Snapdeal, India’s second largest e-commerce site, has pulled in $200 million in new funding via an investment led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the Canadian investment vehicle with over $150 billion in assets.
The investment comes six months after Snapdeal, which is generally seen as second to Flipkart with Amazon in third, secured a $500 million windfall from Alibaba, SoftBank and Foxconn in August.
“We see these investments as a continuing endorsement of Snapdeal’s strategy to build India’s most reliable and frictionless commerce ecosystem,” Snapdeal CFO Anup Vikal said in a statement. “We continue to make targeted investments in building internal and external capabilities that will enable us to consistently deliver optimal experience for the millions of buyers and sellers who transact daily on Snapdeal.”
There was no valuation attached to this new raise, which takes Snapdeal’s total funding to around $1.8 billion. Flipkart, meanwhile, has raised $3.2 billion in funding from investors like Naspers, Tiger Global and DST Global, while Amazon pledged $2 billion for its Indian operations back in 2014, a figure that could soon be topped up with an addition $5 billion. Interestingly, Alibaba is reportedly talking to Flipkart about an investment, which — if completed — would put it on multiple teams.
Six-year-old Snapdeal claims to have over 30 million products from some 275,000 sellers — a figure boosted by its marketplace — and reach across over 6,000 towns and cities in India. Flipkart claims the same 30 million product figure, and 45 million registered users. Figures for Amazon in India are not clear, but analysts generally agreed that the gap is narrowing. Amazon claims it was India’s most visited e-commerce site in October 2015, but it has not released further data or made additional claims.
Snapdeal and Flipkart have long been tipped to go public, but they look like being pipped to the post by Shopclues, a lesser (but fast-rising) rival that is now valued at over $1 billion following a Series E round in the region of $150-$200 million. CEO Sanjay Sethi told TechCrunch an IPO is planned for next year.
Another e-commerce contender is PayTM, a company that operates India’s largest mobile wallet and is (also) backed by Alibaba and valued at over $1 billion. Last week we reported that PayTM is close to securing an additional $400 million in funding to build out an Alibaba/Alipay-style Internet bank to bolster its position. Snapdeal moved to counter PayTM’s threat when it acquired FreeCharge, a payment and recharge service, for a reported $450 million, and Flipkart has also forayed into new verticals, including payments, via deals.