SoftBank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Tokyo. It also runs Vision Fund, the world's largest technology-focused venture capital fund, with over $100 billion in capital. The company announced series of vision fund investment in ecommerce companies last year. Let shed light on five eretailers which received vision fund last year.
Started in 2010, this Pune-based baby product retailer received $150 million from Softbank last year. As part of the deal, Softbank will invest an additional $100 million in the company in January 2021.With latest fund infusion, Japanese conglomerate now holds about 40 percent of the equity in the company with overall investment of $300 million.
As per information features on the website, FirstCry features more than 2 lakh SKUs in various categories including kids clothing, bath products, nursery items, toys amongst others. Being a multichannel retailer, Firstcry also runs more than 400 offline stores across India, in cities including Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad. Explaining the growth plans to The Franchising World magazine(TFW), Founder Supam Maheshwari informed, “Both the online and offline channels are performing well, and with more offline store launches in the pipeline, we are sure that our customers will further enjoy shopping at FirstCry,”
SoftBank has invested about $231 million (Rs 1,645 crore) in Lenskart Solutions in December 2019. After receiving the second round of Vision Fund, Lenskart is now valued at $1.5 billion.
Lenskart leverages latest technology including artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations to engage with consumers on its app and in stores, for the product, retail footprint, pricing, supply chain, manufacturing and logistics, the statement said. The company was founded in 2010, by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhary and Sumeet Kapahi. It has around 2,700 employees, with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Highlighting the growth plans to TFW magazine Chaudhary informed, Lenskart aims to open 500 more stores in the next two years and take the total store count to 2,000 stores within the next five years.”
Started in 2013, Gurugram based Grofers is an Indian online grocery delivery service. The company started as hyperlocal grocery delivery but later moved to warehouse model. Last year, Grofers had raised $220 million from SoftBank Vision Fund and other investors. The company had announced the aggressive plans to ramp up the supply chain operations with raised funds. As reported at the time, SoftBank has moved Grofers to its $100-billion Vision Fund.
Founded by Geraldo Thomaz and CEO Mariano Gomide VTEX is an eCommerce company that has helped companies like Walmart sell online. According to a report by TechCrunch, the company has raised $140 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Latin American fund last year.
The company helps businesses across the categories with eCommerce tools from beginning to end with services that include inventory management and customer service and experience.
The clientale of VTEX includes Levi’s, Sony, L’Oréal, Motorola amongst others.
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Coupang is one of the largest ecommerce which received $2 billion from the Vision Fund from Softbank last year. This is one of the largest investments made by SoftBank where its existing stake in Coupang was transferred over the Vision Fund.
Founded in 2010, Coupang's annual revenue exceeds US$4 billion last year as highlighted by Wikipedia. Coupang was founded by Bom Kim in 2010. A graduate of Harvard University, Kim started to study for his MBA at Harvard Business School but dropped out after his first year.