Jason Kothari, chief strategy and investment officer at Snapdeal, has made a personal investment in ItsByU, a flower e-commerce company in the US, according to a person with direct knowledge of the development.
ItsByU is an inventory-free, subscription-based online platform which delivers fresh flowers, tools and online tutorials for flower arrangement.
It was founded by sisters Caroline and Christine Strzalka. Caroline is a Wharton graduate and Christine is a New York University alumna and a flower industry veteran. Other investors in the company include Techstars, Wharton Angel Network and retail giant Target Corporation.
The amount Kothari invested couldn't be ascertained. Kothari declined to speak about his investment while Caroline Strzalka did not immediately respond to a query.
Kothari, a Wharton graduate, had worked for many years in the US where he led Valiant Entertainment as the CEO and made a number of angel investments there.
He had earlier invested in Throwingfruit, a video marketing and distribution platform. Earlier, he had exited Dealflicks, a platform for discounted movie tickets and concessions, which was backed by 500 Startups and Warner Brothers, among others.
Kothari joined Snapdeal a year ago to lead its strategy and fundraising functions. He is actively involved in building the new inventory-free pure e-commerce model that Snapdeal adopted after walking out of merger talks with Flipkart.
Earlier, Kothari was heading Snapdeal payments arm FreeCharge prior to its sale to Axis Bank. Besides the FreeCharge sale, Kothari also led the sale of Snapdeal’s logistics unit Vulcan Express to Future Supply Chain.
Currently, Kothari is reportedly involved in the sale talks of Snapdeal subsidiary Unicommerce with companies such as Amazon and Intuit. He also serves on the board of real estate developer Emaar India.
Kothari came to Snapdeal from real estate portal Housing.com, where he was named CEO after the ouster of co-founder Rahul Yadav. After his appointment, he scaled back businesses, pruned workforce and shut operations in many cities to keep the company afloat. Housing.com investors had explored its merger with a number of players, before sealing a deal with PropTiger. The merged entity also raised $55 million in fresh funding from Real Estate Australia Group and SoftBank.
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