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Ratan Tata invests in e-commerce firm Snapdeal

MUMBAI: The Tata Group’s former chairman Ratan Tata has bought a stake in his own capacity in the Indian e-commerce firm Snapdeal for an undisclosed amount.

The news comes a day after Tata Value Homes, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Housing, entered into a strategic partnership with Snapdeal.com to allow consumers to purchase homes online.

Snapdeal is an online marketplace that facilitates transactions between third-party suppliers and customers. It currently houses over five million products across 500 diverse categories from over 50,000 sellers.

Tata joins investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Ltd, Tiger Global Management LLC and Accel Partners, who have invested in Indian online retailers in the e-commerce sector.

Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl said, “This is a very proud and exciting moment for the entire Snapdeal family. An investment by a legendary and respected figure like Mr Tata is an excellent validation of our focused strategy on building a long-term enterprise and marks the start of a very important phase for the company.”

Online retailers have been raising funds to compete with bigger rival Amazon and Flipkart, to expand as more Indians shop online.

Snapdeal raised $100 million earlier this year from five investors including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

Flipkart, the country’s largest online retailer, raised $1 billion last month to scale up and counter increasing competition, while Amazon.com has said it would invest an additional $2 billion in its India business.