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After deferring IPO plan, Unicorn ShopClues bags $1 Mn bridge round from Unilazer


It’s rare that a Unicorn raises a million USD as a bridge round. However, unusual things happen in a startup lifecycle. Gurugram-based online marketplace ShopClues has raised $1 million from Ronnie Screwvala-led Unilazer.

The company has been eyeing for investment for quite some as it defers the plan to go public this year. Shopclues had raised Rs 50 crore debt round from Innoven Capital in April last year. During the same month, it secured an ads-for-equity deal with the Times of India group.

ShopClues has reached out to Entrackr saying that it hasn’t raised any bridge round.

The firm reportedly was eyeing to raise a pre-IPO round between $50 million to $100 million in 2017. However, fundraising plan appears to have fallen flat along with widely reported claims by the company of going public.

Raising capital for large horizontal marketplaces is not easy as Flipkart, Paytm and Amazon are battling out aggressively to emerge the winner.

Flipkart had secured massive $2.5 billion round from SoftBank Vision Fund and currently in talks with global retail major Walmart for $5-10 billion for about 40 per cent ownership in the Bengaluru-based company. Jeff Bezos led Amazon won’t shy to pour any amount to win fledgling Internet economy.

Meanwhile, ShopClues was also in talks with Flipkart and Paytm for a merger. Last year, Alibaba also held talks with The Tiger Global-backed company for a possible merger with Paytm Mall. However, merger deals had fallen apart for some unknown reasons.

So far, the company has raised $281 million risk capital from a clutch of investors including Tiger Global, Nexus, Bennos and GIC amongst others. Notably, the disclosure of the company’s financials 2017 emphasised that the firm has zero net worth. In FY17, total revenue of ShopClues rose by only 5 percent to Rs 188 crore.

With onslaught triggered by the deep-pocketed trio- Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall, chances of survival of other large players including ShopClues and Snapdeal are not easy. Tiger Global who is a common investor in Flipkart and ShopClues may re-explore folding later into former. Interestingly, now SoftBank has a larger say in Flipkart, chances of merger won’t be an easy affair.

The funding news was first reported by paper.vc

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