Ethnic e-tailer Craftsvilla looking to launch IPO

Craftsvilla – the operator of online marketplace for ethnic products – is looking to go public in the next 12-18 months. The company just raised INR2 billion (USD34 million) in Series C round of funding led by existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. It is noteworthy that Manoj Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Kribha Handicrafts – the holding company of Craftsvilla.com, was earlier working with Nexus Venture Partners.

Craftsvilla

The latest funding round, which also attracted new investors such as Russian internet billionaire Yuri Milner, values Craftsvilla at nearly USD200 million.

Following the latest funding round, the company is looking to bring its initial public offering (IPO) over the next 1 – 1.5 years, Manoj Gupta, co-founder & CEO of the company told Times of India. The company has started preparations for the public issue and is currently in the process of appointing independent directors. It is yet to file IPO paperwork with capital market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

We are looking at a valuation of at least a billion dollars in the next 12-18 months before we go public. Our aim is to hit USD500 million in GMV (gross merchandise value) over the next one year

– Manoj Gupta,  co-founder and CEO of Kribha Handicrafts

Craftvilla's Manoj Gupta
Craftvilla’s Manoj Gupta

This appears to be a challenging target considering that the company is currently generating GMV of nearly USD120 million annually.

The company raised a total of USD20 million in its earlier funding rounds. Started in 2011 by the husband-wife duo of Manoj and Monica Gupta, Craftsvilla currently focuses on clothing, handicrafts, jewellery and art and claims to have nearly 25,000 sellers on its platform, selling 3.5 million products.

Contrarian call

Kribha Handicrafts is a contrarian in at least two ways. First, it is planning to bring its IPO pretty early in its lifecycle when compared to other e-commerce players. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm have already raised several billions but are still nowhere close to launch IPOs, although these companies are much bigger in size to be fair to them. So far, only Infibeam and Matrimony from the consumer internet space have filed IPO applications with SEBI.

Read Also: Matrimony.com files prospectus for INR350 crore IPO

Secondly, most e-tailers have been vocal about launching their IPOs in overseas markets whenever they bring their public issues. Severe regulatory restrictions as well as limited risk appetite in the India capital markets are often cited as the factors behind e-commerce players’ aversion to an Indian listing. Unlike others, Craftsvilla is planning to list in India.

Krishna Bagra

Coming from a family of investors and financial analysts, Krishna learnt wading through regulatory filings pretty early in her career. At IPO Central, Krishna plays twin roles of contributor and head of research desk. She can also be reached at +krishnabagra .

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