Speculation surrounding the possible acquisition of Indian online retailer Snapdeal continues to swirl as the company seeks investment.
As noted by Quartz, talk that Alibaba would make a play for Snapdeal popped up several times in 2016. The latest claims surfaced after a co-investor of Alibaba’s head Jack Ma, Masayoshi Son, was spotted in India in late November. Social media, including Twitter, featured some speculation that a deal a might be in the offing.
“Snapdeal has been desperately looking to raise money in China for the last few months,” a source with direct knowledge of Snapdeal’s plans told Reuters. “It had multiple rounds of talks with some Chinese funds and was also hoping to get some fresh money from Alibaba. But those talks were not going anywhere and Alibaba made it clear to them they would not write a new check for them given the dim outlook for making money any time soon.”
But Snapdeal confirmed just this week that it is not for sale, despite reports that Snapdeal was in discussions with domestic rivals for a potential sale, including both Paytm and Flipkart.
“Snapdeal categorically denies having had any such discussion. The information is incorrect and without basis,” wrote a company spokeswoman. “We are making decisive progress in our journey toward profitability, and all our efforts are aligned in this direction.”
In recent months, Snapdeal has felt the increasing the heat of online sales competition.
The main problem for Snapdeal is that its competitors in the eCommerce space are significantly outpacing the company when it comes to investments. While Flipkart has recently raised $1.5 billion and Amazon has invested $3 billion in expanding into the Indian market, Snapdeal has raised only $1.6 billion overall to date.
The online marketplace announced back in February that it is “restructuring” by laying off employees. The number of layoffs is said to be between 500 and 600 people.