Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group may invest up to USD 10 billion in Indian startups next year, Rajeev Misra, chief executive officer of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said during an event organized by Bloomberg on Thursday.
“If we find the right companies, we could invest USD 5 billion to USD 10 billion in 2022,” Misra said at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum. “If we find the right opportunities at the right valuation.”
SoftBank, the backer of high profile Indian companies like fintech giant Paytm, mobility firm Ola, hospitality startup Oyo, edtech unicorn Unacademy, logistics company Delhivery, and omnichannel baby care retailer, among others, has already invested about USD 3 billion so far in 2021, according to a Bloomberg report.
Some of the significant investments that SoftBank made in the country this year include social commerce platform Meesho, SaaS firms Mindtickle and Whatfix, business-to-business commerce firm OfBusiness, in addition to banking tech platform Zeta.
SoftBank is stepping up its game in India at a time when its portfolio Paytm is all set to make the market debut next week. The Noida-headquartered company opened India’s largest-ever USD 2.5 billion IPO earlier this week. During the three-day bidding process that was concluded on November 10, the company’s issue was oversubscribed 1.89 times.
SoftBank came onboard Paytm’s cap table in 2017 and owned 18.5% of the company prior to its IPO, as per its red herring prospectus. The Tokyo-headquartered investment firm sold shares worth INR 16.89 billion as part of the INR 100 billion offer for sale in Paytm’s IPO.
“I believe Paytm should grow significantly…and valuation-wise. Of course, it depends on market conditions and investors’ appetite,” Masayoshi Son, chief executive officer at SoftBank, told reporters after the company’s Q3 earnings. He also believed that his firm’s investment in Paytm will be rewarded through its IPO, showing his confidence in Paytm’s upcoming official public market debut next week. “For us, the IPO should be a great event,” said Son.
India seems to be an emerging growth driver for SoftBank at a time when its Vision Fund unit reported a record loss of USD 7.3 billion for the quarter ended September as the share price of its portfolio companies like Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global fell.