eBay is in the process of negotiating some kind of investment deal in Indian e-commerce company, Snapdeal. This news comes from a report in the Hindustan Times. The global online shopping major will be looking at investing in Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, the company behind Snapdeal. The report also says that the investment (if it happens) will come from its Indian arm, so as to avoid flouting the current Indian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules.
Snapdeal started up in 2010 when Kunal Bahl wanted to get a daily deal platform set up in the country just when the e-commerce craze was just beginning. Snapdeal has transitioned from being a daily deals site to a full fledged e-commerce marketplace over the last 3 years. This may have been so because the daily deals model itself may not have been sustainable for the company to grow. The company got into e-commerce but adopted a marketplace approach, which strangely, is what eBay is famous for! The marketplace model helped the business grow and according to numbers released by the company, Snapdeal now has 18 million users and adding a million users per month. The company delivers to 5000 cities and towns in the country. Snapdeal claims that it is the biggest online marketplace in the country.
In terms of funding, Snapdeal has been well funded. They have raised a total of $52 million in funding. Their first round in January, 2011 got them $12 million from Nexus Venture Partners and Indo-US Venture Partners. Their second round for $40 million was secured in July, 2011, a mere 6 months after their first round. This time, the funding round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with the existing VC firms participating in it.
Both, eBay and Snapdeal have refused comment about the investment deal and hence nothing is confirmed. We will be getting back to you with more details once we get them.