SoftBank writes down $560 mn on Ola, Snapdeal investments

08 Nov 2016


Japan's SoftBank Corp has booked an investment loss of ¥58.14 billion ($560 million) on its investments in India including cab-hailing firm Ola and ecommerce company Snapdeal.

In the earning statement for six months ended 30 September, SoftBank wrote off ¥58.14 billion yen in the value of shares in its investments in India, which include ANI Technologies, owns country's largest cab aggregator Ola, and Jasper Infotech, which runs ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal.

Of that, ¥29.62 billion was due to currency impairment.

"Gain or loss arising from financial instruments at FVTPL (fair value through profit or loss) comprises mainly changes in fair value of preferred stock investment including embedded derivatives, such as ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd and Jasper Infotech Private Limited in India, designated as financial assets at FVTPL," SoftBank said in the earnings statement.

The Japanese firm had led a $210-million investment in Ola and $627 million in Snapdeal in October 2014. It made follow-on investments in both firms.

Both Ola and Snapdeal are looking at raising fresh funds to sustain operations amid growing competition from rivals.

Bengaluru-based Ola has so far raised about $1.2 billion from a clutch of investors including Tiger Global Management, Matrix Partners, SoftBank Group and Didi Chuxing.

Last year, raised $500 million from Chinese ecommerce firm Alibaba Group, Foxconn Technology Group and existing investor SoftBank Group, which then valued the Delhi-based firm at about $4.8 billion post money.

SoftBank has so far invested close to $2 billion in India and earlier this year it stated that it is looking to scale up the investment to $10 billion in next 5-10 years.

Last month, it said it will form a new fund with Saudi Arabia's public investment fund to invest as much as $100 billion in the global technology industry in the next five years.

"My goal is to become the Warren Buffett of the tech industry. We're aiming to be the Berkshire Hathaway of tech," SoftBank Group Corp chief executive Masayoshi Son said after the earnings announcement.

For the July-September quarter, SoftBank posted a net profit of 512 billion yen, compared with 213 billion yen the year before, boosted by gains from the sale of stakes in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Finnish game maker Supercell Oy.

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