Softbank, one among the prominent Telecommunications and Internet corporations in Japan, has plans to make one of the biggest investments in India. It plans to invest US $3 billion in India’s largest e – commerce firm, Flipkart and also has plans to buy 10% stake in the Company. Read more on Investments
In December 2016, when Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of Softbank, came to India, he said, “India has the best opportunity ahead of us. That is why I come here today. The company has so far invested US $2 billion in India and will look to invest another US $8 billion over the next eight years. Fifteen years ago we made lots of investments in China. Five years before that I made investments in Japan. Ten years before that in the US. All of them were in internet – related companies”.
The other companies in which Softbank has invested in India include Ola and Snapdeal. Softbank’s investment in Snapdeal failed to yield any returns as the company could not compete with its competitors like Olx and Quickr in India. The investment is Ola has been somewhat successful as Ola and Uber are engaged in a cut throat competition in India. Ola has used the funding from Softbank to upgrade its mobile app and launch new features like Ola Play. Softbank is in talks with Snapdeal to merge the company with Flipkart. It is trying to persuade other key investors of Snapdeal to trade their stakes in Snapdeal for stakes in Flipkart.
“With the Flipkart – Snapdeal merger, SoftBank will have a significant stake in the country’s largest e-commerce firm, which will be much bigger than Amazon India”, Mr. Son said.
During February this year (2017), the mobile wallet startup in India, True Balance, raised Rs. 100 crores in Series B round of funding from Softbank. In August, 2016, Softbank invested Rs. 413 crores in Series C round of funding in Oyo rooms and got a stake of 42% in the hotel room booking, Indian startup. During April, this year (2017), Softbank had invested US $250 million in Ola and it is also in talks with Paytm to invest US $1 to 1.5 billion in the company.
Being Indians, we should all be supportive of Indian startups. I personally hope that Softbank’s huge investments in major Indian companies like Ola and Flipkart will help these companies overtake their arch rivals, Uber and Amazon respectively, in their field of business. The Government of India should create a more business friendly environment in India and promote foreign investments in India so that startups in India find it easy to get funded. Read more on Startup News
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