According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian e-commerce market is projected to grow 51% annually from $39 billion in 2017 to $120 billion by 2020 driven by a young demographic profile and rising internet penetration. Infibeam Avenues is a listed Indian company that provides e-commerce and payment solutions to businesses and government agencies.
Infibeam was founded in 2007 by MIT Sloan alumnus and former Amazon executive Vishal Mehta. Infibeam.com started off as an automobile portal but pivoted to focus on online retail of books, electronics and lifestyle products.
In June 2011, Infibeam launched a SaaS platform called BuildaBazaar for merchants across industries of all sizes and even government enterprises. It allows them to set up and manage online stores. It has over 94,000 merchants on its platform.
In 2017, Infibeam merged with India’s largest payment gateway CCAvenue in a deal that valued the payment gateway at $289 million. In May 2018, Infibeam Avenues acquired UAE-based payment gateway Vavian International for $1.17 million and Unicommerce e-Solution, a warehouse management solution company of Snapdeal.
Today, Infibeam Avenues primarily offers SaaS-based web services via two main offerings: E-Commerce Solutions and Payment Solutions. Over 400,000 merchants use its Web Services including reputed brands such as Amul, Adani Wilmar, Saudi Telecom, Spykar, Panasonic, Blackberry, EsselWorld, Idea Cellular, Taj Hotels, Oberoi Hotels, ITC Hotels, Hilton, MakeMyTrip, ClearTrip, Shopclues, Myntra, McDonalds, Starbucks, Airtel, DishTV, Go Daddy, BookMyShow, Vistara, Indigo, Vivo, and GAIL gas.
Infibeam Avenues also operates a multi-channel online marketplace. It has six warehouses and eight logistics centers for e-commerce product fulfillment.
Infibeam Avenues has over 1,000 employees in Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Dubai, UAE. It went public in 2016 on the National Stock Exchange under the symbol INFIBEAM at a valuation of $363 million.
For the fiscal year ended March 2018, Infibeam reported revenue of INR 8.4 billion ($130 million), up 98%. Web Services, which includes results from the merger, accounted for revenue of $83.61 million, up 260%. Revenue from sale of products was $46.24 million, up 10.3%.
Revenue from its UAE business, comprising only Web Services Solutions, increased 167% to INR 1,635 million ($25 million) driven by acquisition of some large enterprises as its customers.
Profit after tax was INR 881.4 million ($13.7 million), nearly double its profit of INR 435.34 million ($6.5 million).
In its latest first quarter, Infibeam reported revenue of INR 913.4 million ($12.5 million), up 26.7% and a loss of INR 138.8 million compared to a ($2 million) profit of INR 126.9 million a year ago.
The loss is attributed to lack of clarity on rules for merchant charges on debit card transactions. The government mandated a zero merchant discount rate on debit card transactions below INR 2,000 ($27.5) for two years.
Infibeam was primarily bootstrapped. Prior to going public, Infibeam had raised just one round of venture funding from Brand Capital for an undisclosed amount.
Currently, its stock is trading at INR 57.55 ($0.8) with a market cap of INR 37.28 billion ($0.5 billion). Its 52-week high was INR 242.70 ($3.3) and 52-week low was INR 27.50 ($0.4). Last month, it lost 71% of its market value in a single day due to fake news. A message was circulated on WhatsApp among traders that raised concerns about the e-commerce company’s accounting practices. Infibeam responded by saying it has disclosed “all material information having a bearing on the performance of the company, including all price-sensitive information.”
It is refreshing to see an Indian tech company bootstrapping its way to sucsess. The e-commerce world is rife with competition from Amazon, Flipkart, and several other wannabes. Infibeam’s focus on its niche of serving B2B merchants and government agencies may give it an edge.