eBay leads $134M funding round in Snapdeal



Delhi-based Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, which runs the online marketplace Snapdeal.com, has raised $133.77 million (Rs 830 crore) led by existing investor eBay Inc with participation from other existing investors, in the third-biggest funding round in an Indian tech firm.

"Accelerating growth in India and other emerging markets continues to be a core strategy for driving eBay's global e-commerce leadership. eBay is excited about the prospects ahead for both Snapdeal and the eBay India business. We continue to invest in Snapdeal due to its complementary business model, good management team and strong brand," said Jay Lee, senior vice president and APAC managing director, eBay.


"We see eBay's second round of investment in Snapdeal as an endorsement of our strategy and progress. All our current institutional investors, including Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Saama Capital, have participated in this round as well which is a strong endorsement of our team" said Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl.

Last week, Techcircle.in reported that Snapdeal is close to raising a large round led by eBay.

The new funding comes less than a year after it scooped $50 million from eBay, Japan's Recruit Holdings, Intel Capital, Russian venture fund ru-Net and Saama Capital. This round also saw participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital (erstwhile Indo-US Venture Partners).


The latest deal takes total funding for Snapdeal to $237 million across five rounds.

Snapdeal was started as a pure online deals site and later it pivoted to a full-fledged horizontal e-commerce company via a marketplace model in September 2011. This month, Snapdeal forayed into services commerce by launching education marketplace on its portal.

In May last year, it acquired Shopo.in for an undisclosed amount. As a part of the deal, Snapdeal merged the sellers on Shopo with its own horizontal marketplace and shut the Shopo site.


Online auction and shopping marketplace eBay Inc., which entered India after acquiring an existing online site Bazee.com, has built a well-established online marketplace in India but has been facing a new crop of local e-commerce firms such as Flipkart.com. At the same time, it has made standalone investments in digital commerce firms in the country such as Quikr, which is an online classifieds site.


The e-com marketplace funding war


The latest investment will provide the company with the much-needed gunpowder to take on the other bigwigs of the Indian e-commerce space. In October, India's largest consumer e-commerce player Flipkart.com had raised an additional $160 million in the fifth round of funding started in July last year, from new investors, including Belgium-based Sofina, US-based Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Dragoneer Investment Group and Vulcan Capital (founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen), along with participation from existing investor Tiger Global.

Flipkart Pvt Ltd, a Singapore-based holding firm, had previously raised $200 million from existing investors Naspers Group, Accel Partners, ICONIQ Capital, and Tiger Global in the first tranche of the group's fifth round of external funding. This added up to $360 million funding in its fifth round, the largest ever in India. The fresh funding took the total funding for Flipkart thus far to over $540 million.

The other big player that Snapdeal is competing in India is Amazon.in, the marketplace launched in India by Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd, part of the world's largest e-commerce firm Amazon.com.


(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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