India’s first listed e-commerce firm, Infibeam Incorporation, said on Monday it will acquire Snapdeal’s subsidiary, Unicommerce Esolutions, for up to Rs 120 crore in stock. The transaction will help the Ahmedabad-based firm strengthen its web services capabilities and boost merchant and revenue growth.
Unicommerce, a fully-owned subsidiary of Jasper Infotech, is one of the few profitable companies in India in the SaaS (software as a service) market providing comprehensive end-to-end e-commerce solutions. Its services include warehouse management, multi-channel order fulfillment, e-commerce order processing, catalogue management, inventory management, and omni-channel management for brands and online sellers, Infibeam said in a statement on Monday.
“Through Unicommerce, we plan to boost our e-commerce enablement capabilities and expand the product offerings for existing clients. Unicommerce fits perfectly with Infibeam’s vision of creating India’s largest e-commerce enablement and payments ecosystem for businesses, including web-front, web domain, logistics and payment solutions,” said Vishal Mehta, managing director, Infibeam.
He added that the “acquisition would help us further create a comprehensive e-commerce solution by offering extended capabilities to transact with other leading online marketplaces”.
Infibeam is one of India’s very few profitable e-commerce companies. It also offers web services solution comprising, e-commerce platform BuildaBazaar, digital payments platform CCAvenue, and logistics platform Shipdroid to merchants in India and abroad along with running its own e-marketplace, Infibeam.com.
Recently, Infibeam, along with its consortium partner, won the bid to manage the country’s largest e-commerce portal, Government e-Marketplace (GeM). It has also got a contract from National Skill Development Corporation to develop e-marketplace for skill resources.
Jason Kothari, Snapdeal’s chief strategy and investment officer, said selling Unicommerce to Infibeam is a continuation of Snapdeal’s 2.0 plan to divest and focus on the core consumer e-commerce business.
“We believe Infibeam is the best partner for Unicommerce due to its multiple business synergies. Unicommerce is set to gain from Infibeam’s growing large merchant base enabled by Infibeam Web Services and creating more comprehensive e-commerce solutions for its clients,” Kothari said.
Snapdeal had bought Unicommerce for an undisclosed amount in 2015.
Once a unicorn (valued at over $1 billion), Snapdeal ran into difficult times amidst a cash crunch; and 2017 was particularly hard for it. In August 2017, Snapdeal ended negotiations for a proposed sale with Flipkart. The discussions were initiated by SoftBank, Snapdeal’s largest investor. Had the transaction materialised, it would have been the largest buyout in the Indian startup space.
In July 2017, it sold FreeCharge, its payment wallet, to Axis Bank for Rs 385 crore, in a transaction that was nearly 90% lower than the amount Snapdeal had paid for it in 2015.
Snapdeal has now decided to follow an independent path, which it calls Snapdeal 2.0—a simplistic, watered-down version of a marketplace.