CouponDunia Founder Lashes Out At Kunal Bahl, Says Snapdeal Is “Months Behind” On Its Payments

Snapdeal’s employees aren’t the only ones getting a little fidgety about the company’s impending sale – its creditors are getting worried as well.

CouponDunia founder Sameer Parwani has just lashed out at Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl, accusing the company of being “months behind” on its payments. “Hey Kunal Bahl, I know you’re busy negotiating your $50M exit, but got time to clear our payments? You’re months behind,” he tweeted. Parwani’s barb appears to be based on news reports which had said that the Snapdeal founders were looking for a $50 million exit, even as Softbank was looking to sell the company to Flipkart. 

“The way you treat vendors has always been poor. Even when SD had $500M+ in the bank you’d pay months late,” he alleged. Parwani also compared Snapdeal unfavourably to its rivals, Flipkart and Amazon. “FK & AZ pay like clockwork,” he said. Parwani even went on to hope that Snapdeal’s current management gets the boot when it is taken over by Flipkart. “Looking forward to FK (Flipkart) eventually installing their own management. They have principles and treat vendors with respect,” he said. 

 

 

It’s an extraordinary rant, coming from one CEO to another, but it looks like Parwani isn’t shying away from burning any bridges. The startup ecosystem, as a whole, now appears to believe that Snapdeal’s distress sale is imminent. Founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal have admitted that they have little control left over the company’s fate, but had still tried to reassure their employees that they’ll try to look after their interests during the sale. There have been no reassurances made to Snapdeal’s vendors though, and it’s understandable that they’re getting a little skittish.

What’s probably making vendors uneasy is that this isn’t the only instance of Snapdeal allegedly defaulting on its dues – just this week, the organizers of the Bangalore Fashion Week had sued the company for not paying the sponsorship fee they’d promised. The court had ordered an FIR be filed against Kunal Bahl and 10 other executives, and ordered them to appear before it on 27th May.

India’s startup ecosystem has already had a brush with a prominent startup failing to pay its dues – last month, Stayzilla had seen an FIR filed against it by a vendor who’d claimed that it was owed Rs. 1.7 crore, and Stayzilla’s CEO Yogendra Vasupal had been arrested and jailed for 25 days. Coincidently, Sameer Parwani had claimed then that Stayzilla owed CouponDunia dues as well.

While there are eerie parallels between the two cases, Snapdeal isn’t quite Stayzilla yet. The disputed amounts appear to be smaller for Snapdeal – Bangalore Fashion Week says Snapdeal owes it Rs. 25 lakh, which shouldn’t be a hard amount for a company of Snapdeal’s size to cough up. But there’s little doubt that Snapdeal is in some strife, and stakeholders are now rushing to get what they’re owed. Snapdeal is likely on its last legs, and the vultures are congregating on the horizon.

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