• JUNE 14, 2000

Rediff: Vanguard for Indian dot.coms

Rediff is expected to list its ADR issue anytime this week (the expected date was 13th June). The dot.com, which has received funding from heavyweights like Intel Corporation, General Electric Capital Services and Citicorp Finance India, will be the first Indian Internet company to list on the NASDAQ.

Listing Particulars
SEC filing date 19/5/00
Exchange Nasdaq
Symbol REDF
Share Type ADR
1 share = 2 ADR's
Offer size (ADR's) 4.6m
Offer price $10-$12
Issue size $46m-$55.2m

Financials (US$ m) FY99 FY00
Advertising 0.8 1.5
E-Commerce 0.1 0.4
Total Revenue 0.9 1.9
Cost Of Revenue 0.3 1.0
Sales & Marketing 3.9 5.3
Product Development 0.3 0.9
General Administration 0.9 1.7
Total Cost 5.4 8.8
Profit / (Loss) (4.5) (6.9)

The Rediff IPO on the US bourse is being keenly watched by Indian dot.coms, as quite a few have their eyes set on NASDAQ listing. The issue will be an indicator of sorts regarding the appetite of the US investor for Indian Internet stocks. Despite the bearish sentiment prevalent on the NASDAQ, the leading technology index, Rediff has gone ahead with its listing plans, as it is believed that the market has appetite for only a hand full of Indian Internet companies.

Other apprehensions in the market are that the B2C (business to consumer) business model has not proved itself completely in the more developed US market. How will it be able to succeed in India where computer, internet and credit card penetration is low, connectivity to the ISP is not free and disposable incomes are low.

With these inherent difficulties, the response to the IPO will indicate the belief of the market regarding the sustainability of the Rediff business model in particular and the Internet business in India in general. Dotcomer’s cross your fingers.

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