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Sulekha raises $28 M from GIC & Norwest; to expand to more cities


Online classified website Sulekha.com has raised Series C funding worth ~$28 million (Rs 175 crore) from Singapore’s GIC and VC Norwest Venture Partners, reports Mint. The funding will go towards investing in its mobile app, expanding categories and adding Tier I and II cities in the app, and branding and marketing.

Sulekha had previously raised $8 million in 2011 (Mitsui and Co) and $10 million in 2007 (Norwest). It claims to offer over 800 local service categories which include computer training, security guard services, cleaning services, web hosting and development, tuitions and coaching, wedding photography, black magic and tantric healing (really), event decoration, home maintenance, job training and moving services along with property listings.

In 2011, Sulekha launched Sulekha.com Property, a site for Property related information, including buy or sell property listings, rentals, information on localities and brokers, and others. Then, the site claimed to offer over 67,000 unique properties across 42 cities in India. It also claimed to feature over 1113 detailed projects, with enhanced content including location maps, sitemaps, videos, information on amenities, among others.

In 2012, the classifieds website which had also forayed into local deals, and property listings, announced a brand makeover, introducing a new visual brand identity as well as a change in positioning, from being a vanilla classifieds player to an integrated local e-commerce company. The company was running a multi-city campaign with marketing activities, and had allocated a budget of Rs 5 crore during the first month of the launch.

Sulekha was founded by Satya Prabhakar and Sangeeta Kshettry. It claims to have over 20 million user visits per month, hosting over 4 million business listings and over 2 million active businesses. It has 15 offices in India and the US and the platform is available across 9 American cities. Its board of directors are Param Parameswaran (chairman), Satya Prabhakar (founder and CEO), Promod Haque (Norwest VP), Keitari Hatori San (Mitsui & Co) and Harish Raghavan (Indigo Monsoon Group & Graciepoint).

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