Indian media company Network 18 is preparing to launch a U.S. initial public offering for their online retail arm HomeShop18. Network 18 is expected to raise $100 million from the IPO. The company is currently in talks with private equity companies and institutional investors. “The process has just begun. We are in talks with bankers and investors,” said a source with Reuters. Online commerce is a $10 billion market in India.
“We have ambitions to get listed and are open to it but it is premature to talk about it now. We cannot give any timeframe on that at the moment,” stated Network 18 founder and CEO Sundeep Malhotra. HomeShop 18 raised $26 million from private equity company SAIF Partners across two rounds. They have also raised $18.5 million from South Korean home shopping retailer GS Home Shopping.
India has only 52 million active Internet users and only 40% of them have shopped online according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. Less than 18 million of them use credit cards and most of them shop offline said the association.
HomeShop18 reported revenues of 7.5 billion rupees and they sell everything from mobile devices, TV sets, and lifestyle products. The company plans on setting up warehouses that have a size of 1 million square feet. The company’s warehouses are currently 300,000-400,000 square feet. “We will focus on investments in technology and operational capabilities like a strong and efficient backend…We are hoping our business will be three times the current size in the very next year,” said Malhotra.