Indian e-commerce site Snapdeal raises $50M from eBay

Steven Loeb · April 1, 2013 · Short URL:

Ebay reportedly looking to invest in India in order to expand own international business

With an eye on emerging global expansion, eBay has made a strategic investment that might just allow it to beat out Amazon for one of the world's fastest growing markets.

Online marketplace Snapdeal has raised a new $50 million round of financing, led by eBay. The news was first reported Monday by NextBigWhat, and has since been confirmed to TechCrunch.

The round also featured participation from existing investor Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and IndoUS Venture Partners. The round reportedly closed four months ago, but it is only first being reported now.

Snapdeal has previously raised a $12 million investment led by Nexus Venture Partners and IndoUS Venture Partners in January 2011, and a $40 million Series B from  Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and IndoUS Venture Partners in August 2011. This latest funding raises the company's total to $102 million.

There is no indication for what Snapdeal plans to do with the money it has raised.

Vator reached out to Snapdeal to independently confirm the news but the company was unavailable at this time. We will update with any further information if and when we receive it.

Snapdeal was founded in 2008, and started life as a coupon site, offering discounts and coupons for local businesses all across India. Much like Groupon, the site showed the value of the purchase, the percent discount and how much will be saved. Customers paid part of their portion online and the remaining amount directly to the merchant.

In April 2012, though Snapdeal decided to abandon the daily deals model, and became an online marketplace, in the vein of eBay and Amazon.

So why would eBay invest in a company that is now their competitor? To expand its presence in India, according to NextBigWhat.

India is obviously an emerging market, and eBay is looking to expand there before Amazon does. The company does have eBay India, but the site only has 4 million users.

Snapdeal, on the other hand, reported over 18 million registered users as of September 2012, featuring over 50 million merchants. It ships to over 4,000 towns and cities in India, features 3,000 brands, over 250,000 listed products in over 200 categories, including fashion, home goods, books, automotive, mobile devices and consumer electronics. The company ships over 25,000 units a day.

Snapdeal was one of 40 companies that eBay reportedly looked into investing in India, finding good synergy with Snapdeal, and particularly liking their marketplace model. The deal is one of the biggest investment raised by any e-commerce company in nearly a year.

 A spokesperson for eBay declined to comment on the news.

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