India’s largest online marketplace Snapdeal announced that it has acquired FreeCharge, a mobile transactions platform. This is one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the internet industry in India and sets up Snapdeal to build the most impactful digital commerce ecosystem in India.
FreeCharge is India’s leading mobile commerce platform where users can pay their mobile, DTH and utility payments across most major operators. Every day 75 mn mobile recharges are done in India by a section of India’s 800 mn mobile phone subscribers, out of which currently only 3 mn recharges are done online. FreeCharge offers a convenient and efficient solution applicable to hundreds of millions of consumers for paying utility bills, and especially doing mobile recharges, which often ends up being the first e-commerce transaction that a consumer does online given the ticket size, convenience and instant gratification.
With this acquisition, Snapdeal becomes the largest mobile commerce company in India offering the widest range of products and services, including financial services, mobile recharge and utility payments with an exponentially growing user base of over 40 mn.
Speaking about this Kunal Bahl, Co-Founder & CEO, Snapdeal said “The age of monolithic ecommerce platforms is over; it is now time to build an impactful digital commerce ecosystem in India that is multidimensional and inclusive, delivering well defined experiences to consumers. At Snapdeal we are building an ecosystem that powers billions of digital commerce transactions in the country in the coming years. With this game-changing partnership with FreeCharge, we have significantly enhanced our user base and now offer all our customers access to the widest selection of products and services online, making digital commerce an even more intrinsic part of their lives. We are thrilled to have the very talented and supercharged team of FreeCharge, under Kunal (Shah)’s leadership, working as one family, towards creating life changing experiences for buyers and sellers in our country.”
Speaking about the announcement, Kunal Shah, Co-Founder & CEO, FreeCharge said, “FreeCharge is at the forefront of the mobile commerce revolution which is taking place in India right now. We have been ahead of the curve and as a result, 85% of our transactions originate from mobile, these transactions have very high repeat customer behavior. The partnership with Snapdeal comes at the right time, I foresee this as an opportunity to accelerate our road map in India and reach out to millions of users across the country. As a brand, Snapdeal has a massive recall and we are very excited to be a part of the team that is creating the biggest digital ecosystem of the country. FreeCharge’s success was enabled by a team of 200 extremely talented professionals and I would like to extend a special thanks to Alok Goel, Sandeep Tandon and a wonderfully supportive investor base.”
FreeCharge will continue to function as an independent platform and all aspects of FreeCharge’s shopping experience will remain intact. The companies will collaborate to offer a seamless shopping experience to customers across both the platforms offering an even wider range of products and services.