SoftBank takes a $1.4b hit from loss in value of its investments in Snapdeal, Ola
Japan’s SoftBank has posted a US$1.41 billion loss on its financial investments relating to Indian startups Snapdeal and Ola, according to its financial report (PDF) for the year ended March 31.
“Loss on financial instruments at Financial Assets and Liabilities at Fair Value through Profit or Loss (FVTPL) was ¥160,419 million [US$1.41 billion] compared to a gain of ¥114,377 million [US$1.01 billion] in the previous fiscal year,” the report said.
This mainly resulted from recording a loss as the amount of changes in the fair value of the company’s financial instruments at FVTPL from the previous fiscal year-end to the fiscal year-end. Financial instruments at FVTPL included preferred shares of Jasper Infotech Private Limited, which operates the ecommerce website Snapdeal.com in India, and ANI Technologies Private Limited, which operates the taxi booking platform Ola, also in India.
So far, SoftBank has invested close to US$2 billion in Indian startups, including US$900 million in Snapdeal. The Japanese giant is negotiating the sale of Snapdeal to its larger Indian rival, Flipkart, which raised US$1.4 billion recently in a round led by China’s Tencent.
In the case of Ola, it has chosen to extend its runway with a fresh infusion of US$260 million, which was part of a US$365 million funding round at a 30 percent lower valuation than earlier.
SoftBank’s other big investments in India are affordable hotels marketplace Oyo, instant messenger Hike, grocery delivery app Grofers, real estate portal Housing, and adtech company InMobi.
India’s homegrown players in ecommerce and ride-hailing face formidable global rivals in Amazon and Uber, with Alibaba’s presence also looming this year.
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