Local businesses spend an estimated $2.5 billion in advertising across various media to capture $200 billion worth of local services...
Sulekha.com, an Internet and web services company, on Tuesday announced that GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, and Norwest Venture Partners, a top-tier global investment firm, have invested
R175 crores into the company. Sulekha.com will use the capital to further expand its platform that connects one of the largest bases of users and local service providers, and invest more in its mobile application.
This is the third big investment that the internet company has secured after Japan-based Mitsui & Co invested $8 million in 2011, merely four years after Norwest made a $10 million investment in 2007.
Satya Prabhakar, Founder and CEO of Sulekha.com, said, “This investment by GIC and Norwest is a powerful endorsement of the vast potential of the local services opportunity in India and Sulekha’s ability to prosecute it
successfully. Sulekha has cultivated deep expertise and built a sophisticated platform in 800+ local service categories including home/office services, coaching/training, health/lifestyle and property/rentals. Sulekha’s large
base of user and businesses, unique IP, vast operational footprint, plus rapid migration to mobile are transforming the local services market.”
Commenting on the recent inflow of funds, Param Parameswaran, chairman of Sulekha.com, said, “We are pleased to add GIC to our investor group. Sulekha has architected a remarkably lucrative business model because of the immediacy, specificity and location-oriented nature of the user local service needs. Sulekha has been enjoying significant organic growth while being quite capital efficient, making it one of only a few digital companies in India
that have been profitable.”
Local businesses spend an estimated $2.5 billion in advertising across various media to capture $200 billion worth of local services bought in diverse categories such as computer training, serviced apartments, party catering, babysitting, elder care, yoga lessons, kitchen renovation, and wedding photography. Sulekha sends 16+ million user needs a year to over 2+ million active businesses on its platform.
Promod Haque, senior managing partner of Norwest Venture Partners, said, “Sulekha’s innovative digital platform allows users to fulfil their needs while providing a highly targeted and affordable avenue for small businesses
to secure customers. Less than 10% of local businesses in India have ever advertised according to recent estimates. Sulekha is seizing an enormous opportunity in transforming how businesses find local customers and grow and we look forward to significant scale ahead.”
While GIC is a leading global investment firm with well over US $100 billion in assets under management,Norwest Venture Partners is a global, multi-stage venture capital and growth equity investment firm that manages approximately US $ 5 billion in capital and has funded more than 575 companies since inception. Mitsui & Co. (Tokyo), a Global Fortune 200 company, and Indigo Monsoon Group are also investors in Sulekha.