(Bloomberg) -- Snapdeal, the Indian online retailer backed by SoftBank Group Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., plans to file preliminary documents for an initial public offering of as much as $250 million in the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.
The e-commerce giant aims to go public in early 2022 after filing the draft red herring prospectus, or DRHP, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a private matter. Snapdeal, once considered the fiercest rival to Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart in the world’s fastest-growing major online arena, plans to raise at least $200 million at a $1.5 billion valuation, they added.
The company didn’t immediately provide comment on its filing plans or other financial details.
Snapdeal, which caters mainly to middle-class consumers neglected by its larger rivals, would become the largest tech company to test investor IPO appetite after the disastrous debut of Paytm’s parent, One 97 Communications Ltd. The fintech giant has lost about 20% of its share value since its debut on Nov. 18.
Snapdeal is hoping instead to replicate the strong showings of fellow online commerce firms like food delivery platform Zomato Ltd. and beauty retailer FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd., which owns Nykaa. Snapdeal’s largest shareholders, which include Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba and SoftBank, are not selling shares, the people said.
Snapdeal, founded in 2010, had emerged as one of the country’s leading e-commerce providers, but lost ground to its larger rivals. In 2017, it backed away from a potential merger with Flipkart that would have united the two local-e-commerce companies against Amazon, a deal that SoftBank had been pushing for.
The Japanese investor then turned around to lead a funding round for Flipkart. Since then, Walmart bought a controlling stake in Flipkart, which is now progressing toward its own IPO.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.