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The Japanese investment firm, SoftBank is close to raise its stakes in Delhi-based online marketplace, Snapdeal from roughly 33% to more than 38% by buying shares from at least two of company’s existing investors. According to the recent media reports, Snapdeal is also planning to raise funding this year.

Besides, there are reports that Snapdeal’s independent director on the board Akhil Kumar Gupta has also picked up a small personal stake in the online marketplace.

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The person familiar with the development said, “Gupta bought equity shares worth more than INR 5 Cr in Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, the promoter of Snapdeal as per the documents with the Registrar of Companies.

“There were some delays in closing the secondary deals because of administrative reasons. SoftBank has nearly finished them now and it will be done by the time Snapdeal goes for its next round of funding. Snapdeal, which has raised nearly $1.5 Bn from investors so far, is likely to hit the market again to raise another round of funds over the next month because of strong investor demand,” he added.

It seems Japanese investment firm SoftBank has set its sights on Indian ecommerce in its aggressive expansion drive. Earlier in October, SoftBank had also announced to pump $627 Mn into online retailing marketplace Snapdeal by buying part of the stakes held by two existing investors.

Recently, Snapdeal’s market rival Flipkart has also announced its plans to raise $5 Bn via Initial Public Offering (IPO). Last year, Flipkart had raised nearly $2 Bn from investors. Another online marketplace player, Amazom India had also announced to infuse around $2 Bn in Indian market.

According to the recent report by Nomura, Indian ecommerce is expected to be worth $43 billion in five years, of which nearly $23 billion will come from online retail.

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