Malaysian investor Astro has acquired 50% stake in New Delhi based GETIT Infoservices for around Rs 100 crore, thus valuing the company at Rs. 200 crore, reports the Financial Express. It’s most likely that the investment is of Rs. 96 crore, since that is that was approved for investment in Getit by India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board a couple of weeks ago. Astro is a significant investor in Chennai-based Sun TV group, and recently picked up stake in Sanjeev Kapur’s Turmeric Vision.
This investment values Getit at Rs. 200 crore, which, according to the Financial Express, is the same valuation at which Helion bought its 10% stake two years ago, for Rs 20 crore. If that is accurate, then it means that the company hasn’t been able to grow with its first round of funding. In 2007, GETIT had revenues of around Rs. 70 crores, almost all of which (95%) was from print. Back in 2002, the company was reported to have revenues of Rs. 60 crores…not much growth for them, despite the boom of 2005-2008.
The yellow pages business is a tough space, with several competitors: JustDial, AskLaila (Investment from Matrix Partners), Google, Infomedia18 and Askme.in (Network18 group), Call Ezee (investment from Yahoo). MapMyIndia has also started a dial-in service for directions, but is likely to expand its offerings to local business listings. From what we’ve heard, these companies struggle to monetize beyond the SEC-A and SEC-B class towns.
Additionally, Getit has a classifieds business – a classifieds-only paper called FreeAds. Now the classifieds business itself has significant competition – Quikr, Rediff LocalAds, Sulekha, Greynium owned Click.in, Nexus India Capital funded Olx.in, ClickIndia, HTClassifieds.com, Mid-Day owned SnatchKing, among several hundred others. Nokia has also launched its own classifieds listings product.
Question is – why did Astro pick up stake in Getit?