Indian B2B marketplace OfBusiness in fundraising talks with SoftBank

Photo: Bloomberg

OFB Tech, which runs the OfBusiness business-to-business marketplace, is in advanced talks to raise $150 million from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., valuing the startup at $1.3 billion, two people aware of the transaction said on condition of anonymity.

Late last month, the Japanese company’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2 had led a $250 million funding round in banking technology startup Zeta, catapulting the Bhavin Turakhia-led firm’s valuation to $1.45 billion.

Other recent bets in India from the fund include social commerce platform Meesho, eyewear brand Lenskart and edtech firm Unacademy.

OfBusiness was founded in 2015 by Asish Mohapatra, Ruchi Kalra, Vasant Sridhar and Bhuvan Gupta. According to a valuation report dated 31 March, OFB Tech was valued at 4,553 crore.

Email queries to SoftBank and OFB Tech went unanswered at press time.

The seven-year-old company last raised capital in April when a consortium of investors, led by returning investor Falcon Edge Capital, pumped in $110 million. The round also saw a secondary component, with the exit of 12 angel investors and ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) liquidation worth $13 million by 73 employees.

Apart from the B2B marketplace, OFB Tech also operates financing platform Oxyzo and O’AgriFarm, a global agri-product fulfilment and financing platform, which works with companies such as Godrej, Zomato and Reliance Industries, serving their agri-product supply chain.

O’AgriFarm is headed by Nitin Jain.

OFB Tech also operates BidAssist, an SME (small and medium enterprises) business opportunity platform to bid for private and government tenders.

The book value of Oxyzo for the financial year 2020-21 was estimated to be 733.8 crore, according to the report.

The company works with manufacturing sub-sectors, including heavy machinery, consumer goods and agri-business, and had raised $200 million in debt over the past year from 40 lending partners to finance its growth during the pandemic.

OFB Tech’s B2B marketplace competes directly with industrial goods marketplace Moglix, in which Falcon Edge Capital is a common investor. Moglix became a unicorn last month after it raised $120 million in a funding round led by Falcon Edge Capital and Harvard Management Co.

SoftBank has so far backed 95 companies from its second fund.

It raised the target corpus of the second fund to $30 billion as of 11 May, according to its latest earnings presentation. SoftBank Group will be the sole limited partner in the fund.

As of November 2020, the fund had a target corpus of $10 billion.

The article was first published on livemint.com

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.