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Snapdeal to raise $600 million

By Christopher Brace | Vjmedia Works | October 16, 2014

Two months ago, Flipkart had announced it was raising $1 billion. This was followed by Amazon's announcement of investing $2 billion in India

To compete with the billions of Flipkart and Amazon, leading marketplace player Snapdeal is expected to announce its largest round of fund-raising soon. According to sources, the company is likely to raise $600 million from existing investors, led by Japan's SoftBank Corp.

Two months ago, Flipkart had announced it was raising $1 billion. This was followed by Amazon's announcement of investing $2 billion in India.

When asked about its fund-raising plan, Snapdeal declined to comment. Other key investors in the company include eBay, Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Saama Capital, Temasek, BlackRock Inc, Myriad, Premji Invest and Tybourne and IndoUS Venture Partners.

MONEY IN THE BANK

  • Jan 2011: Nexus Venture Partners and Indo-US Venture Partners  $12 million
  • July 2011: Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Indo-US Venture Partners  $45 million
  • June 2013: ebay, Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Indo-US Venture Partners  $50 million
  • Feb 2014: ebay, Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Saama Capital and other existing investors $133 million
  •  May 2014: Temasek, BlackRock Inc, Myriad, Premji Invest and Tybourne $100 million

Snapdeal has raised $340 million in five rounds of funding so far and is valued at an estimated $1.2 billion. Founded in 2010 by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, the company works on a controlled market place model and has about 50,000 sellers listed on its website. The company recently got investment from Ratan Tata in his personal capacity. It has also tied up with Croma, a Tata group company focused on consumer electronics and durables, for an exclusive partnership.

Rohit Bansal, chief operating officer of Snapdeal, had recently told Business Standard that the firm would expand into new categories and open its transit centers across 30 more cities. At the moment, Snapdeal has transit centres across 40 cities. "From the current headcount of about 1,500 people, we will expand to more than 2,600 in the next one or two years," Bansal had said.

The company plans to have 500,000 square feet of transit space in the next 12 months. Acquisitions in payments, big data, and technology are among the other things that Snapdeal is upbeat about. Same-day and next-day delivery will be further expanded to 15 cities this year. Currently, this is offered only in the key metro cities. Working on the Alibaba model in India, Snapdeal also sells in bulk (business to business) in certain categories. Singapore-based Temasek and Hong Kong's Myriad are the common investors in Snapdeal.

Snapdeal was among those to make the most from the glitches in the 'big-billion' sale by Flipkart on October 6, and got positive customer reviews for its assortment of products and discounts.
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