From Flipkart to Oyo and Paytm, most of the Indian startups that come to mind when someone says unicorns are backed by Japanese venture fund Softbank. Its Vision Fund 1 backs 22 publicly listed startups among 78, and four of those are from India, where Softbank has already invested $8 billion from its $10 billion target. As he decided to land in India in time for Oyo boss Ritesh Agarwal's wedding, Softbank's founder Masayoshi Son also met CEOs of emerging Indian startups.
Agarwal and his wife Geetansha Sood were also seen touching feet of the Japanese billionaire who owns a 45 per cent stake in Oyo.
The billionaire behind startups across the globe, met founders and CEOs of firms such as Flipkart, FirstCry and Cars24, among others that his company has been funding. He also met Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, amid reports that Softbank is looking to cut down its stake in the payment app. Sharma tweeted pictures of Son with enthusiastic startup CEOs, at a time when funds for the ecosystem in India have been drying up.
Visit amid troubled times
But Son's visit was meant to reassure entrepreneurs, as he called investing in India a core instinct for Softbank. At the same time, Son has arrived in India when his Vision 1 fund has been dented by deep losses. He also struck a pose at Ritesh Agarwal's wedding, as his startup Oyo is slated to go public this year.
SoftBank also planned to invest in Sequoia Capital backed GoMechanic, but an audit conducted by Ernst and Young before the move, exposed a scam at the startup. It has also been hit by the crash of crypto exchange FTX, which it had been funding.
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