ShopClues bags a whopping $1 billion valuation
E-commerce giant ShopClues raised close to $150 million from Singaporean sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, propelling it into the ranks of the Indian unicorn companies.
ShopClues' gross merchandise volume has grown over four times since January 2015 and is favoured for its unconventional approach, unlike Flipkart and Amazon.
This fund-raising move is being viewed as a strategic step towards an IPO in 2017.
Introduction : What is ShopClues?
ShopClues.com is an online marketplace, which is an Indian subsidiary of the US Corporation named Clues Network Inc.
It was founded in November 2011 by an alumnus of Washington University and Wall Street internet analyst Sandeep Aggarwal and eBay's former Global Product Head, Sanjay Sethi.
It was the 35th entrant in the Indian e-commerce space when it entered in 2011.
Funding : How the ShopClues flight took off?
ShopClues started with an initial amount of $250,000 from the CEO's savings.
ShopClues raised a $2 million from angels based in Silicon Valley.
The third round funding of $10 million came from Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, who believed in the growing scope of Indian online market.
After Round C funding, the company raised a decent amount to start full operation.
Fact: The massive growth of ShopClues
ShopClues became one of the fastest growing eCommerce platforms with the gross revenue that multiplied 110 times from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013.
9 Sep 2012: ShopClues launches an innovative online flea market
ShopClues launched Sunday Flea Market, which was a unique online marketplace offering products from different merchants/sellers with limited quantity and at very cheap prices.
It allowed third-party sellers to list those items that were either in less quantity or in odd quantity for which the seller allowed discounts.
The innovative trend caught on to the buyers because of its wholesale feel and attractive prices.
1 Aug 2013: Company faces hiccups with CEO arrest
CEO Sandeep Aggarwal was charged with insider trading offences for providing confidential information of a Microsoft-Yahoo deal from his initial employer in San Francisco.
Aggarwal was charged with civil offences by the Securities and Exchange Commission and also, faced criminal charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Aggarwal was later, released from the case on a $500,000 bond.
19 Jan 2015: e-Commerce giant raises $100 million from Tiger Global
ShopClues raised $100 million in Series D funding led by Tiger Global; the funding round saw participation from major investors.
The fresh round of funds, including the initial ones, took the company to a valuation of $350 million.
ShopClues, which had successfully positioned itself among the small and local merchants, planned to utilise the funds for scaling its technology and marketing its products.
7 Oct 2015: ShopClues uses CAKE to provide payment solutions
ShopClues signed up with CAKE, a digital marketing software division, to launch its e-commerce affiliate program.
Being India's largest online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers, it would utilise CAKE to manage affiliates, structure payouts and track mobile app conversions for its e-commerce site.
ShopClues needed a platform to provide real-time comparative performance analysis of all affiliates and CAKE fitted the bill.
8 Dec 2015: ShopClues goes on acquisition spree
E-commerce giant ShopClues invested $50 million in either buying stakes or investing to acquire up to eight companies to expand its business.
ShopClues looked to clinch deals in the hyperlocal, ad-tech and internet payment domains by the first quarter of 2016.
The acquisitions were stock-driven — in which deals were done primarily to access the expertise of the acquired firms' existing employees.