SoftBank is the most important investor in India’s technology

Indian online grocery start-up Grofers has secured more than $200 million from investors led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, in the $100 billion investment vehicle’s latest bet on the country’s technology sector. Founded in 2013, Grofers initially offered a service delivering items from neighbourhood shops, before switching to a new model in which it manages its own inventory. It claims to have achieved annual revenue of $400 million, with an eightfold increase in sales over the past two years. Compared with online groceries rival BigBasket, backed by Alibaba, Grofers offers a smaller selection of products, aiming to attract customers with bargain prices secured through its bulk deals with manufacturers… The investment underscores SoftBank’s role as the most important investor in India’s technology sector. It comes two months after the Vision Fund led a $413 million funding round into ecommerce logistics company Delhivery. Other Indian companies in its portfolio include the fast-growing hotel franchise Oyo, ride-hailing app Ola and digital payments group Paytm. Other participants in Grofers’ sixth major funding round included existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia.
Simon Mundy