We knew bigger and better strategic announcements are around the corner when in April this year Snapdeal acquired Freecharge, which is regarded as one of the biggest acquisitions in the Indian consumer Internet industry.
So here it is.
Cofounder of Freecharge, Kunal Shah said, “The combination of Freecharge wallet and Snapdeal will create one of the largest mobile commerce ecosystems.”
Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder of Snapdeal too reiterated the fact about building a sustainable business ecosystem. He said, “Consumer needs are constantly evolving and we feel it is the right time to launch a trusted and feature-rich digital wallet service. At Snapdeal we are building an ecosystem that powers billions of digital commerce transactions. With the launch of the FreeCharge Digital Wallet, we will now play an even more intrinsic role in our customers’ lives.”
Features of Snapdeal’s wallet are going to be similar to other e-wallets such as Mobikwik, Paytm, PayU. The marketplace is looking to release nearly Rs 1,000 crore of cash-backs through the wallet during the upcoming festive season.
This is big news because an online marketplace with its own payment platform in a digital wallet form is a winning combination. Alibaba-Alipay in China and eBay-PayPal in the US are two such successful examples. Alibaba is trying to do the same in India by partnering with Paytm, which was essentially a digital wallet/payments portal.
Paytm with the help of Alibaba is preparing to make it big in the ecommerce industry. On the other hand, Flipkart recently bought majority stake in payments firm, FX Mart. As for Snapdeal-Freecharge combo, we can already see positive results.
Paytm is transforming itself from mobile wallet to an ecommerce platform. Snapdeal & Flipkart are going the mobile wallet way after establishing their position as one of the top ecommerce players. All three are running the same race in different ways.
Who will win? We’ll hopefully find that out soon.