Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal own less than 6.5% of the firm

Bengaluru/New Delhi: Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal together own less than 6.5% of the company, indicating the extent of the strain the online marketplace and its founders have had to bear to raise nearly $2 billion in funds over the past seven years, documents with the Registrar of Companies show.

The founders, who together held about 8.5% in the company at the end of 2014, now hold just 6.3%, the documents show. Chief executive officer Bahl currently holds 3.94%, while the share of Bansal, the chief operating officer,is much lower at 2.44%, according to the documents.

The largest shareholder in Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd)is Japan’s Softbank Group, which holds close to 33% of the company. Snapdeal’s other top investors include Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, eBay Inc., Foxconn Technology Group and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The shareholding pattern assumes 4.5% of Snapdeal stock that has been set aside towards the employee stock options.

Snapdeal co-founders seem to control less of their company than their peers. Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal still own 14-15% together; Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma controls roughly 20% of the payments platform; Ola co-founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati own at least 10% of the cab-hailing service.

Because of Snapdeal’s perennial status as an underdog, Bahl and Bansal have been forced to give up more of their company in order to bring in new investors, compared with their peers.

Snapdeal is now a distant number three behind rivals Flipkart and Amazon India. The company has been struggling to hold on to its market share amid stiff competition and a price war between the two dominant and cash-rich e-commerce companies.

In August this year, Snapdeal received more than $21 million from Luxembourg-based firm Clouse SA as part of its previously announced funding round, according to documents available with the registrar of companies. The round’s first installment of Rs335 crore was received by Snapdeal in February.

Snapdeal in August also reported gross sales numbers of roughly Rs600 crore in July —a fall of more than 50% from the sales it had been generating until the end of last year. This was way behind Amazon India and Flipkart’s GMV (gross merchandise value, or cost of goods sold) of about Rs2,000 crore each during the same time.

Snapdeal has initiated several measures to create a clear niche in a market now largely dominated by Flipkart and Amazon. It recently undertook a branding overhaul, introducing a new logo and branding message.

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