India’s second largest home-grown e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal has bought mobile recharge services startup Freecharge. With this deal, Gurgaon-based Snapdeal is looking to boost its mobile commerce business.
While the size of the deal is not officially disclosed, media reports pegged it at around US$540 million.
Post the acquisition, FreeCharge will continue to function as an independent platform, Snapdeal said in a press release.
“With this game-changing partnership with FreeCharge, we have significantly enhanced our user base and now offer all our customers access to the widest selection of products and services online, making digital commerce an even more intrinsic part of their lives,” said Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO, Snapdeal.
The announcement comes barely a week after Snapdeal acquired a majority stake in RupeePower, a digital financial products distribution platform. Previously, the company had acquired Indian designer wear and accessories e-tailer Exclusively and bought a minority stake in logistics firm GoJavas.
Founded in 2010, Freecharge is an online platform that provides pre-paid mobile recharging services to consumers, in partnership with telecom operators such as Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance, Idea, Aircel and BSNL. The portal gives discount coupons to consumers for each transaction done through it. These coupons can be redeemed at various food outlets and retailers.
FreeCharge, which recently nabbed US$80 million in Series C from Valiant Capital and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital, is mainly competing with Paytm and MobiKwik.
Snapdeal is one of the largest e-commerce companies in India, which is backed by a host of high-profile investors including Ratan Tata, eBay, Temasek, Myriad, Tybourne, Blackrock, PremjiInvest, Kalaari Capital and Nexus venture Partners. A few months ago, Snapdeal raked up US$627 million from Japanese telecom and Internet giant SoftBank Corp.