Quikr, India’s largest online and mobile classifieds portal, announced today that it has raised $32 million in series E financing, led by New York City-based private equity giant Warburg Pincus. The company’s existing investors, which include Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and eBay, also participated in the funding.
The investment is Quikr’s fifth and largest financing to date, following an $8 million raise in May 2011, led by Nokia Growth Partners, Norwest and eBay. The latest capital infusion brings Quikr’s total funding to $46 million.
Quikr was known as Kijiji (of www.kijiji.in) until a re-branding in 2008, when the company decided it wanted to adopt a name that more readily reflected ease of use and speed, with a slightly more universal (and vowel-less Web 2.0) feel. Apparently “Kijiji” didn’t inspire that. No idea why.
Kidding aside, the company was set squarely on the long-term goal of becoming a fast, easy-to-use consumer-focused platform for the Indian community, and in turn providing it with a resource by which to buy, sell and rent in any category. And, since its launch in 2008 (and its re-branding shortly thereafter), the Mumbai-based startup has grown into a sizable platform, which is now used by some 17 million people and businesses each month — across more than 83 cities — and offers listings on everything from real estate to electronics.
Today, more than 50 percent of the Indian population is under the age of 25, which equates to an enormous number of savvy web and mobile adopters. As a result, many see huge opportunity in Indian eCommerce, especially that which is targeted at a younger audience. Unsurprisingly, Silicon Valley investors have been paying more and more attention to the startup ecosystem in India, the growing web penetration, and adoption of mobile devices.
What’s more, as demonstrated by this sizable investment in Quikr, not to mention the $40 million round that Bessemer, Nexus and others sank into fast-growing Indian eCommerce and deals company, Snapdeals, American investors aren’t afraid to send their money abroad.
For more, check out Quikr at home here.