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Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy invests in Ratan Tata-backed UrbanClap

Sandeep Soni

Walmart-owned Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who has invested in startups such as Ratan Tata-backed B2B e-commerce portal Moglix, Mukesh Bansal’s CureFit, Tiger Global-backed NestAway, Sequoia-backed edtech startup Unacademy etc., has put Rs 1.6 crore in UrbanClap — hyperlocal home services startup. It competes with BCCL-backed Timesaverz and Amazon-funded Housejoy and horizontal classifieds platforms Quikr and OLX India.

UrbanClap “allotted 310 equity shares of Re 1 each at a premium of Rs 51,551” as per the “resolution passed in the meeting of the board of directors of UrbanClap Technologies India held on April 5, 2019,” showed the regulatory filing sourced by business signals platform

UrbanClap’s co-founder Abhiraj Bhal was not available for comments at the time of filing this report. The company had raised $50 million in its last funding round in November 2018 led by Steadview Capital and Vy Capital that reportedly increased its valuation to around $480 million.

UrbanClap’s operational revenues stood reportedly at Rs 53.48 crore even as losses were at Rs 56.49 crore in FY18. The startup also counts SAIF Partners, Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners etc., among its investors and had acquired Goodservice and HandyHome in 2016 as per deals tracker Crunchbase.

Among its biggest rivals, Zimmber was acquired by Quikr in 2017 to boost its home services business called QuikrEasy.

UrbanClap had last year expanded its operations internationally beginning with Dubai.

While Krishnamurthy has been investing in startups in his personal capacity, Flipkart, last month, had set up its own own corporate venture capital (CVC) fund to invest in early-stage startups in India.

The fund would look at areas related to e-commerce, fintech, payments and complementary spaces, Reuters reported. However, Flipkart hasn t announced further details related to the fund s corpus, number of startups to be backed annually, ticket size, equity exchange etc.

Most companies start making investments from their balance sheets but once they become get certain maturity in such direct investments, they typically set up a separate entity for CVC investments. This is done to simplify procedures in making these investment decisions because otherwise there is a certain approval cycle that goes on for investing through the balance sheet, Brij Bhasin, General Partner at Rebright Partners had told Financial Express Online.

Globally, organisations such as Googleurbanclap, urbanclap abhiraj bhal, flipkart kalyan krishnamurthy, online home services urbanclap, ratan tata funded urbanclap, kalyan krishnamurthy backed moglix, sandeep soni (Google Ventures), Intel (Intel Capital), Qualcomm (Qualcomm Ventures), Microsoft (Microsoft Ventures) too run such funds to back startups across the world.