Group wholesale portal Snapdeal, one of the country’s leading online retailers, is in superior talks to buy an e-commerce corporation, two people with straight information of the planning said. Snapdeal, which increased $40 million ( Rs 190 crore) end year in one of the leading fundraising deals by an e-commerce firm, is seeking to acquire a small-to-mid-size gateway that will permit it to develop further than the group buying space, one of them said without giving extra details.
Kunal Bahl, CEO of Jasper Innovative Marketing Solutions, Snapdeal’s parent firm, did not reply to an email seeking comments. The Delhi-based company’s moves will be in line with the rapid evolution of the e-commerce industry, which is poised for strong growth as well as consolidation. Just last week, Flipkart announced that it was buying consumer electronics retailer Letsbuy in a cash-and-stock deal estimated to be worth $20 million. Snapdeal last acquired a company in June 2010, when it bought Bangalorebased group buying site Grabbon.com for an undisclosed amount.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is also hastening the consolidation by its measured moves into the Indian e-commerce market, which is expected to grow to $25 billion by 2015 from $10 billion now. The US-based company has opened a warehouse, won permission to start a courier service and recently launched comparison shopping site Junglee , featuring products from most Indian online retailers.
Flipkart is not among those featured on the Junglee site. Mark Tluszcz, co-founder and managing director of Luxembourgbased early-stage fund Mangrove Capital, said that the e-commerce sector is over-funded . “In the coming days e-commerce will see a lot of acquisitions , with a few players ruling.”
In another sign of the impending shake up, Exclusively.in, a fashion and lifestyle portal focused on the NRIs, is looking for buyers, according to an industry insider who regularly advises start-ups . Sunjay Guleria , the founder of Exclusively.in, denied it is up for sale.