Is Paytm acquiring Snapdeal and in turn swallowing Freecharge as well? That’s been the question doing the rounds since morning.
Multiple sources — employees at Snapdeal, have confirmed to Techseen that huge number of employees from the digital sales team at Snapdeal and Freecharge have been laid off.
Incidentally, news of Alibaba putting in anything between $200 million to $250 million into India’s mobile commerce and wallet company, Paytm, too broke in today.
Techseen couldn’t independently verify the developments from official spokespersons of any of the companies.
Another source from Snapdeal also said that in the wake of Alibaba’s latest investment in Paytm, the Chinese e-commerce giant is pushing the online payment and commerce company to finish what it started last year. The top bosses of both the companies are said to be in a huddle behind closed doors since morning.
Alibaba has been eager to enter the Indian e-commerce market and was looking for an Indian partner to launch its e-commerce business. Last year, media reports claimed that it was in talks with Flipkart but nothing concrete was established. Apart from the current funding, Alibaba Group and its affiliates Ant Financial have pumped in $680 million into Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, in the past. Alibaba reportedly has 40% stakes in Paytm.
If the speculations are true, and Alibaba is indirectly able to get Snapdeal into its consortium, India will become the hub from where Alibaba can wage a war with its western counterpart and largest competitor, Amazon.
The rumor mill has been on overdrive for pretty long and reports of Alibaba trying to scoop up Snapdeal have cropped up in the past too. However, the rumors of this deal were rubbished by Kunal Bahl , Co-Founder and CEO, Snapdeal, last month, when he tweeted, “Rumour rumour on the wall, which troll did you call. You said sold, they said bought, but whoever listened to you didn’t get diddly squat.”
Rumour rumour on the wall, which troll did you call
You said sold, they said bought, but whoever listened to you didn't get diddly squat.
— Kunal Bahl (@1kunalbahl) December 1, 2016