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SoftBank’s Saurabh Jalan joins Snapdeal board as Lydia Jett resigns

11 December, 2017

Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, which runs online marketplace Snapdeal, has appointed Saurabh Jalan, a representative from investor SoftBank, as an additional director at the firm. Meanwhile, Lydia Jett, a SoftBank executive and director at Snapdeal, resigned from the e-commerce firm’s board.

Jalan’s appointment was made via a resolution passed in October this year. Jett’s resignation comes seven months after she joined the Snapdeal board, regulatory filings made last week show. She was appointed as additional director at Snapdeal on March 30.

SoftBank holds two board seats at Snapdeal. During the last week of September, Kabir Misra, managing partner at SoftBank Capital, was elevated to director from additional director at Jasper Infotech, a separate filing revealed.

“Kabir (Misra) has joined the board. Can’t comment on the rest,” a spokesperson from SoftBank told VCCircle.

In July, Snapdeal, the original e-commerce bet of SoftBank, walked out of a merger deal with Flipkart. SoftBank then sided with Flipkart by pumping in $2.4 billion in the e-commerce market leader in which it would pick 20% and a board seat following regulatory approval. On the other hand, Snapdeal drastically downsized its operations and pivoted into a pureplay marketplace model.

SoftBank also holds a board seat in digital payments firm Paytm, run by One 97 Communications. Citing company filings with the Registrar of Companies, the Press Trust of India reported that Misra joined Paytm’s board as an additional director. Misra, who has been with the SoftBank Group since 2005, is the president of SoftBank China & India Holdings, and also the vice president of SoftBank Inc.

Snapdeal and Jalan did not immediately respond to email queries from VCCircle at the time of publishing this report.

Jett, an investor who focuses on consumer Internet and e-commerce businesses, has been with the SoftBank Group since 2015. She had also worked with investment banks Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan. She has an MBA from Stanford University.

In February this year, SoftBank Group chief operating officer and managing director Jonathan Bullock had resigned from the boards of its two biggest investee companies in India, Snapdeal and Ola. Bullock had joined the boards of Snapdeal, Ola and Housing.com after SoftBank president Nikesh Arora quit them in April 2015.

Leading consumer internet firms have of late witnessed major board level changes, reflecting significant changes in their shareholding patterns.

Last month VCCircle reported that Lee Fixel, partner at Tiger Global Management, resigned from the board of cab aggregator Ola, where the US-based hedge fund held a minority stake.

Snapdeal witnessed board-level changes when Vani Kola, founder and managing director at Kalaari Capital, one of Snapdeal early investors, resigned in April.

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SoftBank’s Saurabh Jalan joins Snapdeal board as Lydia Jett resigns

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