SoftBank Group Corp is a Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet corporation. It was set up on September 3, 1981. It was headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Softbank deals in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet, technology services, finance, media and many other such businesses. The company is headed by founder Masayoshi Son. Since its establishment, the SoftBank Group has consistently operated under the vision of becoming a company contributing to people’s happiness and joy, and to the future of the world, not only pursuing the profit of the company. This vision is a driving force for the SoftBank Group as they continue to pursue growth.
MAAYOSHI SON – He is a Japanese Business Magnate and investor of Korean descent who is the founder and current chief executive officer of Japanes holding conglomerate SoftBank. He was named the world’s powerful person by Forbes Magazine’s List of The World’s Most Powerful People in 2013. He is also been described as a philanthropist.
HISTORY: – SoftBank bought COMDEX from The Interface Group on 1 April 1995for $800 million,and ZDI on 29th February 1996.In 2000 , SOftBank made its most successful investment ever- $20milion to a then fledgling Chinese Internet venture Alibaba. This investment turned into $60billion when Alibaba went public in Sept 2014. In May 2018, CEO Masayoshi Son revealed during an earnings prsentation that Walmart reached a deal to buy Flipkart.
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Softbank has had a keen interest in India’s market and was seen investing in many companies. Masayoshi Son has for a while now made it his business to bet on the future. That’s probably why a downturn of the kind that is currently in session in India’s technology start-up market doesn’t ruffle him. A big investment in companies like Flipkart, OYO rooms were seen. SoftBank has put more than $4 billion to work in the Indian market. With the latest inundation of investments, Son is clearly sending out the message that India, despite recent setbacks, remains an extremely important market for SoftBank. Further, it is willing to write even bigger cheques than it has in the past to consolidate its hold over the market. And it’s just good for new prospering startups like Ola and many others.
Barely two weeks after it failed to push through a sale of its portfolio company Snapdeal, it invested in Flipkart. This latest investment rose Flipkart’s cash reserves to $4 billion, and it allowed the Bengaluru-headquartered online retail firm to create a deeper moat as it continues to stave off stiff competition from Amazon.
Ensuring that it remains in the driver’s seat of the Indian e-commerce ecosystem, Softbank also invested $1.8 billion in mobile wallet major Paytm. It was the biggest stakeholder in Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, pushing Chinese internet giant Alibaba to the second spot. This was the biggest round of funding ever by an Indian e-commerce firm. This investment by Softbank not only enhanced the company’s expansion plans but helped it get rid of the “Chinese company” tag because of its association with Alibaba, a reputation that its rivals and detractors used to derail its growth during demonetization. This investment has helped Paytm expand its user base and build a suite of financial services products for its users. The company also launched its payments bank as a further expansion of its many services.
OYO rooms raised an undisclosed amount of capital from InnoVen Capital, as well as two rounds totaling $162 million from Softbank. The large capital infusion gave Oyo Rooms the muscle to compete with rivals like the MakeMyTrip-Ibibo combine as well as counter newer threats from overseas players like Priceline-owned Bookings.com. The deal also gave a larger role in the Indian travel market, where online penetration is much higher as compared to retail. The funding helped Oyo further expand its network of 7,000 hotels and 70,000 rooms in 200 Indian cities. Key to this expansion plan was its new initiative called Townhouse.
Softbank had also put an effort in an investment in housing.com. It added to a convoluted web of investments of $20 million. This development came at a time when the industry was abuzz with speculation over a possible merger of Housing.com with one of its leading rival which is an offline real estate brokerage company. Totalling $20 million, the back-to-back bridge rounds in the space of around 10 months were meant to keep the company, which was going through a rough patch, afloat. The four-year-old startup, which was touted as a promising disrupter of India’s opaque residential property market, had to scale down its operations and prune its workforce in the past many months following the troubles it has been facing. But this investment gave a push to the online company.
Lastly, another major investment by Softbank was in Grofers. Grofers was planning to merge with Big basket. And Softbank invested $100 million in the merger. The Series C round also included existing backers DST’s Apoletto Managers, Tiger Global and Instacart investor Sequoia Capital.
It aims to become the most respected and trusted company in each of its respective business domains while maximising synergies with its Group companies . By collaborating with companies who share the vision . They strive to contribute to the society so people can share the dream and vision of a healthy internet society with future generations. It shows up to ensure future development with the business partners based on relationships of mutual respect and innovation.
Softbank has been seen investing in Indian market even though it faced severe losses. It has tried to save many falling companies and some became a major hit also. It also invested in Snapdeal, Ola and many speculations are still going on. “In 2015 our chairman and CEO committed to a goal of a minimum $10 billion investment in ten years. Given our pace of commitments, we expect to hit this schedule well ahead of schedule,” a SoftBank spokesperson said. And they are rushing towards achieving their goal. So it would be interesting for us to see what happens next and which big company does Softbank invest in next.