India’s OfBusiness in talks to raise new funds at over $4.5 billion valuation

OfBusiness, an e-commerce startup that sells industrial goods and provides small businesses with credit, is in talks to raise a new round of funding at a valuation of over $4.5 billion, three sources familiar with those talks told me.

If the talks materialize, it would be the fourth financing round OfBusiness will secure this year. And it would also result in a multi-fold surge in its valuation, which was about $800 million in April this year and $3 billion less than a month ago.

Falcon Edge Capital is in talks to lead or co-lead the new round, one of the sources said. OfBusiness already counts SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Incubation, a fund managed by Falcon, among its existing investors.

Asish Mohapatra, co-founder and chief executive of OfBusiness, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

OfBusiness operates as a raw material aggregator and procurement finance provider. The startup works with banks to offer credit lines to small and medium enterprises that have an annual turnover of over $3 million.

The platform collects data on user activity that it relies on to underwrite loans to businesses that are using the OfBusiness platform for sourcing raw material and tenders.

It has come a long way. Within months of its launch, the startup realized that the bigger problem that its customers were facing was working capital. After this realization, Mohapatra began hiring key leaders to build a finance offering. In a podcast last year with an investor, he said when the realization hit him he had little to no understanding of underwriting and how to build a finance business.

That business has become big — and is also profitable. And that’s what has attracted several high-profile investors to OfBusiness in recent quarters. The startup’s revenue run rate is over $1 billion, and by July this year, its loan book size had increased to $220 million.