People Matters

People Matters – The rare media B2B that ‘made it’

People Matters

People Matters, a media platform and community for HR and talent leaders in India and APAC region, recently was in the news for selling a majority stake to Japan-based Mynavi Corporation. The deal was rare in the sense that B2B firms per se, and media firms in the space especially, have struggled to deliver exits to founders and investors in India.

One of the largest HR companies in Japan, Mynavi aims to leverage the global insights, brand power, and network of People Matters in the HR space and further expand Mynavi’s business in India and Asia. The company already has offices in the USA, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Poland, and India.

Announcing the news, Ester Martinez, founder & CEO of People Matters, also disclosed that the company has provided exit opportunities for its angels and for investors like the HR Fund.

“This transaction is great news for the HR and talent community. It will enable us to serve our members at a much deeper level, and our ability in empowering them to become the answer to talent challenges in their organizations will be amplified multifold. This transaction enables us to build the People Matters 3.0 journey of scale and profitability.” said Martinez in a Linkedin post.

While Martinez did not provide much details about People Matters, Fintrackr did a deep dive into the company’s filings to check its status before this transaction. 

The Gurugram-based company had last raised Rs 7.12 crore (nearly $1 million) from existing investor Mynavi in February last year. As per Fintrackr’s estimates, its valuation was at around Rs 116 crore ($16 million). Mynavi held a 12% stake in the company during the last round.

People Matters

Before the latest transaction, founder Martinez had 37.6% stake in the 14-year-old company followed by HR Fund, Tejasvi Mohanram and Yashasvi Mohanram who controlled 25.2%, 21% and 4.2% stake, respectively. Entrackr could not find out the latest shareholding pattern of the company.

Fintrackr has also sifted through People Matters financial health in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2022. The company managed to go past Rs 25 crore in revenue in FY22 with a profit of Rs 2 crore. It’s worth highlighting that it was profitable in FY21 as well as in FY20. As per Entrackr’s sources, the company has closed FY23 with nearly Rs 40 crore in revenue for India and SEA.

People Matters

People Matters provides content and research on the latest trends and strategies related to organizational design, human resources and worktech to its community. The company, which has a community of 300,000 HR and talent leaders in India and APAC, focuses on employees in the age between 25 to 36 with a minimum experience of three years in HR.

For People Matters, it is the classic B2B formula that has finally pushed a strategic investor to buy out the firm. A certain level of scale, and perhaps more importantly, profits. This can partly be attributed to its higher focus on non-content dependent revenues, thanks to a thriving events vertical. It is a formula that has been replicated by any B2B firm across segments with serious ambitions of reaching any scale. With the typical single industry category that offers even a Rs 15 crore scale still rare. Which also explains why even globally, the largest B2B media firms are present across categories. Content centric B2B firms at those levels remains a distant project for most Indian B2B firms.

Investors have always shied away from B2B firms fearing the ‘glass wall’ they will hit sooner than later, when it comes to scale. However, when they have still invested, it has been because a B2B firm really has no business making the kind of losses, for the period that many B2C firms continue to do. This is especially true in the cut throat world of media where the next big disruption is usually never too far away.

What hasn’t worked for Indian B2B firms however, has also been their reluctance or inability to expand to other markets. People Matters was clearly seen as having the chops, and ambition to seek global markets.

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