Info Edge (India) Ltd, which runs the top recruitment site Naukri.com and other classifieds like matrimonial site Jeevansathi and real estate portal 99acres.com, has announced an investment of $3.5 million in online private sales portal 99labels.com.
This is the third investment this year by Info Edge in e-commerce portals. Last month, the company invested Rs 10 crore in Etechaces Marketing and Consulting Private Limited, which runs Policybazaar.com, a website for financial products comparison and Rs 9 crore in New-Delhi based Kinobeo Software Pvt Ltd, which runs group buying site MyDala.com. Last year, Info Edge invested in two start-up ventures - Applect Learning Systems Pvt Ltd, which runs Meritnation.com and restaurant listings site Zomato.com, (formerly Foodiebay).
99labels.com is a members-only, flash sale site offering luxury brands in fashion apparel, lifestyle products, accessories, footwear, watches, jewellery, fragrances and home dÃ©cor. It offers up to 90 per cent discounts on branded merchandise.
Info Edge will buy out an undisclosed stake from current stakeholders, the company has said in a media release. VCCircle was the first to report that 99 labels in on road to raise money.
The funds will be used to increase the number of international brands on the website as well as invest in ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) systems.
"We liked the idea and we liked the team and their ability to execute. The e-commerce market is poised for take-off in India and this is the right time to enter. The space in which 99labels operate holds tremendous potential as a vastly scalable business," said Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and Executive Vice Chairman, Info Edge India.
Info Edge recorded net profits of Rs 63.14 crore, up by 21% from previous year in 2010-11. It also recommended a dividend of Re. 0.75 per share at a face value Rs. 10 per share for FY 2010-11.
Ishita Swarup, CEO, 99labels.com said, "99labels has quickly risen to be one of the top e-commerce portals in India, and we look forward to a productive, innovative and supportive partnership with a company that shares our ideals and our ethos. Our mission in pioneering this online private sales concept in India has always been to constantly innovate and make possible the most satisfying experience for both our members as well as merchant partners."
India's e-commerce industry is witnessing a spike in investments this year. Myntra, another e-commerce company, raised $14 million from Tiger Global, IDG Ventures and Indo-US Venture Partners and more recently, Pune-based BrainBees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs the online baby products shop Firstcry.com, raised $4 million from private equity major SAIF Partners. According to industry body Internet and mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India's e-commerce market is expected to grow by 47% from Rs 31,598 crore in 2010 to reach Rs 46,520 crore by end of this year.