SoftBank today announced two major investments in India-based startups that total up to one big bet on the future of the country’s digital economy.
“Since SoftBank’s foundation, our mission has been to contribute to people’s lives through the Information Revolution,” said Masayoshi Son, chair and chief executive of SoftBank Corp., in a press release. “We believe India is at a turning point in its development and have confidence that India will grow strongly over the next decade. As part of this belief, we intend to deploy significant capital in India over the next few years to support development of the market.”
The company’s venture arm, SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (SIMI), made its biggest investment of $627 million in SnapDeal, India’s largest online marketplace. The backing will make SoftBank the largest investor in SnapDeal, which now claims to have 25 million registered users and more than 50,000 business sellers.
SoftBank also invested $210 million in Ola Cabs, a car-sharing service that has 33,000 vehicles registered to use its service across 19 cities in India.