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SoftBank Says Could Invest Another $5-10B In India In 2022 If It Finds Right Cos

Misra noted that like public markets, the private capital market is robust and there is a lot of private capital flowing into India.

SoftBank, which is among the prominent investors in the Indian tech startup ecosystem, could invest another $5-10 billion in the country in 2022 if it finds the right companies at the right valuation, according to SoftBank Investment Advisers CEO Rajeev Misra.

Speaking at Bloomberg’s sixth ‘India Economic Forum 2021’, Misra said SoftBank had been investing in India for over a decade, and has pumped in roughly $14 billion over the past six years.

“So far this year, we have invested $3 billion and are looking to invest in more. It’s not in three or four companies, we have invested in 24 companies in India. So, it’s not that there is a feeding frenzy for three or four assets. There are tech companies, education, ecommerce to Ola Electric to fintech,” he said on Thursday.

Misra noted that like public markets, the private capital market is robust and there is a lot of private capital flowing into India.

Many of the Indian startups that SoftBank has invested in are enroute to their IPOs, including PolicyBazaar, Delhivery and Oyo. Companies like Ola are also reportedly looking at approaching the market regulator Sebi for listing in the coming months.

Paytm, another SoftBank-backed company, saw bids for its IPO (initial public offering) close on Thursday.

“If we find the right companies, we could invest another $5 billion to $10 billion…if we find the right opportunities at the right valuation.

“We came in and invested again in Flipkart, which we had exited in 2018…a lot of investments we have done over the past three years, we will be putting new money into them (as follow-on investment) as they raise new capital,” he stated.

Misra explained that the quantum of capital being raised by founders now is not as high as a few years ago. SoftBank has written large cheques for companies like Paytm and OYO in the past.

“They’re (founders) raising $150-300 million. Unlike two-three years ago, when we could deploy in a billion dollars, the ticket size has come down dramatically. So to invest $3-4 billion, it would require like investing in 15 companies,” he added.

Talking about the sectors of interest, Misra said SoftBank has invested in a range of sectors right from edtech to fintech and software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.

“I think fintech is the biggest opportunity in India because India is underbanked. We had Paytm and PolicyBazaar, we are looking at a few other fintech companies, because financial inclusion is a must in India…of course education is another big piece of investing,” he said adding that India is a “major part” of SoftBank’s growth ambitions.

(PTI)

Source: Business World

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