Snapdeal denies reports of Alibaba's acquisition interest
After reports sprung on China's Alibaba expressing its interest in acquiring Indian e-commerce portal Snapdeal, the Indian company denied the reports. The reports stated that Alibaba is engaged in talks with Snapdeal for a merger and acquisition deal worth $2 billion. Snapdeal's co-founder Kunal Bahl confirmed that the reports were false and no discussions had taken place.
Alibaba is an e-commerce company that hosts various services such as online auctions, money transfers and mobile commerce. Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, a former high school teacher, the company grew to touch a valuation of $212 billion last year. After scripting tremendous growth over the years, the company has been eyeing international markets through acquisitions and investments.
Alibaba's India entry
Last year, Alibaba made its first entry into the country with a 25% investment in e-commerce company Paytm's parent organization.
Snapdeal is an Indian e-commerce company based in New Delhi. The company was started by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal six years ago. It has now grown to reach over 6,000 towns across the country. One of its first investors, Alibaba, had been in talks with the Indian company to help enable it to enter India's online retail space.
"If Alibaba actually enters India in tie-ups with the other e-commerce companies, the sector could well split into two camps-Amazon versus the rest,'' said Harish H V, partner, Grant Thornton.
Alibaba's rising interest across India's e-commerce space
Earlier this year, reports surfaced on Alibaba's interest in capturing India's domestic e-commerce market in an attempt to overtake rivals Amazon and Flipkart. The company was reportedly eyeing stakes in ShopClues in August this year. Reports stated that Alibaba was looking to merge its Paytm stake with ShopClues. The Chinese online giant had also expressed interest in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.