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 moneycontrol.com 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.