With Nikesh Arora's exit from Softbank, Indian start-ups have lost one of its biggest supporters.
Under Arora’s leadership, SoftBank’s investments in Indian companies zoomed to record highs. Arora, who took over as president of SoftBank in May 2015, was considered heir apparent to CEO Masayoshi Son.
Softbank which has invested around $2 billion in Indian firms in the last one year, is looking at scaling up investment to $10 billion in the coming year.
However, Arora had to face shareholders’ wrath as some on these bets turned risky. The investments in Housing.com, OYO rooms and Grofers were dampeners that questioned his investment skills.
“Arora’s investment strategy … appears to be nothing more than throwing a dart at a dartboard. How many more millions of dollars of shareholder value must be wasted before the board realizes something must be done?” anonymous shareholders wrote to the company.
Though the company’s enquiry gave him a clean chit, Arora decided to quit as he was not offered the top post, which was earlier promised by Masayoshi Son.
Take a look at big-ticket investments in India led by Nikesh Arora…
One of Softbank’s riskiest bets was investing $100-million in Housing.com. Despite the top management scuffle and layoffs at Housing.com, SoftBank again invested $14.7 million in January 2016.
Softbank invested $5 million in mobile ad network InMobi. The company also offered to invest $25 million more if new investors join in.
Softbank led a $500-million Series-E fundraising by taxi aggregator Ola, which also saw investments by DST Global, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital, Accel, ABG Capital, Mauritius Investments, Falcon Edge Capital and GIC
SoftBank announced a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group to generate 20 gigawatts of renewable energy, with each of the partners investing about $20 billion.
Softbank led a $500-million fundraising round by Snapdeal
Softbank led a $100-million fundraising by OYO Rooms. In April, OYO again raised $100 million from SoftBank, Greenoaks, Sequoia and Lightspeed.
Led a $120-million Series-C fundraising by Grofers last year. Since then, Grofers has shut operations in nine cities.