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Will E-Retailer Infibeam's IPO Bet Click?

Online shopping portal Infibeam Incorporation Ltd has received markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi's) approval to raise an estimated Rs 450 crore through an initial public offering (IPO).

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"Going for an IPO was a board's decision. We have raised capital ourselves as well. Sony is an investor in one of our subsidiary," Vishal Mehta, founder and Managing Director of Infibeam.com told BW | Businessworld
 
On timing of the IPO, Mehta said: "We will wait for the bankers to advise us."
 
Infibeam's IPO comes at a time of intense competition in India's e-commerce sector, with venture capitalists and private equity players are heavily betting on start-ups. The Gujarat-based e-retailer competes with Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and others in the e-commerce space. 
 
"India's GDP growth is close to 7 per cent which was not the case a few years back. It is back on track and is a positive sentiment. E-commerce sector has shown significant acceleration in terms of internet penetration. Consumers are adding every day," said Mehta. 
 
He, however, refused to make any comment on valuation or the market outlook due to compliance issues.
 
In June, Sebi announced a new set of norms to help start-ups list in India on a separate platform. Infibeam's IPO will be watched carefully and will decide the way forward for other online retailers to list on Indian bourses.
 
So far, the stock market this year has got a tepid response. The IPO for India's coffee chain, Coffee Day Enterprise was oversubscribed by 1.81 times with demand of Rs 2,000 crore. IPO of low-cost carrier IndiGo's parent InterGlobe Aviation picked up only on its last day and was subscribed by over six times.
 
Infibeam is pegging big on its subsidiary, Infibeam BuildaBazaar, a self-service platform where merchants can create their own branded stores online. It is looking at retailers outside India to use the platform. Currently, merchants from Middle East and Europe are using BuildaBazaar. Last week, the company launched a platform for authors to set up their own web stores so they can interact with their readers and fans directly.


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