Snapdeal’s Bahl on the prowl in Silicon Valley for strategic buys? | business | Hindustan Times
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Snapdeal’s Bahl on the prowl in Silicon Valley for strategic buys?

business Updated: Nov 18, 2014 00:37 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times

Rapidly growing online marketplace Snapdeal, which recently bagged a $627-million investment from Japan’s SoftBank, is considering a buying trip to Silicon Valley.

Over drinks early this month, Silicon Valley academic Vivek Wadhwa urged Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl to think big, really big: the next Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma?

Amazon founder Bezos and Alibaba’s Ma are global titans of online retailing, and Bahl may well be on his way, with perhaps another tranche from SoftBank’s $10 billion purse for India.

“We are looking at various Silicon Valley firms from a strategic perspective given many of the technologies created there are of importance to Snapdeal for enhancing the experience for buyers and sellers,” Bahl told Hindustan Times.

How about snapping up a Silicon Valley firm? A company possibly in a similar line of business? Groupon, which has described itself as a deal-of-the-day online discount website?

The company’s India unit, starting around 2011, hasn’t performed as well as expected and many believe may be ripe for the picking. Why not the entire company indeed?

At $5-billion market cap, as Wadhwa later wrote in a column building on that conversation, Groupon seemed a good buy. But Snapdeal could look for something better, he felt. Bahl agreed.

Bahl, and Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal, may be in the hunt for a Silicon Valley firm, and if he did pick up one, it may upend a trend, and start a new one: that of Indians going to Silicon Valley to shop for companies, rather than start companies there or work at them.