Friday, March 1

Exclusive Interview of Salebhai Founders Prior to the Launch of IPO

Amidst all the trending news regarding the IPO and BSE SME platform, our platform was quite curious to know more about the SaleBhai IPO issue and also to know about the various things that were not disclosed by the company. Therefore, we conducted an exclusive interview with one of the co-founders of SaleBhai, Vishwavijay Singh and he answered all our questions and disclosed various details that were not known as of now. For the very first time, the co-founder revealed the amount that the company is going to raise from the IPO. Apart from this, IndiaMart’s IPO has also been approved and it will also be listed under the BSE SME platform.

Here we have the list of those questions and their answers in the words of Vishwavijay Singh. This exclusive interview will surely help you know SaleBhai IPO better and also, it might become easy for all the readers to anticipate about the future of the company in the stock exchange.


1. What is Salebhai all about?

Growing up, studying, and working away from our homes, we got to visit our hometowns only during vacations. We missed the specialities of our native places. This longing gave rise to SaleBhai, which fulfils the needs of millions of migrants in India and abroad and lets one discover original and unique products from different regions of India.

The idea to create followed in-depth market research by the core team comprising Purba Kalita and myself. We studied migration trends and observed that people mostly moved to fast-growing cities such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai – either due to employment opportunities, education, or marriage. The findings demonstrated a market gap created by a short supply of goods representing different cultures and regions in these cities. The gap also revealed a void in the lives of migrants.

Therefore, driven by back-to-roots philosophy, we launched in September 2015. Our e-commerce marketplace focuses on the requirements of over 17 diaspora communities across India and abroad. With products sourced from over 350 select vendors in 100 cities, we provide people with an opportunity to buy hometown specialities in various categories directly from sellers in different regions. It is also a one-stop solution for those who want to discover regional products from across India.



2. Congratulations on BSE’s approval on Salebhai IPO listing. How many equity shares are you planning to sell? And are you also going to sell your own shares or how many other investors will sell their own shares?

For its IPO, we are issuing 22,59,600 equity shares, offering 26.58 percent of the company’s equity in the market. We are expecting to raise near about Rs 24 crores.

Neither I or any of the existing investors or promoters will be selling our shares. The purpose of our IPO is purely raising growth capital. It will be fresh equity that we’ll be offering.


3. How are you going to utilize funds received from IPO? 

We plan to use the funds raised through the IPO to grow the company through increased customer acquisition, an improved IT platform, the addition of more authentic sellers and product categories on our platform, and by making the customer experience smoother and effortless. 


4. What is your message to the buyers?

We have one of the most prolific track records of using capital. The capital that we injected in the last 3 years has brought the company to this level, which is by far one of the best results we have seen in the e-commerce space. Capital earned from IPO will take the company to a new level, which will set a benchmark for others. And people who remain with us in the long term will see phenomenal returns on their investments.


5. What is your overview on VC funding & BSE SME IPO? Which option do you think would be better for startups to raise more funds?

We opted for an IPO and filed a draft prospectus (DP) with the BSE’s SME platform to raise around Rs 24 crore. 

We realised that we have to grow in the space and so we had two options — VC or IPO. One of our investors suggested an IPO route and at that time we were not aware of BSE starting IPO for SMEs. I feel opting for an IPO is far more difficult than raising funds from VCs because there are set procedures for it. It takes time and first and foremost to get the company compliance with the law. And a lot of startups are not complying with the law. In an IPO, compliance with law and audit requirements are huge.

There are challenges for an IPO and we chose IPO over VCs because he thought to opt for an IPO will have resonance with investors. 

It was not about getting money from the VCs but losing the stake in your own company and losing the power of decision making.