Quikr launches DoorStep

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

On­line clas­si­fieds busi­ness Quikr In­dia Pvt. Ltd, one of the so-called uni­corn start-ups val­ued at an es­ti­mated $1 bil­lion, on Wed­nes­day, said the com­pany will fa­cil­i­tate pay­ments and lo­gis­tics for used goods listed on its web­site, a move which is likely to throw open ad­di­tional rev­enue chan­nels for the com­pany at a time when slow­down in ex­ter­nal fund­ing is prompt­ing start-ups to re­duce cash burn and fo­cus on prof­itabil­ity.

Un­der the new ini­tia­tive, called Quikr Doorstep, Quikr will fa­cil­i­tate price ne­go­ti­a­tion, pay­ment, pickup and de­liv­ery. The lat­est ini­tia­tive, which is part of Quikr's ver­ti­cal­iza­tion drive, will help the com­pany grow be­yond a list­ing plat­form to a fullfledged mar­ket­place for used goods. The ser­vices will be cur­rently avail­able for all cat­e­gories in­clud­ing mo­bile phones, elec­tron­ics and ap­pli­ances and house­hold fur­ni­ture.

Quikr had iden­ti­fied five key busi­ness seg­ments-au­to­mo­biles, real es­tate, jobs, ser­vices and cus­tomer-to­cus­tomer sales-to fo­cus on in an at­tempt to ex­plore new sources of rev­enue and fend off com­pe­ti­tion from other ven­ture cap­i­tal-backed busi­nesses that have emerged in each of th­ese cat­e­gories.

"Quikr Doorstep ad­dresses gen­uine con­sumer is­sues of trust, pay­ment and lo­gis­tics in con­sumer-to-con­sumer trans­ac­tions in the coun­try. It also di­rectly puts us in the middle of the trans­ac­tion loop. In a nut­shell, Quikr Doorstep fur­ther strength­ens our lead­er­ship in terms of size as well as monetization in con­sumer-to-con­sumer cat­e­gories, which have been core to our busi­ness since the very be­gin­ning," said co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Pranay Chulet.

Quikr cur­rently has rev­enues flow­ing in through third-party ad­ver­tise­ments, lead gen­er­a­tion for car deal­ers and real es­tate bro­kers and paid list­ings by sellers, which pro­pels them to top search re­sults on the plat­form.

While the on­line clas­si­fieds firm has amassed a huge user base-Quikr claims 30 mil­lion unique monthly vis­i­tors-monetization has been a con­cern as many con­sumers re­sorted to free list­ings. Be­sides, trust played an im­por­tant fac­tor in clos­ing trans­ac­tions on such por­tals, as con­sumers were wary of buy­ing from strangers. How­ever, the sce­nario is likely to change with Quikr now be­com­ing a party to the trans­ac­tions. The new ver­ti­cals are ex­pected to fetch Quikr at least three times its present rev­enue, Chulet had said in an in­ter­view in Septem­ber last year.

"For cars and homes, it will be more lead gen­er­a­tion. In the ser­vices and jobs cat­e­gories, we are at­tach­ing a fee to the suc­cess of the trans­ac­tion. For cars and homes, it will be less (about) trans­ac­tions go­ing through Quikr. For jobs and ser­vices, some of the trans­ac­tions will go through Quikr and on the sell­ing and buy­ing of goods, all trans­ac­tions will go through Quikr," Chulet had said.

Quikr re­ported sales of Rs.24.78 crore for the year ended 31 March 2015, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed with the Reg­is­trar of Com­pa­nies. The rev­enue is sig­nif­i­cantly small as com­pared to its $1-bil­lion val­u­a­tion. The com­pany has so far raised about $346 mil­lion from In­vest­ment AB Kin­nevik, Tiger Global, Stead­view Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, Matrix Part­ners In­dia and oth­ers since 2008, has been par­tic­u­larly ac­tive in real es­tate.

In De­cem­ber last year, Quikr ac­quired on­line realty por­tal Com­monfloor (Maxheap Tech­nolo­gies Pvt. Ltd) for an es­ti­mated $120 mil­lion. In an at­tempt to en­hance its of­fer­ing in the real es­tate sec­tor, the com­pany ac­quired In­dian Realty Ex­change (123 Startup Ven­tures Pvt. Ltd), a real es­tate agent ag­gre­ga­tor, and Real­tyCom­pass, a real es­tate an­a­lyt­ics start-up, be­sides mak­ing a strate­gic in­vest­ment in A.N. Vir­tual World Tech Ltd, a com­pany which pro­vides 360-de­gree street views. As a clas­si­fieds por­tal, Quikr has just one ri­val: Olx, which is backed by Naspers Ltd, a South African mass me­dia com­pany. How­ever, each of the ver­ti­cals the com­pany plans to fo­cus, has seen the emer­gence of a num­ber of well-funded start-ups.

For in­stance, in the au­to­mo­bile seg­ment, Quikr com­petes with the likes of CarDekho and Car­Trade while the real es­tate seg­ment has busi­nesses such as Hous­ing, Mag­icbricks and PropTiger among oth­ers. Sim­i­larly, the hy­per­local ser­vices seg­ment has deep­pock­eted start-ups such as House­joy and Ur­banClap while in the jobs cat­e­gory, the likes of Baba­job and AasaanJobs com­pete with Quikr.

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