Japan’s SoftBank said to mull $5b Asia fund, with major focus on India

Billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Japan’s SoftBank Group is planning to double down on its investments in India with a new $5-billion Asia fund, half of which is expected to be invested in the South Asian country, reported CNBC TV18.

According to the report, SoftBank may launch the fund by the first quarter of the financial year 2019.

Consistent with SoftBank’s strategy, the new Asia fund will look to invest in companies across development, innovation, technology and telecom, added the report.

The Japanese internet giant had said that it would invest $10 billion in the Indian market by 2024 but as of this year, it has already crossed the $8 billion mark. The firm is one of the most active investors in India, along with US-based Tiger Global LLC and South Africa-based Naspers.

In July, Mint reported that Kabir Misra, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, is in advanced talks to set up an investment fund to make early- and mid-stage investments primarily in US, India and Southeast Asia-based startups.

The $200-250 million fund is likely to see SoftBank Group as its anchor limited partner.

Of SoftBank’s India investments, over $4 billion has gone into e-commerce major Flipkart, payments startup Paytm, insurtech firm Policybazaar, ride-hailing startup Ola, budget hotel chain Oyo and online grocery startup Grofers.

The firm exited a 20 per cent stake in Flipkart to world largest retailer Walmart when the latter picked an initial stake of about 88 per cent in Flipkart for $16 billion earlier this year.

Oyo, which has recently expanded to China and London, is said to be in talks with SoftBank Group to raise additional funding of $500-800 million. Another Indian unicorn, food delivery startup Swiggy, is in the midst of raising up to $500 million at a $2.5-billion valuation from investors, including potential new backer SoftBank.

Also Read:

Search Indian unicorn Swiggy in talks with SoftBank, others for up to $500m funding

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.