Rediff.com has “$9.7 million cash on hand to fund operations,” its CFO Swasti Bhowmik said on the earnings conference call yesterday, adding that “We continue to manage our cost to a level where we can expect the growth in revenue to offset expenditure, in our ongoing effort to bring the business to profitability.” Profitability is a bit of a stretch, given the company historical performance, and the company reported yet another quarter of losses, reporting a loss of $2.37 million on revenues of $3.96 million.
While a quarterly results comparison isn’t possible with Rediff, since it earns most of its money in Indian Rupees and reports results in US Dollars, and exchange rates vary each quarter, it’s worth noting that the company reported a loss of $3.02 million last quarter, when it had a cash reserves of $12.5 million, and 3.48 million the quarter before.
Its India Online revenues recovered during what was the festive season, and should typically have been significant for both advertising and shopping. However, Rediff’s advertising business declined 22% this quarter, over the same quarter last year, Rediff Chairman Ajit Balakrishnan said on the conference call.
Rediff focusing on its ecommerce marketplace
Areas of focus keep shifting for Rediff. A year or so ago, it was pitching the growth of ‘fee based revenues’ to investors on the call, and now it’s the marketplace. The share of online revenue from its ecommerce marketplace business became the second highest contributor to revenues for Rediff, accounting for 28% of revenues in the immediate past quarter, from a 23% share in the same quarter last year. Revenues for the ecommerce marketplace grew 22%, and the company said that 70% of this revenue came from its own users, as opposed to paid users (users acquired through advertising). It has 17 million monthly unique users, and average 23 minutes per visitor.
Readers might notice that Rediff adopted the card based layout for its homepage, which also includes ecommerce. In what appeared to be a pitch, though it might also be seen as a challenge, Balakrishnan said that less than 0.14% of Rediff users currently shop with the company, so there’s sufficient head-room for growth. “The Take Rate, and the shopping completion rate for us are fare better for our news and information service than paid advertising. We have a take rate of 25%,” Balakrishnan said.
Rediff intends to focus on its marketplace business moving forward.
Other notes from the concall (we missed some bits):
– While the company hasn’t disclosed revenues for Vubites, its local TV advertising business, revenues have increased to 1.4 times for the quarter compared to the same quarter last year.
– Enterprise mail business has grown 12% and Local TV targeting has grown 1.4 times. It has over 25000 enterprise customers.
No Q&A on the concall
Rediff did not allow a Q&A on the concall, and we wonder if what happened last quarter had something to do with it. They said they will respond to questions. In case you have any, do leave a comment. We’ll submit questions to Rediff in a couple of days.