The Quikr Story – The Rise & Fall Of Quikr In India

Quikr Story

From connecting buyers and sellers across diverse categories to facing challenges in the evolving digital landscape, Quikr story is a fascinating exploration of highs and lows.

Quikr Story

Quikr, a once-prominent player in India’s online marketplace, had its remarkable journey marked by successes and setbacks. This overview invites you to delve into the delicate tale of The Rise & Fall of Quikr in India, tracing the trajectory of a platform that navigates the dynamic world of e-commerce. 

Join us as we uncover the chapters that defined Quikr’s presence in the Indian market. 

Keep reading!

(A) What is Quikr?

Quikr, an Indian online marketplace and classified advertising company, has left a significant mark on India’s e-commerce scene. 

Headquartered in Bangalore, India, Quikr operates as an Indian online marketplace and classified advertising company. Covering listings in more than 1000 cities across India, Quikr spans diverse categories, including mobile phones, household goods, cars, real estate, jobs, services, and education. 

Established in 2008 by Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas, the platform serves as a hub where community members can engage in various activities. They can discover living spaces, sell used items like cars, bikes, electronics, or furniture, promote small businesses, find educational services, explore opportunities in the entertainment industry, connect with local events, buy or sell various items, and foster new friendships.

Before diving into the details, let’s have a look at Quikr’s profile-

Name of the CompanyQuikr
Type of CompanyPrivate
Rental Property,
FounderPranay Chulet
HeadquartersBangalore (Karnataka, India)
Area ServedWorldwide
ServicesClassified Advertising, 
Job Portal, 
Second-hand shop
Sulekha, etc.
Quikr: A Brief Overview

Now let’s look at some of the key aspects of Quikr-

  • User-Centric Approach: Quikr is committed to simplicity, speed, and reliability, helping users achieve their dreams, whether buying a car, selling property, or finding a home.
  • Business Model: As an online marketplace, Quikr allows users to post free listings for buying, selling, renting, or finding items across diverse categories.
  • Continuous Innovation: Quikr evolves to enhance user experience with features like QuikrNXT for private transactions and a Missed Call Service to reach users offline.
  • Financial Backing: Quikr has raised $350 million in funding from notable investors like Kinnevik, Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network, Norwest Venture Partners, Nokia Growth Partners, Warburg Pincus, and eBay Inc.
  • Brand Evolution: In July 2015, Quikr revamped its brand identity, with actors Ranveer Singh and Suriya as brand ambassadors. It expanded into the automobile sector with Quikr Cars.

Beyond transactions, Quikr is woven into India’s digital fabric, connecting millions. Awards like being selected as an AlwaysOn Global 250 Winner validate its success.

In short, Quikr’s journey showcases adaptability, innovation, and community-driven growth in India’s e-commerce landscape.

(B) Quikr Business Model 

Quikr operates as an online marketplace with a straightforward and user-friendly business model.

Let’s have a brief look at Quikr Business Model-

Aspects of the Quikr Business ModelDetails
User ListingsUsers can post free listings on Quikr for items they want to sell, buy, rent, or find. These listings cover a wide range of categories, including but not limited to mobile phones, household goods, cars, real estate, jobs, services, and education.
Search and ConnectInterested buyers or individuals seeking services can browse through the listings on the Quikr platform. They can use search filters and location settings to refine their search and find relevant listings.
Communication and TransactionsQuikr facilitates communication between buyers and sellers through its platform. Users can connect to discuss details, negotiate prices, and finalize transactions. QuikrNXT, a feature introduced by Quikr, enables users to communicate while maintaining privacy.
Diverse CategoriesQuikr’s versatility lies in its ability to cater to a broad spectrum of needs. Whether someone is looking for a new job, selling a car, renting a property, or finding educational services, Quikr provides a platform for these diverse requirements.
InnovationQuikr focuses on continuous innovation to enhance user experience. Features like QuikrNXT, which allows private communication, and the Missed Call Service, targeting users temporarily offline, demonstrate the platform’s commitment to evolving with user needs.
Revenue ModelQuikr generates revenue through premium listings and advertisements. Businesses and individuals can opt for paid promotions to increase the visibility of their listings, reaching a larger audience.
Brand ExpansionQuikr has expanded its brand into different sectors, such as Quikr Jobs, Quikr Cars, and more, catering to specific needs and making the platform more comprehensive.
Quikr Business Model

In essence, Quikr facilitates a user-driven marketplace where people can easily buy, sell, or connect for various services and goods, covering a wide array of categories.

(C) How does Quikr work?

Quikr, a dynamic online marketplace, redefines the art of buying and selling with its user-friendly approach and diverse offerings.

