Softbank is an established consolidator. The Firm has its tentacles in countries across the globe and vast coffers to back it up. India has been a pretty important market and the investment firm is now ramping up its interests in the country. According to sources, the firm is planing to get a piece of every pie the country has to offer.
Apparently, Softbank is planning to take a much more active role in the country’s startup ecosystem and start playing consolidator in earnest. For instance, the firm plans to push Snapdeal’ merger with Flipkart and an announcement could come as early as next week.
Softbank has always backed Snapdeal. The firm has invested almost $1 Billion in the e-commerce firm ever since 2014. However, Snapdeal has been finding itself under a huge amount of pressure what with both Flipkart and Amazon hemming it in.
It could now broker a merger between Flipkart and Snapdeal and put up a better front against Amazon’s advances int the country. Snapdeal investors were expected to get one Flipkart share for every 10 Snapdeal shares and Softbank could also invest $1 Billion in Flipkart through a direct cash infusion.
Snapdeal could also be planning to pump in some significant cash infusions into Paytm. While this would allow Softbank to have a greater say in the company, it would also let Paytm increase its already significant lead over its competitors.
Softbank also has stakes in Grofers, and the investment firm could be attempting to broker a tie-up between the Grocery firm and its rival BigBasket. The firms operate in a highly complicated niche and as such, a tie-up could allow them to tap better into the possibilities — a backing from Softbank would be icing on the cake. However, such a deal is far from certain considering that there are a lot of variables to be considere, increasing both the companies high cash burn rates.
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder could be behind this new surge of interest in the country. There were people who expected Softbank’s interest in the country to slack off after Son replaced Nikesh Arora. You have to credit Son for creating an entity of the magnitude of Alibaba in China and he could be hoping to repeat the feat in India.