MobiKwik, which earlier this week received the market regulator’s permission to swim a ₹1,900 crore initial public offering (IPO), became the 32nd Indian unicorn this year after concluding a secondary transaction that valued the digital payments firm at $1 billion, a person familiar with the development stated.
The transaction was driven by former Blackstone India head Mathew Cyriac, who doubled down on his MobiKwik bet, buying shares at nearly twice the price he had invested in the startup earlier this year, the person spoke, asking anonymity.
The transaction resulted in MobiKwik’s workers deciding to exercise their employee stock ownership plan (Esop) through the secondary sale, the person stated without disclosing details.
In September, MobiKwik announced it had reserved 4.5 million equity shares for creating a pool of Esops. The shares, when sufficiently diluted, add up to 7% shareholding in the firm, it said. The firm also said its IPO would create seven “crorepati” employees with a net worth of at least ₹10 crores ($1.3 million) each.
Just weeks before MobiKwik filed draft papers for an IPO, the corporation raised ₹149 crores ($20.4 million) in its Series G round from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) at a post-money valuation of about $734 million ( ₹5,360 crores).
In July, Mobikwik, strengthened by Sequoia Capital and Bajaj Finance, filed for an initial share sale of up to ₹1,900 crores with regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
The IPO includes a portion of the new issuance of shares worth ₹1,500 crore and a subsequent sale of shares worth ₹400 crore from existing investors. Sequoia India, the second-largest stockholder, will get near to ₹95 crores from the sale of shares.
MobiKwik is an interesting IPO nominee. It is not a giant unicorn-like Paytm, Zomato or others looking to get listed soon. Whether it is a market leader is also unclear; Still, the business says in its draft documents that the quickly growing amount of digital payments, online shopping and internet usage, in common, will stand it in good stead.
Established in 2009 by husband-wife couple Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku, One MobiKwik Systems Limited was last estimated at $700 million when it raised $20 million last month from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).
In last week, India witnessed three startups turn unicorns—cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods, online fish and meat store Licious and crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber—as they raised fresh funding at a valuation of over $1 billion.