Daily Management Review

Indian e-Commerce Startup Snapdeal Raise $200 mn while its Valuation Jumps Nearly $2 billion in 7 months


Indian e-Commerce Startup Snapdeal Raise $200 mn while its Valuation Jumps Nearly $2 billion in 7 months
Indian online retailer Snapdeal has raised another $200 million or Rs 1,367.6 crore, just seven months after it raised $500 million even as signs emerge of a drying up of funds for Indian startups.
Media reports say that the organizations that invested this time in the Indian company include Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of the largest pension funds in the world, Brother Fortune Apparel, a company based in Singapore, and Iron Pillar, a venture capital firm.
Media reports claim that the company has been valued above $6.5 billion, a steep jump up from $4.8 billion in August when it raised $500 million, says reports in the Economic Times while the Business Standard states that this happened at the latest round of funding – the 11th.
After Flipkart, this round of investments makes it the second most valued ecommerce company. Flipkart has been valued around $15 billion.
A total fund of $2 billion was raised by Jasper Infotech, the company that owns Snapdeal, said media reports.
"We see these investments as a continuing endorsement of Snapdeal's strategy to build India's most reliable and frictionless commerce ecosystem. We continue to make targeted investments in building internal and external capabilities that will enable us to consistently deliver optimal experience for the millions of buyers and sellers who transact daily on Snapdeal," said Jasper CFO Anup Vikal has been quoted as saying in a statement.
Enhancement of its "technology platform, logistics, payments and back-end infrastructure" would be made by the latest proceeds according to reports. Bennett Coleman & Co, the publisher of The Economic Times and The Times of India, has also invested Rs 25.49 crore in the company's warrants apart from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Brother Fortune Apparel.
According to latest data available in the public domain, the five-year-old e-commerce company serves more than 6,000 cities and towns in the country with more than 275,000 sellers and over 30 million products.
At this juncture the Indian government is considering permitting 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the marketplace format of e-commerce retailing, the model followed by companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal and the funding during the latest round comes amidst this scenario.
There are two business models for an e-commerce firm - through marketplace model or an inventory based model. The e-commerce company provides an online platform for buyers and sellers in the marketplace model. In contrast, the company owns and keeps the goods in warehouses in the inventory model.
The Indian government will soon roll out detailed guidelines on the norms on FDI in the sectors such as e-commerce, IT and ITeS, reported the media last week citing sources.  
There have been suggestions made by the Department of Industrial Policy and Planning for 100% FDI to be allowed in “marketplace model e-commerce” activities according to these sources.
At present while homegrown players such as Flipkart and Snapdeal have foreign investments even as there are no clear FDI guidelines on various online retail models,global e-tailer giants such as Amazon and Ebay are operating online marketplaces in India.
 (Sources:www.reuters.com & www.firstpost.com)