SoftBank lineup has space only for No 1 companies: Masayoshi Son

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SoftBank lineup has space only for No 1 companies: Masayoshi SonSoftBank‘s Masayoshi Son, who has made large bets in leading Indian internet companies, spoke of creating a ‘synergy group’ of “No. 1” companies that will last three centuries, during the Japanese company’s earnings call on Wednesday.

SoftBank saw the recognition of gain in the fair value of investments primarily in Southeast Asia and India at $74 million in the April-December 2017 period, compared to a loss of $359 million in the same period in 2016.

In May last year, SoftBank had said it had incurred a loss of over 9,000 crore ($1.41 billion) from its investments in India’s Internet commerce sector.

Three Indian companies – Flipkart, Paytm and OYO – are among the 26 investments from $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund.

Apart from the three investments, SoftBank has also invested in companies such as ride-hailing application Ola, grocery delivery player Grofers, mobile advertising company InMobi and struggling online retailer Snapdeal.

“We want to form a SoftBank synergy group so that we can sustain for 300 years. The SB Synergy Group is a group of No 1 companies… If the company becomes No 2 or No 3 company, we may exit the company,” said Son during the quarterly results announcement.

This was on display last year, when SoftBank was looking to engineer a merger of its portfolio company Snapdeal, where it originally invested in 2014, with market leader Flipkart. Snapdeal had lost market share, slipping to a distant third position against Amazon India. When the merger effort failed, SoftBank decided to invest in Flipkart independently. It also picked up a stake in Paytm, which is the market leader in mobile payments space.

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