The Indian e-commerce space is buzzing with a lot of bucks related activities. Following the fashion, Snapdeal is said to be in talks with investors including international hedge funds to raise $400 million. This could probably bring the company’s valuation to about $4.5 Billion, almost doubling since October. It had recently raised $627 million from Japanese telecom and internet corporation Softbank towards the late 2014. Till date, the total capital raised by the company is close to USD 1 billion.
Snapdeal was co-founded by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal in 2010. It had secured USD 100 million in May 2014 and Ratan Tata also provided an undisclosed amount in August last year. As per a report, Kunal Bahl said on Saturday that the company is close to announcing an acquisition, which will play the role of an enabler for the platform.
“Anything that will be an enabler for our ecosystem that will make our sellers more successful, which will make business more successful as well as the platform…it could be core tech, it could any service that our sellers use, logistics may or may not be an enabler, my lens is always on how do you make ecosystem more successful,” Kunal said.
Snapdeal has to compete with Flipkart which is valued at $11 billion. Flipkart raised a total of $1.9 billion from investors last year, and Amazon also invested $2 billion to grow Indian operations. Newly-capitalized rivals like Paytm which is backed by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, and ShopClues are in the market too. ShopClues raised $100 million led by Tiger Global Management in January.
Mr. Bahl refused to spill the beans regarding particulars of the acquisition and the company’s name. However, there are speculations that it could be a fashion portal. Snapdeal’s rival Flipkart had acquired fashion portal Myntra last year.
Snapdeal is also focusing on increasing its total number of sellers to one million from the current 100,000 in next three years. “We want to create one million successful online entrepreneurs in next three years. We’re at 100,000 and 30 percent of them are women. Many of them didn’t have any income,” Bahl said.
Snapdeal also raised $133.77 million led by existing investor eBay Inc just three months back with participation from other existing investors Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Saama Capital, in the third-biggest funding round in an Indian tech firm.
Till now the company has acquired Grabbon.com, esportsbuy.com, Shopo.in, Doozton.com, Wishpicker.com, Smartprix.com. Snapdeal plans to spend 60% of its budget towards tech ramp up in 2015 that is likely to include acquisitions, top management hiring and for its recently opened development center in Bangalore.