Snapdeal's earliest investor Kenneth Glass has come out in support of CEO Kunal Bahl over the decision to call off merger talks with larger rival Flipkart. Glass, a former Microsoft executive, has written an email to Bahl extending his support for 'Snapdeal 2.0'.
"Ten years ago, I believed in Kunal and Rohit's vision to create a successful company in India and was excited to be their very first investor," he wrote in an email, a copy of which was seen by PTI.
He further said: "Today, I'm equally excited about the announcement introducing Snapdeal 2.0 and believe the future for Snapdeal is very bright and I'm thrilled to continue to be on this journey with them."
When contacted, Bahl, in an emailed response, said it is great to see the continued support from shareholders like Kenneth, who has been an integral part of Snapdeal's journey. "Our team really appreciates the continued commitment of our shareholders to Snapdeal," he added.
There have been reports that Snapdeal's decision to walk away from the Flipkart deal and instead pursue an independent path has not gone down well with a section of shareholders.
According to a report by ET Now, Vani Kola -- co-founder of Kalaari Capital (an investor in Snapdeal that has Board representation) -- had criticised the move. "I am extremely disappointed and shocked with the founders and their disregard for investors and the employees' interest," she was quoted as saying.
After Snapdeal's announcement, its largest shareholder SoftBank, which was driving the discussions, had said it respected the decision to pursue an independent strategy.
While Japanese conglomerate SoftBank holds close to 35 percent stake in Snapdeal, the beleaguered e-commerce firm has a number of minority stakeholders. These include high-profile names like Ratan Tata and PremjiInvest (investment arm of Azim Premji). Other investors include Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Foxconn, Temasek and BlackRock.