India is a key investment market for SoftBank, and it’s ramping up the local team with about a dozen new hires. Out of these, about six people have already been hired while the other half a dozen will be recruited soon.
The new hires would be helping portfolio companies in scaling up, global expansion as well as identifying new investment opportunities. Currently, SoftBank has two seperate teams – investing and operating – in India.
SoftBank has invested over $10 billion in India across segment leaders such as Paytm, OYO, Delhivery, and Policybazaar among several others. The new hires in operating team would primarily help analyse the performance of local portfolio.
According to an ET report, at least six of the new hires will be operating partners that will identify investment opportunities along with investment team and help portfolio companies extend arms out of India benefiting from the group’s global investment practices and experience. To beef up its ground positioning in India, SoftBank had hired Sumer Juneja to lead the investments into one its most lucrative markets. Previously, Juneja led the Indian office of US-based VC – Norwest Venture Partner.
Juneja was reportedly looking for people with prior experience in early stage investment space.
Of late, SoftBank has also been tweaking existing strategies for India. Largely known for investing in hefty rounds with hefty amounts, the investment firm eyes to invest relatively smaller amounts of $100-200 million. Several media reports outline that it plans to invest $2-4 billion in India.
Apart from investing through SoftBank Vision Fund, the firm is also using its venture capital arm SoftBank Ventures Asia to place early stage bets. It would invest $10-20 million in the consumer internet space across sectors such as fintech, healthtech, and artificial intelligence.
It’s worth noting that Softbank Venture Asia is yet to make any transaction in India.
In 2019, SoftBank had invested in companies such as Delhivery, Grofers, and Nykaa. Currently, it’s said to be in advanced stage to invest over a billion USD in Piramal Group and up to $500 million in foodtech major Swiggy. Fullstack fitness platform Curefit also in conversation with SoftBank for $200 million fresh financing round.