Indian E-commerce Giant Snapdeal Acquires MartMobi To Build Its Mobile Platform

Snapdeal, one of the largest e-commerce players in India, has snapped up MartMobi for an undisclosed amount. Based in Hyderabad, Martmobi helped vendors build mobile apps and sites. Snapdeal said the acquisition will help improve its mobile experience for sellers and customers on its marketplace.

India is Asia’s fastest-growing smartphone market, according to IDC, and mobile is the first point of access for many Internet users. For e-commerce platforms, this means it is essential to make mobile apps and sites that are not only easy to browse and purchase from, but also navigable for vendors managing large amounts of inventory and transactions.

Mobile is important enough that Snapdeal competitor Myntra recently closed down its website to direct more customers to its apps, while Flipkart is also reportedly planning to go “app-only.”

While purchasing from an online seller that doesn’t have a website might be an unusual experience for e-commerce shoppers in the U.S., it makes sense in India because broadband connections are slow, and focusing on mobile apps give companies more control over the loading speed and quality of their stores.

Snapdeal says 75 percent of its sales are made through mobile transactions and that 70 percent of its sellers have used its apps to list products and manage transactions. The company is building out its mobile capabilities with an investment and acquisition spree. Last month it purchased Freecharge, which gives customers rewards in return for using its platform to pay phone credit and utility bills.

While Freecharge continues to operate independently, MartMobi and its employees will be folded into Snapdeal’s main operations.

In a press release, MartMobi founder and former chief executive officer Satya Krishna Ganni said, “Mobile is the way forward and all our efforts will be directed towards creating world class mobile technology at Snapdeal.”

Founded in 2010, Snapdeal has received a total of $1.1 billion in funding so far, including a $627 million round led by SoftBank.