Ties with Ola transparent, open: SoftBank

Mumbai: Ties with Ola transparent, open.“There might have been differences in the past, but SoftBank is always entrepreneur -first and the capital commitment (to OLA electric) speaks volume,” said Sumer Juneja Partner and India Head, Softbank Vision Fund

In an interview to a media agency, a top executive said: “Japanese telecom and internet major SoftBank’s relation with Bhavish Aggarwal is open and transparent even if companies have been at odds in the past like any entrepreneur and investor.”
The statement from SoftBank, which supported OLA in 2014. The relationship of SoftBank with Bhavish has been affected when it invested in Uber, a global rival of OLA. The recent investment of $250 million in its affiliate Ola Electric Mobility by SoftBank Vision Fund is a signal of a thaw in their relationship.
“I joined the Ola board earlier this year and the relationship between Bhavish and SoftBank is very open and transparent. There might have been differences in the past, but SoftBank is always entrepreneur -first and the capital commitment (to OLA electric) speaks volume” said Sumer Juneja Partner and India Head, Softbank Vision Fund.
Aggarwal’s amendment of the company to specifically stop SoftBank from increasing its stake and also took several measures to tighten control, emerged conflict in 2017. Ola has already ensured funding from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal and existing backer Stead view Capital. These infusions will total up to around $200-250 million. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is also likely to infuse primary capital in the company as part of the ongoing financing round.

Juneja is also planning to build a full-fledged team of over a dozen professionals in the country by the end of the year which include operating partners and legal and finance experts as well.
Capital Markets in India are not deep enough and companies might take advantage of the global market for a more competitive and bigger business. The statement comes when market regulator Sabi developed a DVR (differential voting rights) structure to tempt founders of technology companies to list in India.

SoftBank which invested over $10 billion in India since 2014, also includes OYO, a hospitality partner and Paytm, mobile payment as a part of its portfolio. It is considered to be the biggest investor in start-ups in India. “Long term fundamentals will remain exciting and strong in spite of having short term issues like banking liquidity. India is a pretty unique juncture and has the attention of the world. Indian companies should be allowed to take advantage of global capital markets by being allowed to list abroad. This will allow them to grow further, be more competitive and create bigger businesses in India,” said Munshi Verma- SVF’s managing partner.
Currently, Indian Companies which are not listed in India are not allowed to list overseas. A Sabi panel had suggested overseas to allow overseas listing in selected geographical areas and approved DVR norms last month as well.

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