Home / Companies / Snapdeal reports 301% jump in gross merchandise volume

Delhi/Bengaluru: India’s second largest e-commerce firm Snapdeal reported a 301% jump in gross merchandise volume (GMV), or value of goods sold on the site, for the year ended March 2015, according to documents put up by its largest investor SoftBank Corp. on its website.

Though SoftBank didn’t disclose Snapdeal’s GMV figure, two people familiar with the matter said Snapdeal touched an annualized GMV of roughly $2 billion in March. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they aren’t allowed to speak with reporters on this topic.

GMV doesn’t mean revenue; it refers to the value of goods sold on a site, but does not account for discounts or even sales returns. It is the key metric for valuing an e-commerce company. Actual revenues for online marketplaces though are a small fraction of the GMV.

For instance, Snapdeal reported actual sales of 168.1 crore for the year ended March 2014, while its GMV was in a few hundreds of millions of dollars for that year, Mint reported last October.

Snapdeal declined to comment.

Separately, SoftBank documents, a slide presentation by the Japanese firm as part of its annual report, also showed that cab hailing service Ola, which is one of its other large portfolio companies in India, has a market share of 80%, ahead of rivals such as Uber Technologies Inc and Meru Cabs.

Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, confirmed the 80% market share and said in an emailed statement that it was generating 750,000 daily rides. Mint couldn’t independently verify the numbers.

At an estimated valuation of $2.5 billion, Ola is India’s third most valuable start-up after Flipkart Ltd ($15 billion) and Snapdeal ($5 billion).

The rapid growth of Snapdeal comes amid intense competition in online retail. Snapdeal, Flipkart and Amazon India are engaged in a high stakes battle for dominance of online retail sales.

Flipkart has set a target of generating a GMV of $8 billion by December, according to various media reports.

Online retail sales could touch anywhere between $48 billion and $60 billion by 2020 from $4.47 billion last year, according to an April report by financial services firm UBS.

Snapdeal, which has made a series of acquisitions during the year, including online recharge company Freecharge and luxury fashion portal Exclusively, is likely to touch close to $8-10 billion in GMV by March 2016.

Snapdeal is currently in talks with Taiwan-based phone parts supplier Foxconn Technology Group and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to raise close to $500 million at a valuation of $5 billion, according to earlier reports in Mint and other publications. Negotiations over Snapdeal’s valuation have led to prolonged talks between the company and the potential investors.

Founded by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Snapdeal started out as a daily deals platform, selling coupons to groups of customers and converted to an online marketplace in late 2011. It has raised more than $1 billion last year from investors, including SoftBank and online marketplace Ebay Inc. Snapdeal claims to offer more than 12 million products across 500-plus categories with more than 40 million registered users and 150,000 merchants. Snapdeal aims to expand its merchant base to 1 million in the next three years.

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