Here’s how it works-

(C.1) Free Classifieds and Listings

Quikr functions as a comprehensive advertising and online marketplace, providing users with the freedom to post listings across various categories without any cost. From household goods and jobs to mobile phones, real estate, and educational services, the platform caters to a broad spectrum of needs. Its reach extends to over 1000 Indian cities, ensuring accessibility for millions.

(C.2) Versatility and Community Impact

Quikr goes beyond mere transactions; it catalyzes community empowerment. Users leverage the platform to find flats or apartments, part ways with old electronics or furniture, promote local events and small businesses, discover tuition classes or hobby groups, explore modeling or acting opportunities, and forge new friendships while navigating the diverse landscape.

(C.3) Innovations and Features

At the heart of Quikr’s success lies its commitment to continual improvement, ensuring a seamless user experience-

  • QuikrNXT: This feature facilitates private buying and selling, prioritizing user privacy in transactions.
  • Missed Call Service: Quikr reaches users not currently online, anticipating their imminent return to the platform.

Quikr’s innovative features, coupled with its broad scope and community impact, make it a vibrant hub where users not only transact but also connect and thrive in a dynamic online ecosystem.

(D) Quikr Revenue Model

Quikr’s revenue model primarily revolves around providing premium services and advertising opportunities. Here’s a breakdown of Quikr’s revenue sources-

Revenue Sources of QuikrDetails
Lead Referral FeesQuikr earns a significant portion of its revenue through lead referral fees. When users express interest in a listing (such as property, job, or service), Quikr facilitates the connection between the buyer and seller, charging a fee for successful referrals.
AdvertisingAdvertising constitutes another substantial revenue stream for Quikr. Businesses and individuals pay to promote their listings, ensuring better visibility and attracting potential buyers.
CommissionsQuikr collects commissions on certain transactions. For instance, when a property is sold or rented through the platform, Quikr takes a percentage of the transaction value.
Management Consultancy ServicesQuikr offers additional services related to property management, real estate, and other areas. These consultancy services contribute to its revenue.
Business Support and Other Operating ActivitiesQuikr diversifies its income by providing various business support services. These may include premium features, personalized assistance, and value-added services.
Interest and Gains on Other Financial Assets (Non-Operating Income)Apart from its core operations, Quikr earns interest and gains from other financial assets. This non-operating income adds to the company’s overall revenue.
Revenue Model of Quikr

The lead referral fees and advertising are the primary drivers of Quikr’s revenue, collectively contributing to around 90% of its income in recent years. The company continues to adapt and innovate within the dynamic Indian e-commerce landscape.

Overall, Quikr’s revenue model is designed to leverage its extensive user base and diverse categories by offering enhanced visibility and promotional opportunities to sellers and advertisers. This allows Quikr to generate income while providing a platform for users to connect, buy, and sell.

(E) The Rise of Quickr: Unraveling Quikr’s Success

Quikr, the big deal in Indian online buying and selling, became a success because of some smart moves. Let’s break down the things that made Quikr famous-

Factors Contributing to Successful Quikr StoryDetails
Making Money SenseQuikr had a smart way of making money. They didn’t just rely on big investors; instead, they earned money through ads, premium listings, and helping people connect – a clear plan to keep things going.
All-in-One Spot for Local StuffQuikr was not just a boring ads website; it was like your cool local marketplace. People could easily sell, buy, or rent stuff in their area. Whether it’s selling an old music system or finding a flat, Quikr was the go-to place.
Putting Users FirstQuikr cared a lot about the people using it. It wasn’t just about buying and selling; it was about helping people find what they need, whether it’s selling things, buying stuff, renting a place, learning something new, or making friends in the community.
Always Adding Something NewQuikr kept things interesting by always adding cool features. Like QuikrNXT, which lets people buy and sell privately, and the Missed Call Service, so even if you weren’t online, Quikr would catch you later.
Getting Personal with Each PlaceQuikr didn’t treat every city the same. They knew each place had its style, so they made a special Quikr for each city. This way, they could understand what people needed in different areas and connect with them.
Riding the Internet Wave in IndiaQuikr rode the wave when more and more people in India started using the internet. In 2021, over 830 million people in India were on the internet – that’s a lot!
A Leader with a VisionOne of the main people behind Quikr, Pranay Chulet, had a big part to play. His ideas turned Quikr into something like India’s own Craigslist, especially ruling the classifieds space.
Facing Problems but Not Giving UpQuikr had some tough times, with other competitors like OLX and struggling to make money. But they didn’t give up. They learned from the hard times and kept going.
The Rise of Quikr

Quikr’s story is like an adventure, showing that understanding what people want, keeping things local, and having a clear plan to make money can make an online place popular. It’s like a symbol of how India loves to buy and sell online in a friendly way.

