Ratan Tata Plans to Invest in Snapdeal

After Flipkart raised USD 1 billion last week and Amazon announced USD 2 billion for its Indian business, now Tata Sons’ chairman Ratan Tata is planning to invest an undisclosed amount in an Indian e-commerce player, Snapdeal, reports TOI. Recently, Snapdeal was also planning to secure USD 300 million in PE funding, according to VCCirlce report.

But, there is no confirmation from the founders of Snapdeal or from Tata office and no clarity on the stake that Tata looks to hold. People close to Snapdeal said, about a month ago, Tata had also visited the firm’s headquarters in Delhi and interacted with its employees.

snapdeal

Also Read: Snapdeal.com Launches a Mobile Application for Sellers

Earlier, Snapdeal had raised USD 100 million in PE, USD 133.7 million in Series F, USD 75 million in Series E, USD 75 million in Series D, USD 40 million in Series B and USD 12 million in Series A. The company having a total capital to date is USD 435.7 million. It is backed by 14 investors and had made 4 acquisitions, till date. Last year, the firm had made an Seed investment of USD 20,000 in online chat portal, Zumbi.

The company claims to have about five million products across various categories such as apparel, mobiles and electronics with over 25 million subscribers. Also, it generates over 50% of its orders from mobile phones.

First Post says: In an earlier report in The Economic Times, Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl was quoted as saying in that he was being pursued by internal and external investors “aggressively”. Taking a jab at rival Flipkart’s recent fund raising activities, Bahl told ET, “Even in six months or 12 months, how do you theoretically spend hundreds of millions of dollars? I don’t know how to spend that money in our business model. How much TV advertising can you do, how many people can you hire?” He added that a certain company’s valuation (Flipkart’s was pegged at about $7 billion after the fund raising round) was ‘ridiculously high’.

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More from Times of India: Another Indian business tycoon, Wipro’s Azim Premj, has laid bets on the Indian consumer internet story through his family office PremjiInvest by picking up minority stakes in Myntra, now merged with Flipkart, and Snapdeal. Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy recently formed an e-commerce joint venture with Amazon through his private investment firm Catamaran Ventures.

Other big Indian business houses with interests in offline retail like Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail and the Aditya Birla Group have now begun unfolding their e-commerce plans as an increasing number of Indians shop online, driven in large part by rising smartphone penetration. India’s galloping internet user base is now estimated at over 240 million, raising the possibility of it emerging as the world’s largest digital commerce market along with China.

To contact the author, email at sujata@iamwire.com.

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