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Softbank Chief Encourages Indian Entrepreneurs By Addressing Every Crisis To Be A Godsend Opportunity.

On a brief visit to India, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son reminded the founders of the fund’s portfolio firms that every crisis is a blessing in disguise for them to become stronger. This comes as the Japanese fund has made no new investments in India in 2022, despite a tech funding winter, and has curtailed new investments in India by more than 84 percent in 2022.

According to sources, Son recently reaffirmed the trust in India while speaking with up to ten founders. Following are some of the event’s attendees.

  1. FirstCry founder Supam Maheshwari.
  2. Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal.
  3. OfBusiness founders Asish Mohapatra and Ruchi Kalra.
  4. Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy.

FirstCry founder Supam Maheshwari and Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal.

Softbank investments in India.

He stated that while SoftBank‘s original IT investments in India around 2015 were based on his intuition, it has now become a foundational belief in India. He moves on by saying that India is on track to become one of the world’s top three economies.

The company’s first large online investments in India were in late 2014 and early 2015, when it led and participated in massive rounds of investing in businesses like Snapdeal, Ola, Oyo, Housing.com, and Grofers. Son had stated earlier that SoftBank will invest $10 billion in India over the next several years. Thus far, he has excelled in his pledge, investing about $15 billion in Indian enterprises, $11 billion of which has come in the last six years.

Son discussed SoftBank’s aspirations in his meeting with the founders. According to insiders, he stated that it has only reached 1% of his plan so far and spoke about his 300-year vision for the enormous digital giant. He reminded the event of portfolio founders and Executives that SoftBank is still in the entrepreneurial stage and is always striving to reinvent itself.

The Indian startup.

With private market investment for innovation being constricted, Son encouraged the entrepreneurs to become more robust and re-prioritize what are the most critical elements of the organizations. Softbank’s chief Son encouraged the entrepreneurs to determine what was most essential and encouraged them to let their creative instincts shine.

Son’s journey to Delhi coincided with OYO founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal’s wedding reception, to which the business world who’s who was invited. The SoftBank chief visited the reception area also and is said to have spent 7-10 minutes there. During his visit, he met with Airtel CEO Sunil Mittal as well.

During his two hours with the founders, he is said to have discussed with Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal the acquisition of Japanese eyewear manufacturer Owndays in 2022. Son praised PayPay, a payments startup founded as a joint venture between Paytm and SoftBank, for its “roaring success” in Japan.

The words of gratitude.

Afterwards, Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma noted in his tweet about his absolute delight as he sees Masayoshi smiling, happy, and loving his India vacation. He moved on by saying that they were all grateful for Son’s faith in and support for their businesses.

Softbank Chief.

The decline of Softbank’s investments in India.

According to statistics, SoftBank has supported roughly a quarter of India’s over 100 unicorns, yet it only invested nearly $500 million in Indian businesses last year, down from over $3.2 billion in total for 2021. It involved only approximately six transactions last year, compared to 17 in 2021.

SoftBank Group Corp, one of India’s most prolific private tech market investors, has reduced its investments in India by more than 84 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, and it becomes more selective in capital deployment in the face of macroeconomic challenges.

The average cheque size has decreased to $83.3 million in the first 11 months of last year, compared to nearly $185 million for the entire year of 2021, according to the statistics. In 2017, SoftBank’s Vision Fund investment entities invested more than $11.2 billion in Indian enterprises. It invested more than $4.1 billion in 2017 alone, and that was across only three transactions.

According to sources, SoftBank has invested about $15 billion through its Vision Fund investment entities over the years. In 2021, SoftBank will have invested in at least three rounds totaling more than $500 million.

SoftBank, on the other hand, has not invested in a single round of more than $500 million in 2022. Polygon’s $450 million financing in February of last year was its biggest round. SoftBank, in addition to Polygon, invested in three rounds ranging from $100 to $303 million.

SoftBank, on the other extreme, made four departures last year, the most in the Japanese investment conglomerate’s eight-year history.

The last line. 

Though Softbank has made big departures from India, it seems that it is optimistic about India’s growth and may return with its investments soon.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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