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List of biggest SoftBank investments in Indian Startup Ecosystem

10 successful SoftBank investments in India

Masayoshi Son, founder of Japanese giant SoftBank Group had said in late 2014 that his group will invest $10 billion in the Indian market by 2024. It hasn’t been 5 years and SoftBank has already surpassed the mark of $8 billion dollars in investments in India and is expected to overachieve its target a lot sooner than anticipated.

“We would definitely overachieve on our commitment much ahead of time and at a much bigger scale,”, as told by Masayoshi Son, in an earlier interview.

Here is the complete list, which includes all major investments done by the Softbank group in the Indian startup market since its inception.

Paytm: India’s largest digital payments startup Paytm, came under SoftBank’s radar much later in May 2017, when SoftBank finally got the opportunity to invest $1,400 million. Paytm has turned out to be one of the best bets for SoftBank in India. Paytm has been in the news recently for crossing 5 billion transactions in a year and it is also venturing into forex services. In March 2019, the platform raised around $1.5 billion- 2 billion from Softbank Vision Fund after which the Noida-based company’s valuation surged between $16-18 billion.

Delhivery: In March 2019, the logistics startup Delhivery raised $413 million in a funding round led  by Softbank Vision Fund. Later in the same month, Softbank invested about $350 million in Delhivery, taking its valuation to $1.6 billion.

Grofers: An Indian online grocery delivery service Grofers had raised $120 million from SoftBank in November 2015. The platform continues to grow its user base and is operating in 13 cities across the country. In 2018, the online grocery delivery startup Grofers raised $61.6 million in a round of funding led by Softbank. After which, Softbank held a 35- 40 per cent stake in the platform. Whereas, in May 2019, Grofers bagged $200 million series F funding round, which was led by SoftBank Vision Fund. Recently in August this year, the grocery delivery service space received another $70 million funding of its Series F round from SoftBank.

Paytm Mall: India’s largest digital payments platform Paytm’s subsidiary Paytm Mall, has secured $445 million in a funding round by SoftBank.

FirstCry: SoftBank has infused $395.7 million in a series E round of Pune-based online baby products omni-commerce retailer Firstcry.

Policy Bazaar: An online insurance startup Policy Bazaar has bagged over $200 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund in July 2018.

Ola Electric: India’s first multimodal electric vehicle project Ola Electric has raised a funding of $250 million (approx ₹1,725 crore) from SoftBank Group.

Automation Anywhere: US and India-based Robotic Process Automation (RPA) startup Automation Anywhere has raised around ₹2,150 crore ($300 million) in an extended series A funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

Snapdeal: This e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal was amongst one of the early high-value investments in India by SoftBank, receiving $650 million in total. Unlike its other successful investments, Snapdeal is struggling to further raise money for expansion. After a series of discussions last year, Flipkart had backed out from the deal to acquire Snapdeal.

OYO: This Indian hospitality startup OYO got $100 million from SoftBank in August 2015. Oyo is now the largest hospitality company in India and it has also announced its entry in the UK, Indonesia, along with other European countries after entering China. In a recent development, Oyo is set to enter the wedding industry, and it has also acquired AblePlus, to foray into IoT. Latest fund raised by Oyo was around ₹1,600 crore ($250 million), led by its existing investor SoftBank. 

Flipkart: Investing in Snapdeal instead of Flipkart could be one of the few mistakes made by SoftBank in its early years in the Indian market but it was rectified as soon as SoftBank got the opportunity to invest in Flipkart in August 2017. SoftBank invested a record-breaking $2,600 million, almost doubling its previous high-value investment of $1,400 million in Paytm. Flipkart was recently acquired by the US retail giant Walmart for a colossal $16 billion, making it an international favorite. It is also looking to venture into digital lending, having applied for NBFC license.

Uber: This cab aggregator received investment from SoftBank in the amount of $1,200 million at the end of 2017. Uber is a competitor of Ola, another cab aggregator backed by SoftBank.

InMobi: After SoftBank’s initial investment in 2011, InMobi first became EBITDA profitable for the year ending December 2016, according to the company’s press release.

Housing: Mumbai-based real estate searching platform received $90 million from SoftBank in December 2014. Housing was founded by Rahul Yadav and his classmates from IIT-Bombay in 2012.

Ola: India’s leading cab aggregator Ola received $210 million in October 2014 from SoftBank. Ola has since then expanded to new countries along with the acquisition of TaxiForSure and Foodpanda, food delivery platform. In a recent development, Ola has started making money on every ride and is aiming for profitability by 2019.

hike Messenger: Hike, India’s first social and technology company provides messaging services for its user. It was founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal in 2012. SoftBank was one of the investors to invest in its first round of funding in April 2013.

While, other investment development under the SoftBank banner include:

Andhra Pradesh: SoftBank Group Corp has evinced interest to invest in the electric vehicles industry in Andhra Pradesh, an official statement said.

SoftBank eyes on mobility sector in India, may invest in two-wheeler start-ups: SoftBank, based out of Japan, is reportedly, said to be eyeing the mobility sector in India, including the two-wheeler mobility space, reported ET, citing multiple sources.

SoftBank plans to invest $2-4 billion in India over next two years: SoftBank Vision Fund, based out of Japan, has planned to invest $2-4 billion in India over the next two years. The investment will be done in financial services sector as it changes its usual preference of infusing funds in internet and tech-driven businesses in the country.

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Suviral Shukla


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