According to the recent report, FreeCharge was offered around $70-$80 million (Rs 466 crore- Rs 532 crore) by E-commerce giant Amazon in order to acquire digital payments platform owned by troubled e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal.
According to reports, Amazon is trying to buttress its digital payments operations as it takes on local rivals including Paytm E-commerce Pvt as well as Tiger Global Management-backed Flipkart Online Services Pvt. The U.S. company has entered its fifth year of operations in India as the country shapes up to become of the world’s largest online retail markets.
Apart from Amazon, Axis Bank is the top contender for acquiring Freecharge, at a valuation of $60-65 million by offering around $60-$65 million bid.
Freecharge was founded in 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, FreeCharge was acquired by Snapdeal in April 2015 for a whopping $450 million which is currently valued at less than 80%. Not only this, recently it also received an investment of $3.38 million from Jasper Infotech.
Amazon is entering its fifth year of operation in one of the world’s fastest growing economies, but perhaps, more importantly, one of the most technologically-savvy populations in the world. India’s one-billion strong population lags behind only China in terms of e-commerce potential and Amazon wants to capitalize on that fact in order to build its influence beyond the United States.
When contacted, Amazon through emailed statement that it doesn’t comment on rumor and speculation. Snapdeal, FreeCharge, Paytm and Axis didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking details. Amazon’s interest in FreeCharge was reported earlier by the Economic Times.
According to Satish Meena, an analyst at Forrester Research, ” Making FreeCharge part of Amazon Pay to boost up the payment arm would surely give them more visibility in the payments sector. FreeCharge is a known brand and Amazon can give it further push to accelerate the process of increasing presence in offline and online payments.” Read more about Indian Startup Ecosystem.