Kalaari Capital’s Vani Kola resigns from Snapdeal board


Venture Capital firm Kalaari Capital’s MD Vani Kola has resigned from the board of online marketplace Snapdeal, as per regulatory filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). The Bangalore-based fund is one of the early backers of Snapdeal and holds about 8% stake in the now embattled company. Kola’s resignation from the Snapdeal board further signals the impending sale of the e-commerce firm to Flipkart and that Kalaari has agreed to a settlement with SoftBank.
Kola sent her resignation letter to the board of Jasper Infotech, which runs Snapdeal, on May 2 asking to be relieved of her duties as a board member immediately, the filings pointed out. Both Kalaari and Nexus Venture Partners, the two largest investors in Snapdeal after SoftBank, had been at loggerheads with the Japanese group wanting a better value for the stake they in the web retailer. The rift between the early investors and SoftBank has delayed the sale of Snapdeal.
Kola’s resignation comes at a time when Nexus, too, has come on board for the proposed sale.
Kola sent her resignation letter to the board of Jasper Infotech, which runs Snapdeal, on May 2 asking to be relieved of her duties as a board member immediately, the filings pointed out. Both Kalaari and Nexus Venture Partners, the two largest investors in Snapdeal after SoftBank, had been at loggerheads with the Japanese group wanting a better value for the stake they in the web retailer. The rift between the early investors and SoftBank has delayed the sale of Snapdeal.
Kola’s resignation comes at a time when Nexus, too, has come on board for the proposed sale.
TOI reported in its May 12 edition that Nexus has given an in-principle nod to SoftBank for Snapdeal’s sale in a cut-price deal valuing the etailer at about $1 billion. The settlement may involve Nexus getting a stake in the merged entity of Flipkart and Snapdeal. Nexus owns about 10% stake in Snapdeal and has invested around $45 million in the e-tailer over the years. We reported earlier that Kola is likely to sell the stake in Snapdeal to SoftBank.
A non-binding term sheet has been prepared for the merger and a due diligence process is likely to start soon, TOI had reported in its May 12 edition. Incidentally, SoftBank recorded $1.4 billion in losses from its India portfolio, according to its earnings report for the period ended March 31, 2017. Almost $1 billion out of that was accredited to Snapdeal. The Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank group had pumped in about $900 million since first investing in Snapdeal back in 2014 and holds 33% stake in the online retailer.
SoftBank plans to buy out all the existing investor’s stakes in the e-tailer and merge it with Flipkart. The Japanese group will post which invest up to $1.5 billion in the merged entity by picking up primary and secondary shares, giving it around 15-20% in the Flipkart-Snapdeal combine, TOI had first reported in its March 28 edition.

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