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SoftBank Seeks CCI Nod To Invest In Swiggy

SoftBank Seeks CCI Nod To Invest In Swiggy

Masayoshi Son led Vision Fund II has made aggressive bets in India this year and is now set to add food delivery tech to its portfolio

Swiggy had closed a $158 Mn series I round in 2020 and another $343 Mn round in a series J round in April

SoftBank is seeking to invest additional $450 Mn in the series J round

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s Vision Fund II (SVF2) has sought approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to invest in food delivery platform Swiggy.

Masayoshi Son led SVF2 has made aggressive bets in India this year. It is now set to invest in food delivery unicorn Swiggy, which would be its first bet in the foodtech space.

Swiggy had earlier raised close to $158 Mn, as part of its Series I round in April last year, which saw participation from Prosus NV, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, Ark Impact, Korea Investment Partners, amongst others. In April, Swiggy raised close to $343 Mn as part of its Series J funding round through a slew of investors. The fundraising is part of the $800 Mn funding round that is expected to value the company at close to $5 Bn. Soon after, it was reported that SoftBank Group Corp. was in talks to invest $450 Mn in Swiggy at a $5.5 Bn valuation, the second funding for the Indian food delivery startup in recent times. 

According to the document filed with CCI, SVF2 has provided a competitive assessment of its digital payments and online advertising businesses.

“The activities of the Parties’ do not exhibit overlaps in any of the plausible relevant markets in India. Therefore, the proposed combination will not lead to any change in the competitive landscape or cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India,” said SV2 in the document.

Bengaluru-based Swiggy competes with food delivery startups like fellow unicorn Zomato, backed by Ant Group Co. and Tiger Global, and the food delivery arm of Amazon, which recently unveiled its service to Prime members in dozens of zip codes in the city of Bengaluru.

The fundraising comes at a time when India’s foodtech industry has been showing signs of recovery from the impact of the pandemic. In February this year, Swiggy’s chief rival Zomato, which is looking to go public in the next few months, raised $250 Mn led by Kora management in a pre-IPO funding round, at a valuation of $5.4 Bn. 

SoftBank’s investments in fintech firm Zeta last month valued the firm at more than $1 Bn. In April, Facebook-backed Meesho became the first Indian social commerce startup to enter the unicorn club, after raising $300 Mn in a funding round led by SoftBank. Gurugram-based B2B marketplace OfBusiness is reportedly in talks with SoftBank to raise $100-150 Mn at a valuation of $1.2 Bn, which would make the company the latest unicorn in India.

Meanwhile, digital payments giant Paytm is getting the wheels rolling for its initial public offering (IPO) scheduled for November this year, SoftBank is likely to monetise about 3-5% of its shareholdings in the company.