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Exclusive: InMobi set to acquire social commerce firm Shop101

Mobile ad services platform InMobi is in advanced stage talks to acquire social commerce firm Shop101, according to three Entrackr sources. 

The Bengaluru-based company has been eyeing to build a commerce layer for its products Glance and Roposo. It was in the market to acquire companies in the e-commerce space and appears that it may have found itself a deal. 

“Both companies have been in talks since the past few months after Shop101’s early conversation with other companies including Reliance and Amazon had fizzled out,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “Talks with InMobi have reached an advanced stage and contours of the deal are almost finalised.”

If this deal goes through, it would be InMobi’s second acquisition in the last six to seven months. Late last year, it had acquired Tiger Global-backed Roposo in a distress sale. Entrackr had exclusively reported the acquisition in November.

Vy Capital and Stellaris Ventures-backed Shop101 has been exploring merger and acquisition opportunities since the beginning of this year. Entrackr had exclusively reported about Shop101’s early M&A talks with Amazon, Reliance and others in March. 

The company was one of the major competitors of Meesho during the 2016-19 period. But it hasn’t been able to raise follow-on capital to keep running. 

“InMobi would value Shop101 in the range of $30-35 million [Rs 215-250 crore],” said a second source who also wished not to be named as the talks are private. 

According to Fintrackr’s estimate, Shop101 was valued at Rs 436 crore or $60 million when it raised Rs 17.2 crore from its existing investors Kalaari Capital, Vy Capital, Unilever and Stellaris in July 2020. The valuation being slashed in half essentially indicates that it would be a distress deal.

Queries sent to InMobi and Shop101 on Monday didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the story in case they do.

Founded in 2015 by Abhinav Jain and Aditya Gupta, Shop101 has raised three institutional rounds including a Rs 80 crore worth Series B round in December 2018. As per Fintrackr, Vy Capital is the largest stakeholder in Shop101 with over 27% stake.

With Shop101, InMobi would compete with several hyper funded companies including Meesho, DealShare and CityMall. DealShare is in the final stages to raise up to $100 million round led by Tiger whereas CityMall is set to corner $30 million from the likes of General Catalyst and existing backers. Entrackr had exclusively reported both developments (here & here).

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