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’, Rajeev Misra said SoftBank had been investing in India for over a decade, and has pumped in roughly $14 billion over the past six years. We could invest another $5-10 billion in 2022, if we find the right opportunities at the right valuation. As I say, the quantum of capital we are able to invest today is not as high because the founders are not raising as much money. They’re raising $150-300 million, so each investment is roughly $200-300 million.
He added that two or three years ago, “we could deploy a billion dollars in an Oyo or Paytm” but now “the ticket size has come down dramatically”. Given this scenario, said Misra, Softbank would have to invest about $200 million each in 15 companies to make a total investment of $3-4 billion. “We have a local office, which is working hard and building relationships with the young entrepreneurs and building these relationships six months or a year before they need capital,” Misra added.
Speaking on the top opportunities by segments, Misra said business-to-business (B2B) SaaS, fintech and education continue to be interesting avenues for investments.
“We have invested in education through Eruditus. But, I think fintech is the biggest opportunity in India because India is unbanked. We had (invested in) Paytm and Policybazaar. We’re looking at two other Fintech companies, because financial inclusion is a must in India. The big ones that we like are still B2B businesses that serve (other) businesses to improve their HR and sales quality. These are not just for India but can go global,” said Misra on Thursday.
“Of course, education is another big piece we are investing in and fintech,” added Misra.