Millennium Post

Digital mega-deal: Snapdeal buys mobile transactions platform FreeCharge

Snapdeal on Wednesday said it has acquired mobile transactions platform FreeCharge in a ‘cash and stock’ deal, marking “one of the largest acquisitions” in the Indian digital commerce space.

The company claimed this to be one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the Internet industry in India but did not disclose the deal size.

With the acquisition, Snapdeal becomes the largest mobile commerce company in India, offering the widest range of products and services, including financial services and mobile recharge with an exponentially growing user base of over 40 million, the company said. “Snapdeal and Freecharge combine to form the largest m-commerce company in India now,” Snapdeal CEO & Co-founder Kunal Bhal told reporters here. Speaking on the structure of the deal, Bahl said, “it is a cash plus stock deal... majority of it is stock and minority is cash. With this game-changing partnership with FreeCharge, we have significantly enhanced our user base and now offer all our customers access to the widest selection of products and services online, making digital commerce an even more intrinsic part of their lives,” he said. He said Snapdeal has about 5,000 people and FreeCharge about 200, adding all FreeCharge team members are continuing and will continue as “actually we are going to grow the team at FreeCharge significantly over the next one year.” FreeCharge will continue to function as an independent platform and all aspects of FreeCharge’s shopping experience will remain intact. The firms will collaborate to offer a seamless shopping experience to customers across both the platforms offering an even wider range of products and services, it said.

The New Delhi-based firm has been on an acquisition spree as it looks to build its distribution and technology platforms to compete with marketplace players like Flipkart and Amazon. Last week, Snapdeal had picked up majority stake in digital financial products platform -- RupeePower -- for an undisclosed amount through a stock and cash deal, foraying into the Indian online financial services market.
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