eBay is leading a $133.77 million funding round in Snapdeal, India’s fast-growing shopping site.
This could lead to a buyout of Snapdeal further down the line, which eBay has done in other markets. eBay has already invested $50 million into the New Delhi-based startup and contributed the majority of this current round. Snapdeal’s existing investors also participated.
Snapdeal’s chief executive Kunal Bahl paid the VentureBeat office a visit earlier this month. Bahl said the company is preparing for an initial public offering on the U.S. markets within the next 24 months — potentially even sooner. According to Bahl, Snapdeal is set to pull in $500 million in revenue this fiscal year, making it an attractive prospect for foreign investors.
“We are the market leading company in the largest growing space in India,” Bahl told me. “People who didn’t invest in Alibaba won’t want to miss the one in India.”
Bahl started the company in 2010 with childhood friend Rohit Bansal. After the U.S. rejected his visa application to in the States, Bahl returned to his hometown to ponder ideas for an e-commerce venture. He saw a gap in the market in India for a company that could select the best independent businesses and sell their products online.
Today, Snapdeal competes with Flipkart, Amazon’s India site and eBay India.
Snapdeal’s model is most similar to China’s dominant e-commerce company Alibaba. Employees screen potential buyers before approving them to sell their wares on Snapdeal. The company only sells new products, which can be returned within seven days free of charge.
“Accelerating growth in India and other emerging markets continues to be a core strategy for driving eBay’s global e-commerce leadership. eBay is excited about the prospects ahead for both Snapdeal and the eBay India business,” said eBay senior vice president Jay Lee in a statement.
“We continue to invest in Snapdeal due to its complementary business model, good management team and strong brand.”
Snapdeal has also raised its funding from Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and others.