Snapdeal Co-Founder Kunal Bahl Reveals How the E-Commerce Platform Got Its First Angel Investor


The story of Snapdeal finding its first angel investor 14 years ago is as much a lesson for entrepreneurship as it is about entrepreneurship. Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl described it as a story of “kindness and peace” as he met his first angel investor during a guest lecture at an American college. But it took him a few years to invest in his startup and he still remains an investor in Snapdeal. In a Twitter thread outlining the journey, Behl thanked Seattle professor Ken Glass, who decided to invest in his firm, adding that everyone associated with Snapdeal will always bless him.

Behl begins the story with his accidental meeting with Glass. One day, Behl went to the college to lecture on his management course. And a gray-haired man, dressed casually, was chatting with his regular professor outside the classroom. “I wondered who it was, the guest speaker seemed like it,” Behl said.

As the class began, the “gentle, animated, upbeat” person asked a question that got everyone guessing: “What does an entrepreneur need most to be successful?” The indication was that it started with the letter ‘P’. Several options emerged – such as patience, perfection and perseverance – but none made the cut.

“The right answer was… passion,” Bahl said, adding that he then decided to become an entrepreneur.

However, he wanted to make a softer change by taking a job after college. Microsoft, Behl recalled that the guest lecturer who visited his college was a former Microsoft executive from the 80s. “I emailed her to let her know that I attended her class a few years ago and was now moving to the Seattle area. Being a 22-year-old fresh graduate I didn’t expect a response.”

But he got a reply within 30 minutes. Their meetings jokingly went on for a few months, when Bahl’s visa was surprisingly denied, implying that he should leave the US.

So Behl decides to have one last lunch with his “friend” before leaving America.

During the conversation, Bahl told him about his plans to start a coupon book business in India.

Glass smiled and said to Behl, “Let me know if I can help you on your journey in any way.”

It was 2007 and there was no angel investor ecosystem in India.

Behl calls Glass and explains in detail what he is doing and asks for ideas on who he should approach for funds. Glass said he wants to support the venture.

“There was no conversation, no back-and-forth. We agreed on simple terms and in a matter of weeks we had the money we needed to take our entrepreneurship journey off the starting blocks,” Bahl said.

At the end of the thread, Bahl shared a picture of Glass, who came to India Snapdeal The co-founder’s wedding in 2012.

“And yes, Ken came to India for my wedding for the first time in 2012! 5 years later he made the first investment!” Bahl concluded his sutra and wrote.