India: Paytm, Snapdeal not the only rivals with a common investor

Paytm founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

The investment by the Alibaba Group in e-commerce firm Paytm, run by One97 Communication Ltd, surprised investors and analysts as the Chinese e-commerce firm recently picked up a small stake in rival Snapdeal.

Typically, large e-commerce companies tend not to share investors, especially a strategic one such as Alibaba, for obvious reasons.

In this case, Paytm and Snapdeal, which is owned by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, are competing directly in the online marketplace and the payments businesses. The presence of Alibaba in both sparked off talk of a potential merger between Snapdeal and Paytm, which was immediately dismissed by the companies and their investors.

While it is rare, there are other cases of Indian e-commerce firms having some investors in common, though not a strategic one such as Alibaba.

In the US, some start-ups share investors. For instance, at one point, well-known venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins held stakes in Google Inc., Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc.

In such scenarios, venture capital firms assign different partners to the competing firms and ensure there is no exchange of information on these businesses among them to avoid conflict of interest.

Here are some prominent instances of large e-commerce firms in India having common investors.

Snapdeal and Flipkart

Kalaari Capital—One of the early investors in Snapdeal became a small shareholder in Flipkart, which acquired another Kalaari portfolio company Myntra in May 2014.

Snapdeal and Shopclues (Clues Network Pvt. Ltd)

Nexus Venture Partners

Flipkart and Shopclues

Tiger Global

Grocery delivery apps Grofers (Locodel Solutions Pvt. Ltd) and Peppertap (Nuvo Logistics Pvt. Ltd)

Sequoia Capital

Food delivery apps TinyOwl Technology Pvt. Ltd and Faasos Food Services Pvt. Ltd

Sequoia Capital

Doctor discovery platforms Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd and 1MG Technologies Pvt. Ltd

Sequoia Capital

Also Read: Alibaba, Ant Financial invest in Indian m-commerce firm Paytm

Kalaari Capital raises $290m third India fund

Sequoia Capital plans new $800m fund for India

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.