Softbank to dig deeper into Indian ecommerce via Snapdeal, BigBasket, Paytm merger & investment

Editor | Sep 10, 2020

Japanese investor Softbank’s founder and CEO Masayoshi Son wants to be remembered as ‘a crazy guy who bet on the future.’ So, if you thought that Son would wrap up his India innings with the sale of Snapdeal to Flipkart then you are wrong. Softbank is betting big on future of ecommerce in India and plans to dig deeper into the market.

Snapdeal-Flipkart merger close to be finalised?

For over two months, we have been hearing about a possible merger between two Indian ecommerce biggies Snapdeal and Flipkart. Each day comes with a new development such as Snapdeal board meeting, terms & conditions being drafted, and Nexus Capital’s pending approval.

An insider shared that the deal would be sealed by next week.

Paytm, BigBasket-Grofers on Softbank’s list

As of now, Softbank is working on three goals. They are:

  • To seal the Snapdeal-Flipkart merger deal
  • To initiate merger talks between grocery players BigBasket and Grofers
  • To invest $1 billion in Paytm to gain more control

The murmurs about grocery leader Big Basket joining hands with start-up Grofers started in January 2017 and intensified in April 2017. But nothing has been finalized yet. Softbank invested in Grofers in November 2015.

As for Paytm, Jack Ma and Masayoshi Son go back a long way. Therefore, integrating Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm might be on the cards as well.

India is the land of golden opportunity, says Masayoshi Son

The Japanese firm’s intention is to spread its presence across all ecommerce verticals and other industries, be it online marketplace or e-grocery, cab aggregators or solar industry.

A person aware of Softbank’s plan to capture India’s ecommerce market revealed, “Son is thinking India is the place where he will create one or two Alibabas… They are getting into sectors where the big differentiator, firstly, is going to be technology, of course,” said the same person. Secondly, also sectors that need large amounts of capital, so you can browbeat or elbow out people with your capital.”


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