‘unicorn Couple’ Fancy India’s Biggest Tech Ipo After Paytm, Raising $2-bn
A husband-and-wife founding team is in discussions with banks about raising as much as $2 billion in an initial public offering for one of their startups, aiming for India’s biggest tech debut since fintech giant Paytm.
OfBusiness, a startup founded by entrepreneurs Ruchi Kalra and Asish Mohapatra to help Indian enterprises buy bulk raw materials, could file initial listing documents around October, people familiar with the matter said. The startup is in talks now to raise about $400 million of pre-IPO financing in coming months, one of the people said. It’s in discussions with potential IPO arrangers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley and India’s Kotak, Avendus and ICICI Securities.
At $2 billion, OfBusiness is aiming to pull off India’s largest tech IPO after Paytm’s. That’s despite the fintech startup’s disastrous early performance, and waning global appetite for riskier assets as the war in Ukraine and rising inflation stoke macroeconomic uncertainty.
OfBusiness hopes to buck the trend after quadrupling revenue in each of the past few years, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private matters. It’s hoping for a higher valuation than the $5 billion it obtained during its most recent funding round in late 2021, the people said. OfBusiness is projecting a revenue run rate by the financial year ending March 2023 of $6 billion and it’s already profitable, one person said.
“The companies are both ready for public markets and at the right, opportune time, over the six months to two-year period, you will see both companies go public,” Kalra told Bloomberg Television in an interview on Monday.
India’s ‘Unicorn Couple’ Aim for First Startup IPO Within a Year
Kalra, 38, and Mohapatra, 41, this year became the country’s first husband-and-wife team to build their respective startups into enterprises with at least a $1 billion valuation, also known as unicorns.
They co-founded OfBusiness, formally known as OFB Tech Pvt., and began operations in 2016. The couple later won backing from Tiger Global and SoftBank Group Corp. They also helped create Oxyzo Financial Services, which provides digital credit and turned unicorn in its maiden funding of $200 million last month.
Mohapatra is chief executive officer of OfBusiness while Kalra is CEO of Oxyzo. OfBusiness helps companies, particularly in the manufacturing and infrastructure segments, purchase metals, chemicals, agricultural commodities and building materials, helping them get better pricing and more efficient deliveries. It also helps these enterprises scope out new growth opportunities.