People Group, who runs the online matchmaking platform Shaadi.com, plans to go public over the next fiscal. “We are profitable, and in about 12 months, we will be IPO-ready, and it’s a good place to be. However, we don’t require capital at the moment,” Anupam Mittal, founder and chief executive, said in an interview.
Whilst he did not provide the details of his IPO plans, the move comes more than a decade after the company’s initial listing plans for 2009 were deferred.
Shaadi.com was founded in 1996 but he established the People Group in 2001. He holds a significant stake in the company. Other than Shaadi.com, the group also runs the real estate website Makaan.com and mobile gaming Mauj Mobile.
Shaadi.com is operated by People Interactive India Pvt. Ltd, a unit of People Group. Its listed peers include Info Edge (India) Ltd, which operates Jeevansathi.com, and Matrimony.com Ltd, which operates Bharat Matrimony. While Info Edge was listed in 2006, Matrimony.com was listed in 2017.
All three of the firms are amongst the first generation of consumer internet companies in India, which started in the 1990s. Matrimony.com has a market share of over 50-55%, Shaadi.com has around 25-30% and Jeevansathi around 10%. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of these websites, despite the fact they face competition from other dating platforms.
In order to take on other dating platforms, Shaadi.com is preparing to launch newer products, including Shaadi Live. This will allow matches to meet face-to-face virtually.
“We have experimented for a year and will launch these new verticals in the coming weeks. We will bring people together and make conversations on Shaadi.com beyond chats and messages. These will be real-time capabilities being made available to the customers,” Mittal said, adding that this will expand the app’s use-case dramatically, making it more sticky. Shaadi.com is based in Mumbai with offices in Delhi, Chennai, Indore, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Dubai, London and New York.
Mittal said People Group turned profitable a couple of years ago, but declined to disclose details about revenue or profits. The numbers were also unavailable on the MCA website.