(F) Challenges Faced by Quikr

While Quikr has achieved significant success, it hasn’t been without its share of challenges. Let’s look at some of the significant challenges faced by Quikr that led to its decline-

Challenges faced by QuikrDescription
Market CompetitionQuikr operates in a fiercely competitive market. Rival platforms, both local and global, vie for user attention. The challenge lies in differentiating itself and maintaining a strong market presence amidst this intense competition.
Monetization StrategyQuikr initially offered free listings, relying on ad revenue for sustenance. However, transitioning to a profitable model has been an ongoing challenge. Balancing user expectations with revenue generation remains crucial.
Trust and Quality AssuranceAs an online marketplace, Quikr relies on user-generated content. Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of listings is essential. The platform faces the challenge of maintaining trust among users while preventing fraudulent or misleading postings.
User Acquisition and RetentionAttracting new users and retaining existing ones is a perpetual challenge. Quikr must continually enhance its user experience, offer valuable features, and engage with its audience to stay relevant.
Diverse CategoriesQuikr spans various categories, from real estate and automobiles to jobs and services. Managing such diversity requires tailored strategies for each segment, which can be complex.
Regional VariationsIndia’s vastness brings regional nuances. Quikr operates in over 1000 cities, each with distinct preferences and behaviors. Adapting to these variations is a challenge.
Mobile PenetrationWhile mobile usage is widespread in India, ensuring a seamless mobile experience remains a challenge. Quikr must optimize its app and website for different devices and network conditions.
Balancing Scale and PersonalizationAs Quikr scales, maintaining personalized interactions becomes harder. Striking the right balance between automation and human touch is crucial.
Changing Consumer BehaviorConsumer preferences evolve rapidly. Quikr must adapt to shifts in behavior, such as the growing preference for mobile-first interactions.
Operational EfficiencyManaging a vast platform with millions of listings requires robust operational processes. Quikr faces the challenge of streamlining operations while ensuring quality.
Economic Downturns and PandemicsExternal factors like economic downturns and the COVID-19 pandemic impact user behavior and business operations. Quikr must navigate such uncertainties.
Profitability and SustainabilityQuikr aims to become profitable within the next few years. Achieving this while maintaining growth and innovation is a delicate balancing act.
Challenges faced by Quikr

In conclusion, Quikr’s journey has been marked by resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to addressing these challenges. As it continues to evolve, overcoming these hurdles will define its success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

(G) The Decline of Quickr

Here comes the tale of the decline of the Quikr story-

(G.1) Valuation Woes

Once a unicorn, Quikr, the online classifieds platform, has been facing a decline in its fortunes. Recently, Swedish investor Kinnevik marked down its investment valuation in Quikr by a significant 45%, from SEK 1703 million in September 2019 to SEK 941 million in December 2019. This translates to a 42% drop in valuation on a year-on-year basis.

(G.2) Change in Valuation Metric

Kinnevik adjusted its valuation metric, now focusing on forward-looking revenue multiples of a peer group of emerging market online classifieds companies, particularly those active in India and adjacent markets. This shift from the earlier discounted cash flow model signifies a change in how Quikr’s value is assessed.

(G.3) Impact of Fictitious Transactions

What is Quikr

Kinnevik attributes the decline to the impact of fictitious transactions discovered in Quikr’s rentals and cars segment. Certain dealers and vendors engaged in fake transactions, potentially inflating the value of transactions and revenue in these categories. In response, Quikr reduced its footprint in these segments, streamlined its business, and significantly reduced its workforce.

(G.4) Diverse Business Categories

Quikr’s website reveals around 24 sub-categories, spanning goods, real estate, matrimony, cars, bikes, and other services. This broad spectrum of offerings has raised concerns among tech bankers and investors, suggesting a need for reorganization.

(G.5) Challenges in Capital Raising

Quikr has faced challenges in raising capital, managing only a small amount from existing investors. Its real estate vertical has slowed down, impacting profitability. Late-stage companies, in general, struggle to balance profitability and growth.

(G.6) Investment Landscape

Quikr’s last funding round was in July 2019, raising $3 million. Overall, the company has raised $424 million to date from various investors. It has also secured debt financing from Trifecta Capital Advisors and Innoven Capital.

(G.7) Investor Landscape

Investors like Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners, Tiger Global Management, Steadview Capital, and Norwest Venture Partners are part of Quikr’s investor landscape. Notably, some funds from investors like Warburg Pincus are yet to exit the company.

