Direct seller, Netsurf , to raise Rs 100 crore to enter international markets

Mumbai, June 14: Direct selling company, Netsurf Network is planning to raise Rs 100 crore from PE funds to take its services to the US, Japan and Korea. The 16 year old company which started as an e-commerce company pivoted to direct selling after the dotcom crash in early 2000.

Sujit Jain, Founder & CMD, Netsurf said, `` We want to raise Rs 100 crore by the end of this year by selling 15 per cent stake and expect a valuation which should be five times our turnover of Rs 150 crore, instead of directly going for an IPO.’’

The Pune based company is planning to invest $ 1 million( Rs 6.5 crore) to set up a subsidairy in the US and is hoping to forge JVs with local ditect selling companies in Korea and Japan.

`` US is the largest direct selling market in terms of volumes where Amway is the leader followed by others like Herbalife and Usana while Korea and Japan has lots of local direct sellers. We want to take to these countries our range of ayurvedic and natural products, which they do not have, to make a mark in the direct selling category ’’ he said.

In fact it expects to be in Korea in the next six months while entering the US market may happen by 2019.

In the US, it has decided to to target farmers to sell its Biofit brand for organic farming and pesticide controlling products. ``US is still the largest direct selling market while Korea has the biggest per capita consumption in this category. In the US almost 50 per cent if the direct selling category comprises farm care as there are about 1 million farmers buying such products,’’ he added.

Besides it intends selling its Herbs & More and naturamore brands across categories like dietary supplements, skin and hair care in Japan and Korea, where it is seeking JVs with the local players.

``We have FMCG, health and pharma products which are mostly manufactured at out three plants. In the past we have got feelers from HUL Ventures through the PE fund of Capvent, but valuation has been an issue,’’ he added.

Currently Nersurf has its plants in Himachal Pradesh with new one in Sikkim coming up later.

Despite having a pan India presence, Netsurf’s largest markets are in Gujarat and Maharashtra and it has 50,000 active distributors under its fold. The direct selling category in India is estimated at Rs 8,000 crore with Amway being the market leader.

Published on June 15, 2017

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