Online giant Snapdeal acquires mobile recharge firm ‘Freecharge’


Bengaluru: Giant E-retailer confirmed on Wednesday that it acquired online mobile recharge firm ‘Freecharge’ firm for an undisclosed amount, in a bid to boost its presence in the fast-growing online mobile transaction business.

Snapdeal, backed by SoftBank Corp, competes with Flipkart and’s India unit in the country’s online shopping market, which is expected to be worth $102 billion by 2020, according to Morgan Stanley.

Easy availability of smartphones and cheap data plans have resulted in most of those transactions to be made via apps, where consumers use their mobile phones for everything from buying clothes to booking movie tickets.

Freecharge allows users to top up amounts on their mobile phone or internet connections and get coupons as reward for using its service.

Snapdeal Chief Executive Kunal Bahl said 1 million mobile transactions would take place daily once the companies are combined. About 75 percent of all Snapdeal transactions now are through mobile users, he said.

Freecharge would remain an independent platform even after the deal, which is expected to close within the next 6 months, Bahl said, without specifying how much much it paid to buy the mobile recharge firm.

With the acquisition, Snapdeal would become “the largest mobile commerce company in India,” the company said in a statement.

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