It is boom time in Indian e-commerce space. The heat is on for an epic race between Snapdeal, FlipKart and Amazon India. All 3 major players are vying to corner a piece of the lucrative Indian market that a Goldman Sachs report pegged at $100 billion (FY20201) reports the Economic Times.
FlipKart and Amazon have invested hundreds of millions dollars to expand and improve their operations in India. And now comes this news that Snapdeal has snagged $200 million in a fresh round of funding from Canada’s Ontario Teacher’s Pension Fund and Iron Pillar according to LiveMint. SnapDeal’s valuation is now $6.5 billion according to The Wall Street Journal.
Snapdeal was founded in 2010 by Kunal Behl and Rohit Bansal. In 2011 the startup landed its first two investment rounds of $55 and there has been no looking back since then. Snapdeal, which is owned by Jasper Infotech has so far raised $2 billion in investments according to The Economic Times.
Snapdeal and FlipKart have yet to make a profit. Amazon with its deep, deep pockets is infusing a lot of capital to capture a valuable slice of the Indian e-commerce space.
Former Googler Punit Soni has left Silicon Valley to join Bangalore-based e-commerce company Flipkart as its Chief Product Officer according to The Business Insider. This is an interesting development since Soni has left a high-profile job at Google to join Flipkart, another high-profile company, whose valuation is over $10 billion. Flipkart raised $700 million in its latest round of funding in December 2014.
The e-commerce space in India is pretty competitive with Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal duking it out and trying to capture the market.
Soni joined Google in 2007 and worked on Google news and archives for 2 years. And from 2009 he worked in Google’s mobile division and rose up to become VP of Product, Motorola Mobility according to his LinkedIn profile.
This is what Soni wrote in his Google Plus post on joining Flipkart:
“My goal and mandate will be to help build the world’s best product company with a global ambition. Over time, we will build programs to attract the best talent to Bangalore and also establish a significant presence back home in the Valley.”
But, given Soni’s strong, hands-on experience in the mobile space at Google – could it be that mobile will be one of his top focus at Flipkart? Mobile is a key factor in giving a competitive edge to any e-commerce company in India. If Flipkart wants to snag the top spot then the mobile piece becomes pretty crucial. It will be interesting to see what Soni brings to the table at Flipkart.
You can read Soni’s post on why he is joining Flipkart and NYT’s post on Soni joining Flipkart.
Photo credit: Punit Soni’s Google Plus Page