The Business Standard reported that Indian search engine Just Dial Pvt Ltd is to sell a minority of its stake to a Malaysian group. Based in Mumbai, Just Dial Pvt Ltd offers both B2C and B2B listings of small and medium advertisers. If the deal goes through, SAIF Partners may exit in this deal from the firm. Just Dial Pvt Ltd was begun in 1994 and currently serves an estimated 57 million users.
The firm’s users are spread across 240 cities in India. The firm also provides services through various channels - phone, web, WAP and SMS. It employs 4,000 people and has more than 135,000 paid advertisers. Just Dial Pvt Ltd is also planning to raise Rs.700 crore through IPO to fund its India operations as well as for its global expansion plans.
Initially, the firm had raised its first round of venture capital funding of Rs 50 crore from SAIF Partners in 2006, followed by Rs.77 crore investment by Tiger Global in 2007. In 2009, Sequoia Capital invested Rs.40 crore in the firm. The local Indian listing industry has witnessed interest from private equity and venture capital firms and individuals. In 2010, Malaysian-based Astro All Asia Networks acquired 50 per cent stake in New Delhi-based GETIT Infoservices for around Rs.100 crore.
Firms such as Yahoo have as well entered the Indian private equity and venture capital space, with Yahoo! investing in a 30% stake acquisition of Chennai-based Info Network Management Company (INMAC), owner of telephone directory search service Call Ezee; Lightspeed, Matrix and SVB's investments in Four Interactive's AskLaila and Norwest, Indigo Monsoon's investments in Sulekha. In 2007, TV18 acquired Infomedia18 from ICICI Venture.
Justdial is India’s no.1 local search destination. Its unique local search service is available on Phone, Web, WAP and SMS. The company has raised three rounds of strategic investments from Hong Kong-based SAIF partners; California based venture fund Sequoia Capital and New York based Hedge Fund Tiger Global. Justdial has launched its local search service in North America on the toll free numbers "1-800-justdial" and "1-800-500-0000".
The company is planning to expand into Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Going forward the company intends to leverage the Justdial brand and know-how for an international franchise. The move is in line with its global expansion strategy.
11 Feb 2011.