Update: looks like it isn’t a done-deal yet. Harish Gandhi of Canaan Partners offered “no comments”, declining to confirm or deny the development.
Earlier today: Online and home shopping portal Naaptol.com has raised venture capital funding from Canaan Partners, according to a source based report in the Economic Times. We’ve requested Alok Mittal for a conversation with us, essentially to clarify on the following numbers reported by ET:
– Canaan is taking “nearly 25% stake” for Rs. 40 crore, thus valuing the company at Rs. 160 crore or $35 million.
– Naaptol did Rs. 66 crore in sales last year, does 3000 transactions a day, selling 500 brands
A couple of things here – firstly, Naaptol is already in the home shopping space. I’ve noticed a Naaptol show on TV; it probably needs funds to expand its presence on TV, which means buying airtime. Remember that Canaan also has investments in another company that buys airtime – Cellcast, which runs the reverse auction show Bid2Win. Home Shopping segment is a growth segment – and with the burgeoning of channels, airtime on TV is a commodity. However, HomeShop18 has a significant head start of a few years, is already a fairly established player; News Corp owned STAR CJ should have by now launched its own channel.
Secondly, Naaptol is a Times Private Treaties company and, the Times of India group (BCCL), took equity in the company in exchange for advertising inventory. We wonder how much TPT valued Naaptol at. The ET story doesn’t mention whether TPT had invested or even remains invested in Naaptol.
Read our two part interview with STAR CJ CEO Paritosh Joshi earlier this year, for perspective on the home shopping segment:
In the digital space, Canaan Partners has invested, in the past, in mobile VAS company mCarbon, tech social network TechTribe (which has folded), Mobile powered TV shows company Cellcast, films based portal Chakpak.com, online b2b auto market Motorexchange