India, Chennai, April 21, 2015: Sulekha.com, India’s leading digital platform for local services, today announced that GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, and Norwest Venture Partners, a top-tier global investment firm, have invested Rs. 175 Crores into the company. Sulekha.com will use the capital to further expand its platform that connects one of the largest bases of users and local service providers, and invest in technology and branding.
Satya Prabhakar, Founder and CEO of Sulekha.com, said, “This investment by GIC and Norwest is a powerful endorsement of the vast potential of the local services opportunity in India and Sulekha’s ability to prosecute it successfully. Sulekha has cultivated deep expertise and built a sophisticated platform in 800+ local service categories including home/office services, coaching/training, health/lifestyle and property/rentals. Sulekha’s large base of user and businesses, unique IP, vast operational footprint, plus rapid migration to mobile are transforming the local services market.”
Param Parameswaran, Chairman of Sulekha.com, said, “We are pleased to add GIC to our investor group. Sulekha has architected a remarkably lucrative business model because of the immediacy, specificity and location-oriented nature of the user local service needs. Sulekha has been enjoying significant organic growth while being quite capital efficient, making it one of only a few digital companies in India that have been profitable.”
Local businesses spend an estimated $2.5 billion in advertising across various media to capture $200 billion worth of local services bought in diverse categories such as computer training, serviced apartments, party catering, babysitting, elder care, yoga lessons, kitchen renovation, and wedding photography. Sulekha sends 16+ million user needs a year to over 2+ million active businesses on its platform.
Promod Haque, Senior Managing Partner of Norwest Venture Partners, said, “Sulekha’s innovative digital platform allows users to fulfil their needs while providing a highly targeted and affordable avenue for small businesses to secure customers. Less than 10% of local businesses in India have ever advertised according to recent estimates. Sulekha is seizing an enormous opportunity in transforming how businesses find local customers and grow and we look forward to significant scale ahead.” Added Parameswaran, “It is great to have Promod’s ongoing participation during this time as we seek to capture this largely untapped opportunity.”
Mitsui & Co. (Tokyo), a Global Fortune 200 company, and Indigo Monsoon Group are also investors in Sulekha.
Sulekha.com is one of India’s largest and fastest-growing digital platforms for local service need fulfillment in over 40 cities, connecting tens of millions of users and local businesses in 800+ need categories such as computer training, serviced apartments, wooden flooring, party catering, baby-sitting, elder care, yoga lessons, kitchen renovation, wedding photography, moving-packing, pest control, event planning and auto repair. Sulekha has 14 offices and 1,300+ employees across India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Austin.
GIC is a leading global investment firm with well over US $100 billion in assets under management. Established in 1981, the firm manages Singapore’s foreign reserves and is uniquely positioned for long-term and flexible investments across a wide range of asset classes, including real estate, private equity, equities and fixed income. GIC has investments in over 40 countries and has been investing in emerging markets for more than two decades. Headquartered in Singapore, GIC employs over 1,200 people across 10 offices in key financial cities worldwide.
Norwest Venture Partners is a global, multi-stage venture capital and growth equity investment firm that manages approximately US $ 5 billion in capital and has funded more than 575 companies since inception. The firm targets early to late stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including: technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services and healthcare. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Norwest has offices in San Francisco and New York, as well as subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel.