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SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son likely to visit India

SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son is likely to visit India next week, which will be his maiden visit to the country post 2018, reported Moneycontrol. The founders of SoftBank portfolio have been asked to remain present for a meeting with Son in Delhi.

“This will also be one of his first foreign visits after Covid. He will be maintaining Covid protocols and probably be in a bio-bubble. It is expected to be a very short visit,” Moneycontrol quoted sources as saying.

Son could meet government officials and other SoftBank portfolio founders and CEOs during his visit to New Delhi.

Japanese conglomerate Softbank’s arm SVF Doorbell (Cayman) recently divested 3.8 per cent of its stake in supply chain company Delhivery for Rs 954 crore through open market transactions. The company also has investments in Indian companies such as Paytm, PolicyBazaar, Delhivery, Swiggy, Meesho, OYO, FirstCry, OfBusiness and Unacademy, among others. In total, around $15 billion has been invested so far in Indian companies.

Notably, Son’s visit to India comes at the time of OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal’s marriage which is scheduled to happen on March 7. The reception is going to be attended by top honchos of politics and the corporate world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been invited.

“While Son may not be able to be there at Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal’s wedding reception on March 7, he might want to take the opportunity and greet him personally later during the visit,” Moneycontrol quoted another source as saying.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp fell to a quarterly loss as its giant Vision Fund investment unit remained in the red for a fourth straight quarter, sharpening focus on when markets will recover enough to allow it to list some assets.

Softbank’s Vision Fund upended the world of venture capital with splashy bets on startups, but it has been hammered in recent quarters by a global tech rout, prompting SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son to sharply scale back fresh investments.

SoftBank Group Corp corporate officer and executive vice president Rajeev Misra also stepped down from his position after the company reported a loss of $50 billion at the Vision Fund investment arm in the six months to end-June, with Chief Executive Masayoshi Son pledging to cut back investment activity and reduce costs.

SoftBank has backed many startups in the recent past, but in 2022, it invested only about $500 million into Indian startups, which fell from over $3.2 billion investment in 2021. BusinessToday

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