Indian eBay Affiliate Snapdeal Lures Temasek, BlackRock

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Indian eBay Inc. affiliate Snapdeal.com on Wednesday, May 21, announced its second financing round of the year. The $100 million fundraising from an international investor group is understood to value the company at as much as $1 billion and provides cash to invest in infrastructure and winning new customers.

Snapdeal, of New Delhi, said its backers were Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., New York's BlackRock Inc., Myriad Asset Management and Tybourne Capital Management Ltd., both of Hong Kong. Premji Invest, the investment vehicle of Wipro Ltd., and Wipro Chairman Azim Premji.

The online commerce site has brought in about $350 million through several financing rounds since it started in February 2010. CEO Kunal Bahl has said he's pushing for an initial public offering in the U.S. once the company reaches $1 billion in annual revenue, a target that may not be far off.

"Our mobile and internet commerce marketplace is now connecting millions of buyers to a very large base of sellers that offer products and services of national and international brands," said Bahl in a statement

The company had just $500 million in revenue in the year ended March 31 but it's quickly adding customers as its partnership with minority owner eBay pays off and interest in online marketplaces grows. It's added 10 million users in the past year and now has 25 million bidders.

More than 30,000 retailers use the site to sell products.

Hong Kong brokerage CLSA Equity Capital Markets Ltd. expects online retail in India to expand to $22 billion in the next five years from just $3.1 billion last year.

Ebay has participated in several fundraisings at Snapdeal, including a $133.7 million February round that also included Kalaari Capital. Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Saama Capital and IndoUS Venture Partners.

Snapdeal previously said it would use the new cash to further expand its staff of 1,300, primarily with engineers, as well as on marketing to add customers.

Snapdeal turned to Credit Suisse Group for financial advice on the fundraising with Indus Law handling legal details.

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