SoftBank Group has invested $14 billion in India so far, from making an initial $5 billion investment commitment to Narendra Modi during his first Japan visit as the Prime Minister, the Japanese conglomerate's chief Masayoshi Son said.
"Several years before when PM Modi came to Tokyo on his first trip, I met him in Tokyo and I said, I believe in the future of India, and I would like to invest. He met many big shots in Japan, he didn't know me enough, but I think I gave him the biggest commitment that I would invest $5 billion in India. We have already invested $14 billion in India [since]," Son said at InFinity Forum organised by International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) and Bloomberg.
Modi first visited Japan on a five-day official trip from 30 August to 3 September, 2014.
Son said SoftBank is the biggest foreign investor in India, and the group has provided about 10 per cent of the funding of all of the unicorns in India. He also claimed SoftBank portfolio firms have created one million new jobs in India.
"I believe in the future of India. I believe in the passion of young entrepreneurs in India. India will be great. There is a bright future. I tell the young people in India, let's make it happen, I will support," he said.
This year alone, the company has poured in $3 billion into Indian start-ups.
Talking about SoftBank's long term investment strategies, Son said, "When the stock market goes down, we are always criticized. As long as my goal is to create future and happiness to mankind, I don't care these criticisms. Because we take that kind of longstanding view, our return of investments for the last 20 years is 43 per cent IRR (internal rate of return). I think we have, may be, the highest returns for the 20-year scale. I'm not chasing money; I'm trying to create a future by taking risks together with entrepreneurs."
Last month, Softbank Investment Advisers CEO Rajeev Misra said the company is ready to invest as much as $10 billion in India next year provided it finds right opportunities at right valuation.
Talking at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum 2021, Misra had said that ticket sizes have come down dramatically and that it has to expand its portfolio base to reach its investment targets.
"We could invest another $5-10 billion in 2022, if we find the right companies at the right valuation. 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. To invest $3-4 billion, we would have to invest in about 15 companies," Misra had said at the event.
While two of its portfolio firms - Paytm and PolicyBazaar - made their stock exchange debut last month, another set of its investee firms, including Delhivery, Oyo, Ola, and Flipkart are preparing for public market listing in the next 18-24 months.
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