As i raise my pen to share my thoughts with you this year i find itmuch easier to explain what our industry is all about. After a couple of decades of wadingthrough the early phases of development the internet based industry in india has firmlyentrenched its foundation. Today digital india has gained considerable traction and ispoised to become what the boston consulting group estimates to be a $250 billion economyby 2020.
Like in most growing industries there has been a churn. Those likeinfo edge who have delivered on their promises continue to get the attention ofinvestors and get good valuations while some have gone through the phase ofinvestor exuberance' got valuations and bitten the bullet of poordelivery'.
At info edge we have always focused on delivering long termsustainable value. For us incubating and developing a business is about making a promiseand rolling up our sleeves to deliver in the most efficient manner. We adopt a focusedapproach to formulate an idea and then most importantly work very hard to execute itwell and keep improvising.
In the way in which we do our business effective execution isparamount and the process involves a rigorous day-to-day exercise of continuously gettingthings done well. This encompasses a comprehensive discipline of ideation strategisingplanning implementing reviewing and adopting corrective measures. Consequently evenafter completing 17 years since our first round of funding we have nurtured only our fourcore businesses with a central focus on theme of online classifieds. These are thewell-established flagship naukri.com and a portfolio of developing brands including99acres.com jeevansathi.com and shiksha.com. For promoting other ideas we have investedexternally into other teams of entrepreneurs and provided them supervisory support.
This business ethos of tight focus and exceptional execution reflectsin our financial performance.
Over the last decade info edge as a standalone entity grew at acompound annual growth rate (cagr) of 19.4% from a revenue of '1395 million infy2007 to ?8209 million in fy2017 (as per igaap). While there have been some fluctuationsover the entire period operating ebidta margin has increased from 27% in fy2007 to 33% infy2017 (as per igaap).
With this steady improvements in revenues and profits your company hasbuilt a cash balance of ?12891 million (fd in banks investments in debt mf and fmp atcost) by the end of fy2017 in addition ?7340 million has been invested into investeecompanies. Clearly we have invested in the future while creating a war chest of cashreserves.
For info edge fy2017 was another step forward in this journey of longterm value creation. There were gains both in financial terms and in terms of creatinggreater market dominance for its brands. Given below are the highlights of each of ourbusinesses.
Revenues for the recruitment segment was '5953 million in fy2017 -which grew by 12.5% over fy2016. New products played a significant role in driving thisgrowth. This segment continued to deliver excellent profitability with operating ebitdaof '3214 million in fy2017. Having said so it needs stating that revenues for naukri.comwere somewhat affected due to the company's transition to a new sales and incentivepolicy. The new policy is designed to help reduce discounting and bill more from some ofour larger customers who tend to renew at the end of the quarter/year. This has led to adeferment in sales in the fourth quarter; but is expected to yield better revenue numbersin fy2018.
There are early signals of a slowdown in the it sector. However infy2017 we serviced nearly 14400 it clients against 13700 in fy2016. For naukri therewas a growth in revenues from it. I also believe that with uncertainties in the jobmarket more people may actually use naukri.com as part of their solution to get employedor recruit at lower costs. Thus i don't expect the business to be adverselyimpacted.
Our strategic investments in investee companies continue to perform upto expectations. In fy2017 an additional '617 million (including loan) was invested intothese ventures. In accounting terms there have been some changes in the way some of thesebusinesses are treated in our consolidated accounts. In essence based on the fullyconverted shareholding percentages this year canvera has been added to the company'sconsolidated numbers while zomato has moved out.
The performance of zomato remains important in terms of valuations ofinvestments on the balance sheet of the company. In fy2017 zomato recorded a revenue of'3323 million and incurred operating ebitda loss of '1519 million. As we see it forzomato the revenue growth continues the cash burn is substantially lower the businessnow has enough cash and is close to breaking even.
At the consolidated level net sales of your company increased by 18.7%to '8876 million while the total comprehensive loss was '239 million in fy2017 against aprofit of '1448 million in fy2016. Aggregate revenues of the 12-investee companiesincreased by 40% from '4744 million in fy2016 to '6644 million in fy2017 whileoperating ebidta level losses reduced from '6819 million to '2625 million.
At this juncture it is important to emphasise that while we continueto focus on the so-called mundane' activities that promote executionexcellence at heart we are a customer-centric technology-driven company. Let meelucidate.
Our rich experience over two decades has provided us immense customerinsights and understanding on how internet-based customer preferences are evolving inindia across the domains where we operate. Our focus is on adding value by solvingproblems for customers and this is at the core of the quality customer experiencewe strive to deliver on a continuous basis. This focus has played a critical role makingmost of our brands clear market leaders in terms of traffic share.
We have built this strong customer base and continue to increase it byregularly working on providing increasingly more effective value propositions to each ofour customers. And the process is undertaken with minimum cash burn by utilisingsophisticated tools for analytics and a strong technology platform for product and servicedelivery. In terms of technology today we are focusing on three core areas.
first the rapidly increasing use of mobile platforms: todayover 60% of our traffic comes from mobile phones in various businesses.
second we work on matching technologies: for example weacquired makesense and integrated it with our search engine. We have also been steadilyinvesting in machine learning and big data over the last few years to widen the span ofour matching algorithms.
third cloud business: with career site manager for example wenow have a cloud based recruitment management system within the company. Earlier we weremore of a sourcing enterprise from where people used to scan resumes and candidateprofiles. Today we are expanding into the area of recruitment automation where thecompany supports its customers by helping them automate activities like their recruitmentprocesses managing referral hiring programmes improving their corporate career site andstreamlining interview processes.
As a company we are aggressive yet humble; futuristic yet grounded;technology- driven yet people oriented; and an industry stalwart yet young-at-heart. Weare one of the pioneers of the internet enabled services industry in india and we continueto strengthen our positioning in this space across our brands.
With best regards hitesh oberoi