India's Snapdeal founders, Nexus reach deal with SoftBank for sale to Flipkart

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Snapdeal is going through a tough time, with reports of its imminent acquisition by Flipkart and investor SoftBank writing down its investment in the e-commerce company.

Due diligence is scheduled to begin next week, with Flipkart executives expected to visit Snapdeal offices and warehouses. Softbank has been making every effort to get NVP on board for the sale of Snapdeal, and a breakthrough could come as early as this week.

Sources said that Snapdeal founders would get about Rs 160 crores each, while NVP could get close to Rs 643 crores and stake in the merged entity. The valuation, however, has shrunk since then and the potential deal could see the embattled e-commerce firm being valued at about $1 billion, said market watchers. The sale reported by FactorDaily comes with a valuation of $950 million, which will force many Snapdeal investors to take a haircut.

Snapdeal and SoftBank were not immediately reachable for comment, while Nexus declined to comment.

Valued at United States dollars 6.5 billion in February 2016, Snapdeal has seen the valuation shrink since then and industry watchers said the potential sale to Flipkart could be done at about USD 1 billion.

Sources also told YourStory that Freecharge is expecting the deal size to be in the bracket of $70 million to $90 million. Ola raised another $100 million from Ratan Tata's UC RNT Fund and Falcon Edge which saw its valuation inch up to $3.5 billion.

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ANI Technologies, which runs Ola, reported revenues of Rs 758.23 crore in 2015-16 and a loss of around Rs 2,313.7 crore.

A post from ET states, Indian e-commerce companies have seen funding dry up over the last few months as investors are focussing extensively on profitability and rationalisation of expenses.

Jasper InfoTech, the parent company of Snapdeal, has been pumping in money into FreeCharge, having put in about '420 crore according to documents filed with the registrar of companies.

While the company was able to grow its revenues from ₹76 crore in 2011 to ₹1,457 crore in 2016, its losses widened to ₹2,960 crore in March 2016. There have been reports that Snapdeal's mobile wallet service Freecharge could be sold separately with players like Paytm and MobiKwik being in the fray. Snapdeal founders Bahl and Bansal have been offered $15 million each, with an additional $30 million for the entire management team and employees at Snapdeal.

Softbank-backed e-commerce firm Snapdeal has finally agreed to sign a non-binding letter of intent for a merger with Flipkart.

But as the number three player, it also is under growing pressure from investors to consider its bottom line, as well as market share.