(G.8) Strategic Acquisitions

Quikr has acquired 16 companies through stock transactions, further complicating its investor landscape. The acquisition of Zefo and Commonfloor are examples of such strategic moves.

(G.9) Financial Snapshot

As of March 2019, Quikr’s cash and cash equivalents dropped by 57% to Rs 37 crore compared to the previous year. The company reported a loss of Rs 230 crore for FY19, with revenues standing at Rs.191 crore.

In FY21, Quikr reported revenues of Rs 61 crore. Remarkably, the company managed to reduce its losses by 90%, shrinking them from Rs 563.2 crore in FY20 to Rs 55.48 crore in FY21.

(G.10) Operational Adjustments

In response to discovered anomalies in co-living and car businesses, Quikr initiated action against implicated employees. It announced tweaks in its operating model and team structure to sharpen focus on promising opportunities.

(G.11) Business Cutbacks

Quikr, facing scrutiny, also scaled back its home beauty service, ‘AtHomeDiva,’ which was positioned to compete with Urban Company’s beauty services. The move indicates a strategic realignment in response to market dynamics.

Despite these challenges, Quikr’s response to streamline its business and adapt to changing dynamics will determine its future trajectory in the competitive online marketplace landscape.

(H) Key Takeaways: What did you learn from the Quikr Story?

Quikr’s story offers several valuable lessons, encompassing both successes and challenges. Let’s look at the key takeaways from the Quikr story-

Key TakeawaysLessonImplication
Diversification Has Its LimitsWhile Quikr initially thrived on its diverse range of categories, with 24 sub-categories covering goods, real estate, matrimony, cars, bikes, and more, it eventually faced challenges in managing such extensive offerings.Companies need to balance diversification with effective organization and streamlined business structures. Being a horizontal platform with numerous categories may pose challenges in competing and growing in all sectors.
Adaptability in Valuation StrategiesQuikr witnessed a change in its valuation metric, shifting from a discounted cash flow model to focusing on forward-looking revenue multiples. This indicates the importance of adaptability in choosing valuation strategies based on market dynamics.Companies should be flexible in their approach to valuation, aligning metrics with industry trends and investor expectations.
Transparency in Reporting and OperationsThe impact of fictitious transactions in Quikr’s rentals and cars segment underscores the critical role of transparency in business operations and accurate reporting.Maintaining integrity in financial reporting and operations is vital for building and sustaining trust with investors and stakeholders.
Challenges in Capital Raising for Late-Stage CompaniesQuikr faced challenges in raising capital, especially in a landscape where late-stage companies struggle to balance profitability and growth.Late-stage companies must carefully manage their financials and demonstrate a clear path to profitability to attract investment. Navigating growth while maintaining financial health is a delicate balance.
Strategic Investor Landscape ManagementQuikr’s investor landscape became complex due to strategic acquisitions and a diverse array of investors. Some funds from investors, like Warburg Pincus, were yet to exit the company.Companies need to manage relationships with investors effectively, especially when engaging in acquisitions. Clear communication and alignment of interests are crucial to maintaining a harmonious investor landscape.
Financial Stability and AdaptabilityQuikr’s financial snapshot, including a decline in cash equivalents, reported losses, and fluctuating revenues, emphasizes the importance of financial stability and adaptability.Companies should prioritize financial health, continuously adapting strategies to navigate market dynamics. A focus on sustainable growth and profitability is essential for long-term success.
Operational ResponsivenessQuikr’s initiation of action against employees involved in anomalies and operational adjustments highlights the significance of being responsive to internal challenges.Companies must be agile and proactive in addressing internal issues, ensuring a robust and ethical operational framework.
Strategic Business RealignmentQuikr’s decision to scale back the ‘AtHomeDiva’ beauty service signifies the need for strategic realignment and focus on core business areas.Companies should periodically reassess their services and realign strategies to concentrate efforts on the most promising and profitable opportunities.
Key Takeaways from the Quikr Story

In essence, Quikr’s story serves as a rich source of insights for companies in the online marketplace sector. The importance of strategic decision-making, financial stability, adaptability, transparency, and operational responsiveness are key takeaways that can guide businesses on their journeys.

(I) Wrapping Up the Quikr Story

In the end, the Quikr story is like a rollercoaster ride in the Indian online marketplace. Starting with a bang, Quikr rose high, connecting people and making buying and selling easy. But, like any journey, it faced challenges. The fall came with valuation troubles, fake transactions, and a need to adapt. Despite the decline, Quikr teaches us about the importance of staying transparent, managing money wisely, and being ready to change.

The Quikr story is a reminder that in the fast-paced world of online business, staying nimble and true to your users is the key to lasting success!

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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