Japan's SoftBank is investing $627 million in India’s largest online marketplace Snapdeal. The company is set to become Snapdeal's largest investor.
Through the investment and partnership, it said it aims to further strengthen its presence in India and leverage synergies with its network of Internet companies around the world.
“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,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of the SoftBank Corp.
Founded in 2010, Snapdeal has more than 25 million registered users and more than 50,000 business sellers.
Nikesh Arora, Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. (SIMI), said India has the third-largest Internet user base in the world, but a relatively small online market currently.
“This situation means India has, with better, faster and cheaper internet access, a big growth potential. With today’s announcement SoftBank is contributing to the development of the infrastructure for the digital future of India,” Arora said.
Arora will be joining the board of Snapdeal as part of the group’s investment.
“Our entire team at Snapdeal is thrilled and honored to have SoftBank as a strategic partner. With the support of Son-san and Nikesh, we are confident we will further strengthen our promise to consumers and create life changing experiences for one million small businesses in India,” said Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal.
Meeting with India's Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Law & Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi on Tuesday, Masayoshi Son said SoftBank would like to invest approximately $10 billion in India in the coming years, acknowledging its great e-commerce potential which he estimates to become a $0.5 trillion business in the next 10 years.
The Minister welcomed the move and gave the Japanese businessman an assurance that the government is working to develop a world class communication network in India.