Snapdeal.com may be set to acquire Exclusively.in, a site that sells designer brands, as one of the country's largest online retailers looks to strengthen its fashion business to take on rivals Flipkart-owned Myntra and Jabong amid a consolidation drive.
Two people familiar with the deal said Snapdeal is expected to take over Exclusively as part of its acquisition plans following the October funding of $627 million raised from Japanese telecom and internet giant Softbank. The deal has been the works for months and is likely to come through as Exclusively founder Sunjay Guleria has agreed to the valuation, said one of the persons.
ET couldn't confirm how much Snapdeal is likely to pay for the business. Guleria declined to comment as did a Snapdeal spokesperson. Guleria had sold the Sher Singh apparel brand along with co-founders in 2012 to Myntra. While India's rapidly e-commerce sector is dominated by companies such as market leader Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, among others, it also comprises smaller and specialty online sellers, many of which may be looking to exit as funding dries up for them. Earlier this month, Mahindra Group acquired baby products online retailer Babyoye.com.
Snapdeal has created one of India's largest online marketplaces but the company is playing catchup with online fashion leaders such as Myntra and Jabong in that space. The company plans to use Exclusively to shore up its fashion offerings besides extending it to offer global bridge-to-luxury and even luxury brands, said one of the persons cited above. The stakes are high for fashion as the segment is turning out to be the fastest-growing segment for online retailers.
Last year, Flipkart acquired Myntra as part of its fashion push. Even Amazon, a relatively late starter in fashion and lifestyle, is making a concerted effort to build its fashion portfolio. It's planning its own line of private labels for apparel and other lifestyle products, making India perhaps the first country in which the US e-commerce giant will do so.
In December, Snapdeal acquired gift recommendation site Wishpicker for an undisclosed amount as its first buyout after raising money from Softbank. Last year, Flipkart raised $1.9 billion from its investors, valuing the company at $11 billion. Amazon said last year it would invest $2 billion in the India business. On Saturday, ET reported that Snapdeal is in talks with investors to raise another $400 million that would possibly value the company at $5 billion.
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