#Asia Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola resigns from Snapdeal Board amidst distress sale talks with Flipkart


Kalaari is one of the early backers of Snapdeal and has invested a total of US$27.5 million in the e-commerce marketplace over multiple rounds

Vani Kola, Managing Director of Indian VC firm Kalaari Capital, has resigned from the Board of troubled e-commerce company Snapdeal, amidst its ongoing merger talks with Flipkart, said multiple media reports citing regulatory documents sourced from data platform Tofler.

“I regretfully inform you that at this juncture I would be unable to continue to be a part of the board, hence, I hereby tender my resignation from the office of the director of the company and request the board to discharge me of my duties as a director of the company with immediate effect,” Kola said in a letter to the Snapdeal Board.

Kola is one of the longest-serving Board members and the sole representative for the VC firm at Snapdeal.

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Based in Bangalore, Kalaari is one of the early backers of the Gurgaon-based e-commerce marketplace and has invested a total of US$27.5 million in the firm over multiple rounds. The VC fund holds about 8 per equity stake in the e-commerce marketplace. The VC fund has been in a tussle with SoftBank over the sale of Snapdeal to Flipkart for a proposed US$1 billion, a significant drop from its peak valuation of US$6.5 billion when it raised funding early last year.

e27 reported on Friday that the differences among the investors have been resolved and Snapdeal has accepted the terms sheet. The due diligence has already started, and Snapdeal has already sent the records (skill-set and job descriptions) of its key employees which it wants to retain post-acquisition to Flipkart.

“All investors of Snapdeal are now on board with the decision, and their differences have been sorted out. As part of the deal, SoftBank is likely to inject up to US$1 billion in the combined entity. That said, it could still take months before the deal is sealed,” said a highly-placed source had told 27.

According to this person, Flipkart and Snapdeal are yet to resolve the differences about the employee stock options (ESOPs). The ESOPs will be settled by founders in their personal capacity, presumably as part of the due diligence.

Founded in February 2010, Snapdeal was the second biggest e-commerce company after Flipkart until 2015. The company began to crash after the entry of Amazon, which ate into its market share to become a formidable force in the Indian e-commerce market. Over the past two years, Snapdeal kept losing market share to both Amazon and Flipkart, despite having invested significantly in branding and marketing.

To date, Snapdeal has raised about US$2 billion in investment, which included a US$627 million from SoftBank in 2014. Its other investors include Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, BlackRock, Temasek, Foxconn, eBay, Premji Invest, Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Ratan Tata. Recently, eBay invested nearly US$500 million in Flipkart and sold its Indian unit to the Bangalore-based company.

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The post Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola resigns from Snapdeal Board amidst distress sale talks with Flipkart appeared first on e27.

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