October 28, 2017

Snapdeal founders face criminal complaint by GoJavas promoter


A criminal case has been filed with the Economic Offences Wing against Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal for criminal breach of trust, cheating, intellectual-property theft, theft of trade secrets and criminal misappropriation of securities by the promoter of QuickDel Logistics Pvt. Ltd, Anand Rai.

Merely two weeks after Rai shot off Rs 300-crore legal notice to Snapdeal and its founders, the step was taken. In August 2016, QuickDel Logistics, which runs third-party logistics firm GoJavas, was acquired by Rai, who is also the promoter of Pigeon Express Pvt. Ltd. When the firm was acquired, Snapdeal held a 49% stake in GoJavas.

Rai’s complaint comes just about three months after Snapdeal’s parent Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd filed a case against the former GoJavas promoters, Praveen Sinha, Randhir Singh, Ashish Chaudhary and Abhijeet Singh, for alleged cheating, forgery, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds. Rai had alleged that Snapdeal founders had unduly benefitted from the sale of GoJavas.

Buying a 20% stake in the company for $20 million, Snapdeal first became a minority investor in GoJavas, incorporated as Quickdel Logististics Pvt. Ltd and entering into a supply-chain partnership with it.

As per GoJavas, Snapdeal had approached its promoters through founding member and COO Vijay Ghadge in late 2014. The business partnership at the time of investment required Snapdeal providing 190,000 packages per day for delivery.

By October 2015, Snapdeal had amplified its stake in Gojavas to nearly 42% by investing another $20 million. The partnership with Snapdeal had helped the company become one of the largest independent logistics players in the country with a revenue run rate of Rs 500 crore, said Ghadge. Other allegations are that Snapdeal used GoJavas to run tests, such as 90-minute reverse pick-up and swipe on delivery, and siphoned off money to the tune of Rs 100 crore by raising fraudulent debit notes.

A Snapdeal spokesperson, however, told that the attempts by Quickdel Logistics run contrary to the “release and settlement agreement” dated 31 March 2017 signed by it. “All these allegations were baseless and nothing but an uninformed and frivolous attempt at extortion. We will initiate strict legal action in this regard.”

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