Times Groups’s Brand Capital, its private treaty arm, has invested Rs 130 crore ($19.4 million) in online classifieds company Quikr through convertible debentures. Brand Capital has subscribed to 143,000 convertible debentures at Rs 9,038.32 and has bought one share priced at Rs 9,038.32 crore. The private placement offer was circulated on April, 2016.
Convertible debentures are debt instruments which can be converted to stock at a later period of time.
This is an ad-for-equity deal . The Times of India Group pioneered private treaties business, now called ‘Brand Capital‘, which involved taking equity in companies in exchange for marketing inventory. An example of how private treaties deals were structured, here.
Brand Capital has been investing heavily in startups with its latest investment being in Meru Cabs (Rs 150 crore) in June. The taxi operator said it would use the funds to further strengthen its foothold in the Indian market. Haptik, an instant messenger concierge-like app, raised an undisclosed amount in funding in April from Times Internet. In March Brand Capital entered into a strategic partnership with Uber in a deal “centered around a commercial marketing arrangement accompanied by a small investment”.
A similar deal was signed with Coursera, a massive open online courses (MOOCs) company, to ‘assist Coursera’s growth in India’.
Quikr’s other funding: Last year, Quikr raised $40.5 million from AB Kinnevik. and had said that it would use the funds to invest in its mobile business and strengthen its hold in categories like goods, cars, real estate, jobs and services.
Quikr’s recent acquisitions
– In July, Quikr acquired Hiree, an online hiring platform focused on white-collar jobs, for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its job vertical QuikrJobs and address recruitment demand for multiple job categories across various industries. The entire customer base of Hiree was transferred and merged with QuikrJobs.
– In May, the company acquired on demand beauty services provider Salosa for an undisclosed amount to expand its personal care listings under its QuikrServices offering, while entering into newer cities.
– In December last year, Quikr acquired the real estate analytics startup Realtycompass to boost its offerings in the real estate space.