Snapdeal to set up mobile-focused startup incubator & seed fund
Delhi-based Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, owner of Snapdeal.com, the second-largest e-commerce company in India, is launching its own mobile-focused technology incubator and seed fund as it is looking to offer more services to its end consumers, according to The Economic Times report citing Abhishek Kumar, head, corporate development, at Snapdeal.
The incubator and seed fund will be launched in this financial year. The company may also consider partnering with other incubators or mobile companies for the initiative. It will incubate about eight ventures in a batch for a period of two months and provide seed funding to the incubatee companies.
"We will start looking for companies once we have an interface for it, which will be separate from Snapdeal," said Kumar.
Snapdeal was started as a pure online deals site and later it pivoted to a full-fledged horizontal e-commerce company via a marketplace model in September 2011. It offers over five million products across more than 500 categories. The company claims to have over 25 million members and 50,000 sellers, and is delivering to over 5,000 cities and towns in India. It further claims to have witnessed 600 per cent growth year-on-year for the last two years. The current team size is 1,500 employees.
The firm recently received an undisclosed amount in funding from Ratan Tata, former chief of Tata Group and currently chairman emeritus of group's holding company Tata Sons. Prior to this, Snapdeal had raised around $320 million.
In July this year, the company had appointed Kumar, who was previously heading investments in Palaash Ventures, to look after acquisitions, investments and deep partnerships that can lead to mergers. He is also responsible to look at all avenues of inorganic expansion for the e-commerce player.
A few months ago, the company's co-founder Kunal Bahl mentioned that he is acquiring two technology startups, one of which is in the space of helping buyers discover products easily and the other provides technology to sellers, enabling them to sell better and sell more. He also added that they are looking at acquiring two more companies.
Flipkart owned fashion e-tailer Myntra.com, is also set to launch a fashion incubator next month in an attempt to gain complete dominance of the fast-growing online apparel category.