How Snapdeal's downfall is Paytm's gain with FreeCharge

How Snapdeal's downfall is Paytm's gain with FreeCharge

How Snapdeal's downfall is Paytm's gain with FreeCharge

Earlier news agency PTI had reported that Softbank, Japenese investor in Snapdeal, was close to getting approval from its partner investor Nexus Venture Partners for Snapdeal's sale to Flipkart.

Alibaba Group-backed Paytm has signed a non-exclusive term sheet to acquire rival FreeCharge, the digital payments platform owned and operated by beleaguered online marketplace Snapdeal, in what is expected to be an all-cash deal.

After convincing early-stage investor in Snapdeal, Kalaari Capital, to agree to the sale, SoftBank is said to be close to getting the nod of approval from Nexus as well.

The impending merger of troubled e-commerce firm Snapdeal with bigger rival Flipkart could happen as early as next week, two persons familiar with the matter.

The last few months have seen e-commerce companies like Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart intensify their efforts to garner for customers and get more sellers on board.

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group on Wednesday said it has recorded loss from investments to the tune of $1.4 billion, or over Rs 9,000 crore, for 2016-17 in Indian startups like Snapdeal and Ola. The valuation, however, has shrunk since then and the potential deal could see Snapdeal being reportedly valued at about $1 billion. The deal would also include SoftBank spending around $1.5 billion to buy-out a double-digit stake held by U.S. investor Tiger Global in Flipkart. While Snapdeal officials declined to comment on the deal, Flipkart officials did not respond to calls made by DH.

Losses at Snapdeal ballooned to Rs 3,315 crore in 2015-16 on a revenue of Rs 1,506.8 crore, according to RoC filings.

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With Snapdeal's dismal showing in the last few quarters, SoftBank's investment of almost $900 million is running thin.

While the company was able to grow its revenues from ₹76 crore in 2011 to ₹1,457 crore in 2016, its losses widened to ₹2,960 crore in March 2016.

Meanwhile, reports have said that Snapdeal's mobile wallet service Freecharge could be sold separately with players like Paytm and MobiKwik being in the fray.

Snapdeal in recent months has had to trim its workforce significantly and shut down non-core businesses.

The Snapdeal founders Bahl and Bansal have gone directly to employees with a string of townhall meetings, promising profit and brushing off takeover talk. Both firms, run by Jasper Infotech and ANI Technologies respectively, are among SoftBank's largest investments in India.

The company is also aiming for a pie in the online grocery market.

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