Snapdeal in talks to raise fresh funding, bags investment from Anand Piramal

A private security gurad stands at a gate of Snapdeal headquarters in Gurugram on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Two years after a failed merger with Flipkart and a subsequent turnaround of sorts, online marketplace Snapdeal is in initial talks to raise a fresh round of funding, said three people familiar with the matter, requesting anonymity. The talks are at a fairly early stage and investor names have not been finalized yet.

The development also comes just a month after Snapdeal’s acquisition talks with ShopClues fell through.

“They have been talking to some investors in the US, but there is nothing concrete yet,” said one of the persons mentioned above.

If the talks materialize, it will be Snapdeal’s first external funding since May 2017, when it had raised an emergency round from existing investor Nexus Venture Partners, besides founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.

It is also scouting for B2B firms to make acqui-hires or acquisitions in logistics and inventory management, among others, said three other people familiar with the company’s plans, requesting anonymity. It has held talks with at least one small tech company, said one of these people.

“One of the challenges Snapdeal faces is losing out on tech talent. Acqui-hire would be cheaper and a faster way to add tech talent,” said another of the three familiar with the company’s plans.

A Snapdeal spokesperson, however, denied any plans for fund-raising or acquisitions.

In a separate development, Snapdeal said Piramal Group executive director Anand Piramal has invested an undisclosed sum in his personal capacity. “Snapdeal’s sharp execution in bringing great selection to the mass market segment in tier II-III cities has been quite successful,” said Piramal. “Since 2017, Snapdeal’s revenues have grown rapidly with profitable unit economics,” he said.

After the merger with Flipkart fell through, the company went through a series of changes as part of its ‘Snapdeal 2.0’ vision and scripted a turnaround. It cut costs and shed a chunk of its workforce and also sold its payments unit, Freecharge, and logistics company Vulcan to accumulate enough to execute Snapdeal 2.0. The idea was to cut costs and sharpen focus on un-branded products for tier II and III town consumers.

Snapdeal had narrowed its losses by 71% from FY18 to ₹186 crore in 2018-19. The company said 80% of its subscribers come from small towns and cities. It also claims that the platform has added more than 60,000 new sellers in the last two years, who have in turn added more than 50 million listings. Snapdeal has more than 500,000 registered sellers with over 200 million listings on the platform.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.