Vani Kola, the representative of Kalaari Capital on Snapdeal board, has resigned ahead of the potential sale of the e-commerce firm to larger rival Flipkart. Kola, who had been on the board of Jasper Infotech (which runs Snapdeal) since September 2009, resigned on May 2 from the post of Director, as per regulatory filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Without citing any specific reasons, Kola said she was unable to continue to be a part of Snapdeal board and requested to be discharged of her duties with “immediate effect”.
“I thank the board not only for giving me the opportunity and assistance to discharge my duties during my tenure as a Director of the company but also for the invaluable learnings, which I gained from my interactions with my fellow board members,” she said in the letter. Emails sent to Snapdeal and Kola did not elicit any response.
Kalaari, an early investor in Snapdeal, holds about eight per cent stake in the country’s third largest online marketplace. The other board members of Snapdeal include SoftBank, Nexus Venture Partners and the founders — Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.
With Kola’s exit, Kalaari has no representative on the Snapdeal board. It could not be ascertained if a replacement has been identified. Over the past few weeks, Snapdeal’s largest investor SoftBank has been proactively mediating with the board members for a potential sale to Flipkart and has succeeded in getting their agreement.
A non-binding term sheet to undertake due diligence on Snapdeal by Flipkart is expected to be signed soon. “Given the recent power play at Snapdeal, this is a very interesting development. Vani Kola’s resignation leaves no one from Kalaari in the board,” Anchal Agarwal, co-founder of research and analytics firm Tofler said.
One of the leading contenders in the Indian e-commerce space, Snapdeal has seen its fortunes failing amid strong competition from US-based Amazon and Flipkart. Compared to a valuation of about USD 6.5 billion in February 2016, the sale to Flipkart could see Snapdeal being valued at about USD 1 billion. The deal between Snapdeal and Flipkart, if completed, would mark the biggest acquisition in the Indian e-commerce space.