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CCI approves Alibaba’s 4.14% stake purchase in Snapdeal

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Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has gotten an approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to buy 4.14% stake in Snapdeal (owned by Jasper Infotech), reports ET. Companies need CCI approval in order to make acquisitions beyond a certain threshold.

Snapdeal had raised $500 million in funding led by Foxconn, Alibaba and existing investor Softbank, with participation from other existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and PremjiInvest, in August. Snapdeal planned to expand its geographical reach and enhance its services with the funding. According to the report, at that time, Foxconn’s FIH Mobile had picked up a 4.27% stake for $200 million. With this in mind, it seems likely that Alibaba invested around $194 million in Snapdeal for its 4.14% stake. 

At the same time, the 20 year old eBay sold a partial stake in Snapdeal for an undisclosed amount to ‘effectively manage its global interests and invest in other strategic initiatives’. eBay would earn the amount it invested from the sale of its partial stake and the opportunity to earn more with its remaining stake.

Snapdeal’s GoJavas investment
Earlier this month, Snapdeal invested $20 million in logistics firm GoJavas to further enhance its supply chain and logistics. GoJavas would use the funds to add 100 more cities to its repertoire in the next 6-12 months. Snapdeal had picked up a minority stake in the company for an undisclosed amount in March this year.

Multichannel platform Janus
Snapdeal also introduced Janus, a multi channel platform where users can discover, buy, same day local delivery and get value added services such as demos, installation, activation and returns at a store near them. At launch, these services would be available for mobile phones, tyres, home appliances and fashion apparel categories in partnership with The Mobile Store, Michelin, Luminous and Shoppers Stop.

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Shopo marketplace
In July, Snapdeal launched Shopo, a zero commission mobile marketplace targeted at small and medium businesses (SMBs), which would combine chat and commerce on smartphones. Snapdeal claims that it would not take any fees and allow SMBs to list their products in a single step. Sellers can list products like bakery and grocery items, toys, collectibles, fashion and utility products.

Snapdeal’s previous funding
Last year, Snapdeal raised $100 million from Temasek Holdings and others in May, $133.7 million from eBay and others in February, $50 million from existing investors in June 2013 and $52 million in 2011 in separate rounds of funding from Bessemer Ventures Partners, Indo-US Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.

Investment in PepperTap
Late last month, Snapdeal invested in PepperTap, the Gurgaon-based hyperlocal grocery service, with PepperTap’s existing investors Sequoia India and SAIF Partners, with participation from new investors Ru-net, JAFCO, and BeeNext. The funding would help PepperTap make use of Snapdeal’s experience to develop its stores’ capabilities and grow sales.

Alibaba’s Paytm investment
In February, Alibaba Group’s affiliate company Ant Financial Services, which operates the online payment solution AliPay, acquired a 25% stake in Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount. Paytm said that it would use the funds to grow its mobile payment ecosystem, and on commerce user base acquisition. More recently, Paytm raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial. According to an ET report, the Alibaba Group will pick up about 20% stake in Paytm for about $680 million which will see Ant Financial’s stake lowered to 20%. The company will use the funds for developing technology, hiring, expanding operations and marketing.

Check our Snapdeal coverage here.

Also read: Snapdeal’s Ashish Chandra on the regulatory challenges that ecommerce companies face in India

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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