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Vani Kola, Managing Director, Kalaari

Kalaari Capital’s Vani Kola steps down from Snapdeal board

15 May, 2017

Vani Kola, founder and managing director of venture capital firm Kalaari Capital, which is an early investor in online marketplace Snapdeal, has resigned from the e-tailer’s board amid talks of its impending sale to bigger rival Flipkart.

Kola confirmed the development to VCCircle in an emailed response.

However, email sent to Snapdeal parent Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd seeking comment did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

On Monday, several media reports, citing filings from the Registrar of Companies, said Kola had sent her resignation letter to the Snapdeal board on May 2.

“I regretfully inform you that at this juncture I would be unable to continue to be a part of the board, hence, I hereby tender my resignation from the office of the director of the company and request the board to discharge me of my duties as a director of the company with immediate effect,” she reportedly wrote in the letter.

This comes at a time when homegrown e-commerce firms Flipkart and Snapdeal are in the process of negotiating a merger. The deal may happen this week itself, as reported by VCCircle.

Nexus Venture Partners, another early investor in Snapdeal, and Kalaari Capital were initially opposed to the proposed sale that values the beleaguered e-commerce company at $1 billion, a far cry from its peak valuation of $6.5 billion. But now, it seems that Nexus and Kalaari have agreed to the sale and the term sheet is expected to be signed soon.

Japanese investor SoftBank, which has pumped nearly $900 million into the startup, holds two seats on Snapdeal’s board, while Nexus and Kalaari held one each.

Snapdeal’s other investors include SoftBank-backed Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn, e-tailer eBay Inc., media company Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, and other venture capital investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Iron Pillar, and Ratan Tata.

Kola, earlier this year, had expressed her support to Indian entrepreneurs against “capital-dumping policies” of foreign-origin rivals.

Kalaari has invested in around 28 startups including online fashion marketplace Myntra (owned by Flipkart), online jeweller Bluestone, lingerie e-tailer Zivame and online furniture brand Urban Ladder.

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Kalaari Capital’s Vani Kola steps down from Snapdeal board

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