Biglion, a major player among Russian daily deal sites, has attracted significant funds from Tiger Global Management, a prominent investment firm operating in the public and private equity markets across the globe, Russian business daily Vedomosti revealed yesterday.
Biglion co-founder Oleg Savtsov has confirmed the deal but did not disclose any details on the amount or terms of the investment. Vedomosti, however, learnt from an unnamed source in the industry that the investment volume was in the range of $25 to $30 million, and that Biglion’s valuation was not less than its yearly turnover.
The latter could amount to $180 to $200 million, according to Vedomosti estimates based on a monthly turnover of $15 million, a figure disclosed by Savtsov. One half of this sum goes to merchants partnering with the site.
Biglion was founded in March 2010 amid the ‘Groupon fever’ that hit Russia at that time. Dozens of sites appeared on the market, most near exact copies with only slight variations on the American Groupon.com model.
Ahead of Groupon?
Since that time, Biglion appears to have successfully made its way on the Russian market. It now claims to be number one in Russia in terms of turnover – ahead of world leader Groupon, whose monthly turnover in Russia barely reached $12 million in August and September of this year, Vedomosti reported from a source close to the site.
In an exchange with East-West Digital News in October, Groupon Russia officials denied Biglion’s leadership.
Biglion has received more than $20 million in investment since its launched, whereas Groupon Russia has attracted a mere $5 million, noted Viktor Lysenko, a co-founder of Darberry, the site which later became Groupon Russia, in an exchange with Vedomosti.
Among Biglion’s other competitors are Vigoda.ru, funded by Access Industries in March of this year, Kupikupon.ru, which was rumored to have raised $15 million in summer, KupiBonus.ru, launched in mid-2010 by Fast Lane Ventures, the Internet incubator of Direct Group, a major investment company operating in Russia. Group buying site WeClever.ru, founded in early 2010, is also a notable players, although to date it has not raised funds from investors.