Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl together own just 6.38% of the e-commerce firm, a fourth lower than what they held in the company two years ago.
CEO Bahl owns 3.94% of Snapdeal while chief operating officer Bansal holds 2.44%, according to a report by Mint on Friday, citing documents with the Registrar of Companies.
This is down from the 8.5% stake the duo held in Snapdeal, which is run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, in 2014.
Japanese telecom and Internet giant Softbank Group Corp is the largest stakeholder in the company and owns 33%. A 4.5% stake has been allocated as employee stock options, the report said.
Founders only a small stake in a company is common among Indian startups, particularly consumer Internet firms that have raised multiple rounds of funding. Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal own 14-15% of the company while Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Ola co-founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati together own 20% and 10% of their respective firms.
Snapdeal has raised around $1.65 billion from about two dozen investors. These include SoftBank and SoftBank-backed Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, Taiwanese contract electronics maker Foxconn, global online marketplace eBay Inc., the ad-for-equity investment arm of Indian media firm Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, and venture capital investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Kalaari Capital.
SoftBank had led a $627 million round of investment in the company in late 2014 followed by another round of $500 million last year. Last month, Softbank pared down the value of its investment in the e-commerce platform as well as in cab-hailing company Ola.
Snapdeal, founded in 2010, has been trying to cut costs and focus more on profitability. The pressure on Snapdeal is evident from two recent developments. The company has shut down Exclusively.com, a marketplace for premium branded fashion and lifestyle products, about 18 months after acquiring the startup. It has also been in talks with several investors, including Foxconn, to sell a stake in its payments unit FreeCharge. Snapdeal had acquired FreeCharge in early 2015.
In August, VCCircle reported that Snapdeal has initiated preliminary talks with staunch rivals Flipkart and Amazon to explore a possible merger.
Snapdeal's major competitor, Flipkart, is also facing distress due to repeated markdowns in its valuation amid efforts to raise funding. US Investment firm Vanguard and a mutual fund managed by Morgan Stanley have recently yet again marked down the value of their shares in Flipkart.