Quikr, which claims to be India’s largest classified ads site, has scooped up $150 million from returning investors Tiger Global and Investment AB Kinnevik, as well as Steadview Capital.
The latest round, which is the biggest single one Quikr has raised so far and brings its total funding to $350 million, will be used to enhance its mobile business and expand its most active categories, including cars, real estate, jobs, and services. The site claims to have 30 million monthly users, including individual consumers and small businesses, and is active in 1,000 cities across India.
Founder and CEO Pranay Chulet tells TechCrunch that 80 percent of Quikr’s business comes from its mobile apps. One of the things that sets Quikr apart from other classified ads sites is a messaging feature called QuikrNXT that is available in its apps and site. Launched in January, QuikrNXT lets prospective buyers and sellers text and send photos to each other without disclosing their phone numbers. Chulet says that the majority of Quikr’s users now communicate through QuikrNXT.
Quikr is planning to launch a separate property portal called quikrhomes.com, thanks to a two-fold increase in listings over the past year as the real estate market prepares for a recovery. The new site will compete against players like SoftBank-backed Housing.com; CommonFloor, which has also raised funding from Tiger Global as well as Google Capital; MagicBrick.com; and 99Acres.
Chulet says his company will also delve deeper into its jobs and services sections, potentially spinning out each as a separate vertical.
“We already are leaders in all these areas, people just don’t realize how big each of these businesses has become for us through sheer organic pull,” says Chulet. “Quikr is a bit like a mothership that cuts across a bunch of categories. It’s time to launch big boats from the mothership.”