bank of baroda to buy freecharge, paytm to buy freecharge, mobile wallet freecharge, flipkart to buy snapdeal, snapdeal founders kunal shah
Reuters file

Two years after acquiring FreeCharge, its owner and e-commerce firm Snapdeal is apparently in talks with suitors who are keen to buy the mobile wallet company. Bidders looking forward to purchasing the mobile wallet include rival Paytm, state-owned lender Bank of Baroda and a media group's arm.

"All the three are the frontrunners for the deal," business portal quoted one of the persons familiar with the development as saying.

Mumbai-based Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd's FreeCharge was founded in 2010 by Kunal Shah and sold to Snapdeal in April 2015 for $400 million.

The news comes amid reports of Flipkart planning to acquire Snapdeal, which incurred losses of Rs 3,316 crore in 2015-16 on revenues of Rs 1,457 crore.

FreeCharge's investors include Sequoia Capital, Sofina ruNet, Tandon Group, Tybourne Capital Management and InnoVen Capital, according to start-up tracking firm Tracxn.

Earlier, in April 2017, it was reported by news agency Bloomberg that FreeCharge could be merged with another rival Mobikwik in an all-cash deal.

"The talks started last week as people from MobiKwik and Freecharge met to discuss a merger. This would make them one of the largest in the market. The Chinese investor is interested in putting in around $200 million in the merged entity as only a bigger player would be able to hold its own against Paytm," the agency quoted a source as saying.

Both the firms were valued at around $300 million each.

Snapdeal is owned by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd. and was co-founded in 2010 by Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl. The company has raised $1.78 billion to date.

The most recent news about the company is that it issued preference shares worth Rs 113 crore to existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and the co-founders. The shares were issued at a premium of Rs 64,980 a piece, according to the Economic Times.

Flipkart Internet, which owns the e-commerce portal Flipkart, incurred losses of Rs 2,306 crore on revenues of Rs 1,952 crore for 2015-16.

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A private security guard stands at a gate of Snapdeal headquarters in Gurugram on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, April 3, 2017.REUTERS/Adnan Abidi