through two rounds of funding from Indigo Monsoon, Mitsui and NVP.

"Currently, about 80 per cent of our revenues come from the top 15 cities. We would like to increase this to 40-50 cities in the next 18 months," he said.

Prabhakar declined to comment on the revenue details of the company.

The Chennai-based company has about 50 lakh businesses listed on its platform.

"Our nature of business is very localised. So someone in Indore cannot make use of someone's service in Mumbai...Our platform is of immense help to small and medium businesses, many of whom have never advertised through traditional media," he said.

According to estimates, local businesses spend an estimated USD 2.5 billion in advertising across various media to capture USD 200 billion worth of local services in diverse categories like computer training, serviced apartments, party catering, baby-sitting, elder care, yoga lessons, kitchen renovation and wedding photography.

In the past few months, there has been an increased investor interest in platforms listing services.

While SAIF Partners and Accel Partners recently invested Rs 10 crore in Delhi-based services marketplace Urban-Clap, Orios Venture Partners and Mayfield invested in Taskbob and Tiger Global and Lightspeed in Mumbai's LocalOye.

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