SoftBank expands India portfolio with bet on OfBusiness

 SoftBank expands India portfolio with bet on OfBusiness

Japanese technology investor SoftBank Group Corp is investing in OfBusiness, likely pushing the fintech startup’s valuation above $1 billion and expanding its India portfolio that already includes a dozen unicorns.

The firm is betting on OFB Tech Pvt. Ltd, the company behind OfBusiness, through its SoftBank Vision Fund 2, according to a disclosure by India’s antirust regulator. It didn’t disclose any financial details.

However, multiple media reports said OfBusiness raised $160 million with SoftBank alone investing $150 million.

The development comes less than four months after the fintech lending platform said it had raised $110 million (about Rs 820 crore) in a round led by venture investor Falcon Edge Capital. Existing investors Matrix Partners India, Creation Investments and Norwest Venture Partners also took part in the round.

The company said at the time that it concluded the Series D2 funding round at a post-money valuation of $800 million. The SoftBank-led capital infusion valued the company at $1.5 billion, OfBusiness co-founder and chief executive Asish Mohapatra told The Economic Times.

This makes OfBusiness India’s 18th unicorn this year. Other companies that achieved this milestone include Droom, Cred, Pharmeasy, BlackBuck, BrowserStack, Gupshup, ShareChat, Meesho, Zeta and Moglix.

OfBusiness helps small manufacturing and infrastructure businesses procure raw material such as metals and chemicals through cash flow-based debt. If offers loans through its non-bank arm Oxyzo Financial Services.

The company was set up in 2015. Since then, it has raised a total of $170 million—excluding the SoftBank commitment. Over the past year, it has also raised $200 million in debt from more than 40 lenders including IDFC First, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.

The company says it is expanding the number of supply chains and regions it operates in, and enhancing its tech offerings. It also plans to make a few strategic investments and tuck-in acquisitions.

For SoftBank, the deal adds to its burgeoning India portfolio. The Japanese investor has already invested big sums in a half-dozen Indian companies, pushing some of them into the unicorn club of startups with a valuation of at least $1 billion. Its new India bets in 2021 include investments in Flipkart, Netradyne and Whatfix.

In addition, its investments this year in Swiggy, Zeta and Meesho drove their valuation well past $1 billion. Other Indian unicorns in its portfolio are Policybazaar, Unacademy, Ola, Oyo, Firstcry, Lenskart, Delhivery and InMobi.

*This article has been updated to include details of the new round.

Sumit Upadhyaya

The Capital Quest