SoftBank writes down investments in Ola, Snapdeal by $1.41 billion
Japanese investor SoftBank said it wrote down its investment valuation in Snapdeal and Ola by $1.41 billion. It has written down investments in Snapdeal by $1.01 billion and $400 million in Ola. SoftBank has written off almost its entire investment in Snapdeal as it pushes to offload the company to Flipkart. In India, SoftBank also has investments in OYO Rooms, Hike Messenger and Grofers.
SoftBank Group is a Japanese telecommunications giant, headquartered in Tokyo. Founded in 1981, SoftBank is currently headed by its founder Masayoshi Son. The company has diversified interests across broadband, internet, e-commerce, finance, marketing, media and other technology services. In just about four years, from 2009 to 2014, the Japanese conglomerate's market capitalization shot up by a whopping 557%.
One of SoftBank's biggest investments was in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant. In the Indian markets, SoftBank serves as initial investors for Indian start-ups such as Ola Cabs, Housing and Snapdeal. Other start-ups like InMobi and Hike have also received investments from SoftBank.
In the wake of India's online start-ups eyeing fresh funding, SoftBank's quarterly results reflected a decline in its returns from investments in start-ups like Ola Cabs and Snapdeal. From minting gains of ¥112.6 billion last year, it slipped to post losses of ¥58.1 billion ($555 million) this year. The start-ups, after slower growth, are currently looking at gaining fresh funds for boosting operations.
Vanguard Group, an investment firm based in the United States, slashed the valuation of its stake in Ola. Vanguard World Fund has marked down the value of its holding in Ola's parent company, ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd by over 40% This indicates a valuation of close to $3 billion, down from the company's peak at $5 billion.