One of India’s largest e-commerce marketplaces, Snapdeal, has raised $500-million from investors led by Chinese giant Alibaba, Taiwan’s Foxconn, and Japan’s SoftBank.
The latest fundraising round, which comes as another shot in the arm for the Digital India initiative, now values Snapdeal at over $2.5 billion.
“This investment in Snapdeal enhances our exposure to India’s burgeoning ecommerce industry. Snapdeal has a strong presence in mobile commerce and it fits our strategy of investing in innovative companies that are transforming the way people transact,” Alibaba said in a statement.
In the Indian e-commerce sector, Snapdeal competes with rivals Flipkart and Amazon for market share.
According to Snapdeal, existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and Premji Invest have also participated in the new funding round.
US-based eBay, one of the early supporters of Snapdeal, announced it will be selling its stake to boost its own business in India.
In 2014, Snapdeal had already raised some $627 million in investment from Japanese technology giant SoftBank, coming on top of the $350 million previously raised since the company was founded in 2010.
Snapdeal sees the majority of its business on smartphones and mobile devices.
The e-commerce sector is booming in India as a result of a growing tech-savvy generation and real estate and logistical constraints holding traditional retail back.
India’s e-retail market is worth $2.3 billion in annual sales, according to consultancy Technopak. This figure is forecast to rise to around $31 billion by 2020.
Tagged: Investment, Digital India