eBay sells shares in India's Snapdeal

  • 19/08/2015
(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

eBay is selling part of its stake in India's ecommerce start-up Snapdeal, but says the Asian nation remains an "important market" for the US online giant.

An eBay statement offered no specifics on the divestment, describing the sale as "another step to effectively manage our global interests and invest in other strategic initiatives".

"Over the past two years, the valuation of Snapdeal has significantly increased, and because eBay was an early investor, this sale will enable us to earn a strong return on our invested capital and strategically redeploy it into other areas of our business," eBay chief financial officer Scott Schenkel said in the statement.

Schenkel added that "India is an important market for eBay, and part of our fast-growing APAC region" and that the California group would seek to grow its India-based ecommerce operations.

"While we will retain a significant portion of our original investment in Snapdeal, we also have a strong, healthy business with eBay.in," he said.

"Going forward, we will focus on accelerating eBay's presence in India, and empowering customers through technology, as with our new #SheMeansBusiness program that encourages female entrepreneurs."

Last year, Snapdeal secured some US$627 million (NZ$ 952.4 million) from Japanese tech giant SoftBank, coming on top of the US$350 million previously raised since its founding in 2010. Snapdeal's valuation was estimated at US$2 billion at the time of the SoftBank deal.

US research firm CB Insights lists Snapdeal's current valuation at $US2.5 billion (NZ$ 3.8 billion), making it the second largest venture-funded start-up in the country after Flipkart.