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Following Flipkart, Snapdeal to buy an advertising firm?


Online retailer Snapdeal is in advanced talks to acquire advertising technology company Komli Media in a deal that values the latter at around $300 million sources told ET. According to the sources, this gives Snapdeal engineering capabilities in Bangalore and enables it to sell advertising space on its website.

If Snapdeal does indeed pick up Komli, it would not be an entirely unexpected move by the e-commerce major. Competitor Flipkart had purchased the mobile advertising firm AdlQuity for an undisclosed amount just last week, to help it move into broader areas and foray into advertising. According to Flipkart, allowing merchants advertise on its platform will be a significant source of revenue since it has large amounts of consumer data, and the transactions part of the business is a loss making business.

Snapdeal likely feels the same way, and by purchasing Komli Media it could use user behavior data to target customers on Komli’s platform across publishers. For example, electronics brands could target customers who search for phones on Snapdeal with ads for phone accessories. However, a Snapdeal spokesperson denied the development to ET.

Komli currently offers an integrated cross-channel CRM remarketing platform RevX, which it launched in October last year. Besides CRM remarketing, RevX also offers integrations with Facebook’s custom audience targeting, website custom audience and Facebook Exchange. The ad firm had initially launched a mobile retargeting platform in May last year and had moved beyond the ‘ad network’ space by launching its remarketing Demand Side Platform (DSP) in February the same year.

Snapdeal acquisitions:

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– Last month, Snapdeal acquired the online luxury fashion store Exclusively.com (formerly Exclusively.in) for an undisclosed amount. Note that Exclusively.in was acquired by rival Myntra in 2012. But it seems that Myntra has sold back its entire stake in the company back to founder Sunjay Guleria in second half of 2013 and the company has been operating independently ever since.

– In December last year, Snapdeal acquired gift recommendation portal Wishpicker.com for an undisclosed amount. This was Snapdeal’s second acquisition last year. It had previously acquired the Delhi-based fashion & lifestyle product discovery site Doozton, in April.

– In May 2013, Snapdeal had acquired handicraft marketplace Shopo.in for an undisclosed amount. Following this the site was shut down and the products were integrated to Snapdeal. Similarly it had also acquired the online retailer of sports and fitness equipment Esportsbuy.com, in April 2012, which was also shut down two months later. Back in 2010, the company had acquired the group buying site Grabbon.

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