Reliance Industries (RIL) on Friday announced that its retail arm Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) will acquire a controlling stake (66.95%) in India’s leading local search engine platform Just Dial for Rs 3,497 crore.
Reliance Retail will hold 40.95 per cent and would make an open offer to acquire up to 26 per cent in accordance with takeover regulations.
VSS Mani will continue as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer to lead Just Dial through the next phase of growth, Reliance said in a stock exchange filing.
Just Dial reported a net loss of Rs 3.5 crore for the quarter ending June (Q1FY22) as against a net profit of Rs 83 crore in the same period last year, mainly on account of Rs 50 crore advertising spend in IPL 2021 to promote new B2B platform, JD Mart.
Its revenue came in at Rs 165 crore for the reporting quarter. Meanwhile, the traffic (Quarterly Unique Visitors) in Q1FY22 stood at 124.1 million users, up 24.1 per cent year-on-year.
“Reliance is excited to partner with Justdial and VSS Mani, a first-generation entrepreneur, who has created a strong business through his business acumen and perseverance, Isha Ambani, Director of RRVL, said.
“The investment in Just Dial underlines our commitment to new commerce by further boosting the digital ecosystem for millions of our partner merchants, micro, small and medium enterprises. We look forward to working with the highly experienced management team of Just Dial as we further expand the business going forward.” she said.
The capital infused by Reliance Retail will help drive the growth and expansion of Just Dial into a comprehensive local listing and commerce platform. Just Dial would expand discovery on its platform and enhance transactions for millions of products and services, Reliance said.
“These investments will leverage Just Dial’s existing database of 30.4 million listings and its existing consumer traffic of 129.1 million quarterly unique users,” it said.
VSS Mani, Founder and CEO at Justdial, said “Nearly 25 years ago, we had a vision to build a connected single platform dedicated to providing fast, free, reliable and comprehensive information to our users and connect buyers to sellers. Our vision has evolved to not only provide search and discovery but drive commerce across merchants through our B2B platform and enable further consumer to merchant commerce given our platform engagement. Our strategic partnership with Reliance enables us to realise this vision and transform the business going forward.
On Friday, Just Dial’s scrip closed nearly 3.4 per cent lower at Rs 1,070 on NSE.