Did Snapdeal abandon group buying model too early?

Photo: Mint

Seven years and nearly $2 billion in 12 funding rounds after it started out, e-commerce provider Snapdeal, which did a series of makeovers in its quest for viability, has finally conceded defeat. Confronted with mounting losses and dwindling cash, its largest shareholder SoftBank Group Corp., is pushing through its sale to rival Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. Its impending fire sale, as well as the declining fortunes of Groupon, the American company it originally set out to emulate in India, is the sharpest signal yet that the expansive e-commerce model, driven purely by heavy discounting, is coming unstuck.

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