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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Tiger Global continues to mint unicorns in India with new investments in NoBroker and Spinny

Tiger Global continues to fuel the unicorn boom in India, which has already seen over three dozen startups turning into billion-dollar companies this year.

The famed New York-based hedge fund and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, which was set up earlier this year by the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company, have co-written a USD 248 million check for used car retailing startup Spinny. With the fresh funding round, which values the startup at over USD 1.7 billion, Spinny has emerged as the 39th unicorn this year, local media Entrackr reported on Wednesday.

The six-year-old firm, which operates in more than 40 cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, had closed a USD 108 million Series D round led by Tiger Global in July 2021 at a valuation of  USD 750–800 million.

Meanwhile, Tiger Global, along with General Atlantic and Moore Strategic, has also led a USD 210 million round in online real estate platform NoBroker at a post-money valuation of USD 1.01 billion, making it the 38th startup to enter the elite club this year. NoBroker is also the first proptech startup to gain the unicorn tag in the South Asian nation.

Prior to this round, NoBroker raised USD 30 million from General Atlantic in April 2020 at a valuation of USD 400 million. Founded in 2013 by Akhil Gupta and Saurabh Garg, the startup has received USD 361 million in venture capital to date.

NoBroker allows people to buy or lease an apartment without going through brokers, thus saving them brokerage fees. Present in six major Indian cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad, the startup claims to have more than 7.5 million properties listed on its platform and over 15 million registered users.

According to NoBroker co-founder Saurabh Garg, over the past two years, the startup has transformed from just a real estate transaction platform to a one-stop-shop for all property-related needs entailing renting, buying, hiring packers and movers, securing a home loan, painting and cleaning services, legal services, and rent payments, among other things.

The startup also offers a society management service, NoBrokerhood, which enables gated residential communities to keep track of visitors as well as buy and sell items from each other.

While the company doesn’t charge any brokerage or listing fees from property owners, it earns money by providing customers and homeowners personalized assistance for buying, selling, and renting properties through different subscription plans. NoBroker expects to triple its revenue this year as more people have begun looking for properties amid a steep spike in hiring by tech companies.

NoBroker plans to use fresh funds to fuel growth by going deeper into six cities where it already has a presence and expanding into around 50 new cities. Moreover, it will invest in enhancing technology capabilities as well as verticals like home services and financial services.

Tiger Global first came onboard to the startup’s cap table in 2019, when it led two rounds worth over USD 100 million. NoBroker is the 16th unicorn that Tiger Global has created this year by writing big checks along with other marquee investors.

Some of the other Tiger-backed high-profile startups that entered the unicorn club in 2021 include e-grocery firm Grofers, professional networking platform for blue and gray collar workers Apna, edtech platform Vedantu, crypto exchange CoinSwitch, and Mensa Brands, which acquires and scales up online direct-to-consumer brands.

Last year, Tiger Global pumped in USD 586 million across 21 deals in India, becoming the top VC firm in the country in terms of deal value. Beginning in 2021, the investment firm stepped up its game and has been on a funding spree in the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem.

A recent report by business intelligence platform Crunchbase noted that Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital India, and Accel have led or co-led the most funding rounds in India through the first three quarters of this year, totaling more than USD 3.5 billion.

Overall, local startups have raised a total of USD 26.7 billion between January and September 2021 and are expected to receive well more than USD 35 billion in venture capital by the end of 2021, as per Crunchbase. This includes angel, pre-seed, seed, all venture rounds that follow after, and a private-equity round raised by a company that has previously raised a venture round.

India is having its moment with a record venture capital inflow and IPO boom, with a slew of local unicorns eyeing public markets. While high-profile startups like online food delivery firm Zomato and beauty retailer Nykaa have already been successfully listed earlier this year, several others are expected to hit the public stock exchanges over the next several months despite fintech giant Paytm’s recent weak market debut.

Of the 38 companies that became unicorns this year, online medicine delivery firm PharmEasy, automobile e-commerce platform Droom, non-banking financial company Five Star Business Finance, and payments service MobiKwik have already filed a draft prospectus with the local market regulator. Furthermore, recently minted unicorns, including home services provider Urban Company, cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods, automobile buying and selling platform CarDekho, D2C beauty brand Good Glamm are eyeing public listings over the next two years.

James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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