Aiming to generate 80 per cent of its business from the mobile phone segment, Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace, is enhancing technology. Most of the $627 million the company raised from Japanese investor SoftBank recently could be used to drive technology and, consequently, sales.
At the end of 2014, about 60 per cent of Snapdeal’s traffic was accounted for by mobile phones.
The company, which recently readied an innovation centre in Bengaluru, is beefing up its technology team and hiring 1,500 techies from internet companies around the world. “At the pace at which we are growing, if possible, we would have hired everyone by yesterday. While internet penetration is still low in the country, we are confident we will have 80 per cent of our traffic from mobile very soon,” said Amitabh Misra, senior vice-president (engineering), Snapdeal.
Though the launch of a fourt-generation (4G) network in India might aid Snapdeal’s plans, Misra, who has a decade of experience at Silicon Valley, is confident of meeting the target even without this.
In the past years, Snapdeal has grown sixfold. For goods sold recently, the company clocked an annualised gross merchandise value (GMV) of $2 billion. It plans to clock another $1 billion in GMV this year. “We are pretty clear we are a tech company and will do anything possible, at any available platform, whether it’s the technology process, the infra platform or strengthening the team. The majority of our funds will be for technology,” says Misra who, along with colleague Ankit Khanna (senior vice-president - product management), is working to offer the best possible solutions for buyers and sellers.
BETTING ON MOBILE
Snapdeal is eyeing 80% mobile traffic
Company is on a hiring spree, roping techies from global firms
Majority of funding from SoftBank to be used in tech upgrade
Average order size via mobile apps is higher than those made via the mobile site of Snapdeal
Tech upgrade to focus on smooth customised offering on low-speed networks via apps
Snapdeal app has clocked close to 100 mn downloads on android
- Data analytics to provide customised offering on low-speed connection