SoftBank proposes to buy 37.87% stake in Indian logistics startup Delhivery

Japan’s technology conglomerate SoftBank has sought the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) approval to acquire a 37.87 per cent stake in logistics firm Delhivery Pvt Ltd.

In a recent filing with CCI, Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank proposed to route the investment through Cayman Islands-based holding company, SVF Doorbell (Cayman) Ltd, created on behalf of the $93-billion SoftBank Vision Fund.

“The proposed combination will involve a subscription to 22.44 per cent of the total share capital of DPL (Delhivery Pvt Ltd) and on completion a potential subsequent acquisition of shares at a price and on such terms to be agreed,” the filing said.

According to an Economic Times report published in October last year,  SoftBank Vision Fund was looking to invest $200-250 million in the Gurgaon-based Delhivery at a post-money valuation of around $1.2 billion. A month prior, it was reported that the company had postponed its plan for an initial public offering (IPO) to this year, and was instead seeking fresh private funding. The IPO was expected to provide a partial exit to some of its investors, particularly those that had invested in the company three to four years ago.

Some of the key existing investors in the company include private equity giant Carlyle Group, China’s Fosun Group, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Tiger Global, Renuka Ramnath-led Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Nexus Venture Partners and Times Internet.

Founded as SSN Logistics Pvt Ltd in 2011, Delhivery provides transportation, warehousing, freight services and overall fulfillment services to various customers in over 1,200 cities across India.

Carlyle had invested in the startup’s $100-million investment round for a significant stake in March 2017. The round also saw participation from existing investor Tiger Global. In 2015, Delhivery had raised $85 million from Tiger Global, Renuka Ramnath-led Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Nexus Venture Partners and Times Internet.

Delhivery is among the most funded logistics company in India, and has so far raised $257.6 million, according to Crunchbase data. One of its closest competitors, Rivigo, has received a total of $180.6 million in funding since inception. Rivigo is reportedly in talks to raise a larger round of $350-400 million. It, too, has held talks with SoftBank for funding in the past.

Another player operating in the space, BlackBuck, has raised $135.2 million funding to date. Earlier this month, the startup raised $12.43 million (Rs 87.02 crore) in a funding round led by existing investor Sands Capital, and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, VCCircle reported.

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