Good afternoon, it's Friday and the end of the week (and unfortunately no huge funding announcements today). We did have another large Tiger round later yesterday in a company that hasn't raised in 10 years! And General Catalyst doubles down on one of their India investments.
➡️ This has been a busy busy week for Tiger in India, and I'm quite certain next week will be as well. And while it was only a matter of time before some of the rounds announced last week were official (Meesho, CRED, Sharechat), this was an investment I didn't see coming at all.
➡️ Messaging Platform Gupshup has raised $100M in a round led by Tiger Global in a round that values the company at $1.4B. The company is over 15 years old and last raised capital in 2011, mostly because it hasn't needed to and has been profitable for a while.
➡️ The company has apparently gone through a couple of early pivots, I however do not really remember the state of the Indian internet at that point, as Gupshup would let users set group messages to friends in their early days. The company realized that they were losing money by subsidizing rates by doing so and couldn't build an advertising business around it but ultimately weren't able to.
➡️ But the company did have this infrastructure for sending huge volumes of messages so later pivoted to an enterprise model to let eCommerce companies, airlines, banks and others to send high volumes of messages. And all this happened before I, and presumably a lot of you readers, even knew what Venture Capital was.
➡️ It was interesting to go through the company's fundraising history with Venture biggies like Helion Venture Partners (one of India's first venture firms) and CRV (investors in Airtable, Doordash and Indian favorite Postman) invested in the company's Series C back in 2008.
➡️ The company reportedly has an annual run rate of $150M (not be be confused with annual recurring revenue), and plans to use the new influx of capital to expand their product offerings as well as look to new emerging geographies. There are definitely several new startup economies that are in the same position that India was in a decade ago, and I can see Gupshup serving those economies.
2. https://bit.ly/3fQizFw: Spinny raises a $65M Series C in a round led by General Catalyst
➡️ No this is not a unicorn funding round, but still a significant growth round. Used car marketplace has raised a $65M Series C in a round led by General Catalyst with participation from Arena Holdings and Think Investments and existing backers Elevation Capital and Fundamentum Partnership.
➡️ The round also had a secondary component of $15M which saw some early investors sell their stakes in the company (this money goes directly to the early investors and not to the company). The company was founded in 2015 and pivoted from its early model of a customer-to-customer marketplace to a fuller stack model where the company acquires, refurbishes and resells vehicles.
➡️ The company currently sells ~1,500 vehicles every month and has been growing ~15-20% every month, but plans to treble the monthly volume by the end of the year. If the company continues to grow at 20% each month from here onwards it would 5x the monthly volume so that seems like a very reasonable growth.
➡️ The Indian used-car ecosystem does seem a little crowded with marketplaces like Carsdekho and Cars24 along with manufacturers themselves facilitating used cars sales. There is also a very large unorganized part of this business, so it will be interesting to see how the space continues to grow (the used-car segment already accounts for 18% of vehicles sold in FY20)
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/Hadley/status/1380145821413482501
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