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Longest Serving Investor Vani Kola Resigns from Snapdeal Board

Kola had been part of the Snapdeal board since September 2009.

Vani Kola, MD of venture capital firm Kalaari Capital, and a longstanding board member of Snapdeal, has resigned as director of the ecommerce company, as it prepares to be sold to rival ecommerce firm Flipkart.

According to the letter of resignation, addressed to the company’s board, dated May 2, and accessed by Tofler, a corporate research and monitoring platform, Kola has requested the Board to discharge her of her duties with immediate effect.

She has been the longest serving investing member on the board but she felt the board is entering into a new alliance and hence, would not require her services. Kola had been part of the Snapdeal board since September 2009.

SoftBank, the largest stakeholder in Snapdeal, has been facilitating the sale talks of the company to Flipkart. The Japanese group managed to get the consent of Nexus Venture Partners, which had been holding off from agreeing to the sale, last week.

Kalaari Capital, gave its assent to the proposed sale last month. The deal estimated at $750 million-$ 1 billion, pegs the value of Snapdeal far below its peak value of $6.5 billion. Kola was the sole representative for Kalaari Capital on the Snapdeal board.

Bengaluru-based Kalaari Capital, which had invested about $27.5 million in the Gurgaon-based online marketplace, holding about 8% stake, was one of the early investors in the company and held powerful voting rights under its shareholders agreement.

Apart from Kalaari Capital, which held one board seat, the seven-member Snapdeal board comprises SoftBank, which holds two seats, founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal - who have a seat each -- Nexus Venture Partners, which has one seat and Akhil Gupta, vice-chairman of Bharti Enterprises as an independent director.

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