To capture the growing online classifieds market, Quikr launched Quikr Nxt; an instant messenger client integrated across Quikr’s website, mobile website and mobile app. The idea is to do away with intrusive phone calls and slow emails, while making the transaction more efficient and protect user privacy. Prior to the official launch, Nxt underwent trials in 10 cities for a few weeks, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad, etc. When asked whether efficiency had actually increased, Pranay Chulet, Founder and CEO of Quikr said that user feedback had been positive and transactions using chat were being completed in a few hours as opposed to the 2-3 day period seen earlier.
To promote the new feature, Quikr has launched a 360 degree campaign, which went live. The campaign has been conceptualized and executed by McCann Erickson.
Nxt To Herald New Product Innovations By Quikr
“Quikr Nxt is a concept. Instant messaging is just the first step in a number of planned innovations that we will be bringing in the online classifieds space,” said Chulet, claiming that this was the first time a major e-commerce company has provided such a feature. One of these projects in the pipeline is Quikr Mover, a logistics service that will enable better movement of goods between buyers and sellers through Movers & Packers service providers who are already present on the Quikr platform. Chulet did not provide more details about the service, but he admitted that this is one of the things that the company was working on launching in the coming months.
Quikr is also concentrating its efforts on the mobile platform. “We are more and more focussed on the mobile as a growth driver,” said Chulet. According to him, 80 per cent of the current traffic to Quikr is on mobile. The number of Quikr app users has gone up 9 times in the last one year, while the overall growth on mobile is up 12 times as compared to 2011.
“We have seen that for people using the messenger service, time spent on app is 6-7 times more. We expect this to increase to 15 times over the next 12-18 months. The addition of the messenger service will accelerate our growth in some categories like used goods, cars, services (household services), etc.” said Chulet.
Despite its ambitious plans for the coming year, the company is not looking to raise any more money right now. “We are good for now,” said Chulet, when asked if this was a possibility. Quikr’s last round of financing was in September 2014 when it raised $60 million. Till date it has raised $200 million+ in investments and, according to a VCCircle report) was valued at $340 million in October 2014.
Quikr’s Growth Story So Far
Estimates put the online classifieds ad market on track to reach $31 billion by 2016 in terms of Gross Merchandising Value (GMV). Chulet says the market is currently worth between $1.5-2 billion in terms of revenue, with Quikr, itself, turning over $4 billion per month in terms of GMV. However, the market is also highly unorganized and so coming out with an accurate number tends to be tricky.
The GMV of goods sold on Quikr has seen an increase of 559 per cent over the last three months with users growing at a CAGR of 750 per cent. In July last year, Quikr joined an elite list of start-ups that have market valuation of above Rs 1,000 crore.
“The best things in technology are always overestimated in the short run and underestimated in the long run,” says Chulet. He claims that considering all metrics, Quikr is 5 times larger than what it was a year ago. “The most important metric in e-retail is not traffic that everyone talks about but how many transactions actually happen,” he added (Quikr sees nearly 1.3 million successful transactions per month).