Info Edge India, the BSE listed company behind websites such as Naukri.com and 99Acres.com, has invested Rs 18 crore in Delhi-based Kinobeo Software, which offers online group deals through the website Mydala.com.
Info Edge has said it will be investing through optionally convertible cumulative redeemable preference shares this time around. The total investment in MyDala amounts to Rs 28.1 crore - Kinobeo had raised Rs 9 crore from Info Edge in April, 2011 and had raised Rs 1.1 crore in its series A round of funding from PE veterans Ajay Relan and Jayanta Basu, besides two unnamed US investors, in 2010.
With this round, Info Edge becomes the largest shareholder amongst minority stock owners in Kinobeo. The promoters - Anisha Singh, Ashish Bhatnagar and Arjun Basu - continue to hold the majority share in the start-up. Sanjeev Mirchandani of Info Edge is on the board while Sandeep Murthy, Partner, Sherpalo Ventures, is an independent board member and Relan and Basu are advisors to the start-up.
The funds will be used for scaling up MyDala's marketing activities and geographic expansion, MyDala CEO Anisha Singh told Techcircle.in.
MyDala has operational hubs in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and is now expanding to nine more cities. It is also hiring a larger salesforce to reach 60 cities by March 2012. Currently, the website offers reaches 15 cities. Singh had earlier said the company will employ 400 by December 2011.
"It is consumers that make it work and we will continue to invest on viral customer acquisition. We are planning to focus on creative marketing with online and offline activities to draw more users towards group buying. We will also be expanding our operations and reach with more feet on the street," said Singh.
The company has also recently hired several CXO level executives and is in the process of getting them on board. Read our interview of Anisha Singh on Techcircle.in. Last month, the company launched a location-aware application for Blackberry handset users.
MyDala faces off with a bunch of group buying and daily deal sites in India - Groupon India/Crazeal.com that just hired Bharath Devanathan as its COO; Snapdeal.com, that recently raised $40 million; Koovs.com that was acquired by New-Delhi based e-commerce firm BenefitsPLUS Media Pvt Ltd; Dealsandyou.com by Smile Group; NASDAQ-listed Rediff.com India Ltd's Deal Ho Jaye and Timesdeal.com by Times Internet. There are also niche sites such as Exclusively.in, ThePrivateSales.com, 99Labels, Fashionandyou.com, Brandmile.com, BagitToday, Naaptol Club, Fetise.com and BeStylish.com catering to different segments of online users. Then there are the generic e-commerce horizontal portals including eBay India, Flipkart, Infibeam, Futurebazaar, Indiatimes Shopping, Homeshop18, Myntra.com, Yebhi.com and Indiaplaza.com.