narendra modi: PM Narendra Modi recognises SoftBank’s role in India’s startup ecosystem


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son on Monday to discuss the Japanese conglomerate’s future involvement in India’s technology, energy, finance, and research and development sectors.

Modi recognised SoftBank’s role in India’s startup ecosystem. They discussed various reforms being undertaken to enable ease of doing business in India.

“India’s future is bright, PM Narendra Modi is committed to the success of India, supporting startups and making it the centre of technology. New startups coming every day and becoming unicorns quickly,” Son said.

“Further propelling Japanese investments in India…PM @narendramodi met Founder @SoftBank_Group Masayoshi Son and commended SoftBank’s role in India’s startup sector,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

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Modi is in Japan on a two-day visit to attend a summit of the Quad leaders at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.

SoftBank is a key investor in Indian startups and has funded large companies like

and Policybazaar, which are now publicly traded in India. Other startups it had backed include Oyo Hotels & Homes, Delhivery, and Unacademy.

In December last year, Son said the Japanese firm
invested about $14 billion over the past decade in India, making it the country’s largest foreign investor.

In 2021, SoftBank re-invested in ecommerce major Flipkart besides birthing new unicorns like Zeta, Meesho and OfBusiness.

Earlier this month, Son said that this year the group
will likely invest only half or even a quarter of what it did in 2021.

Son’s comment confirms what the startup ecosystem in India and worldwide has expected for some time–a slowdown in big-ticket funding led by macroeconomic factors and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis.

One of his presentation slides, after the company announced its final-quarter results, indicated that ‘defence’ would be the Japanese fund’s strategy for now.

SoftBank posted a net loss of 1.7 trillion yen ($13.12 billion) for the year ended in March as the tech investor faces a sliding tech portfolio.

SoftBank will not only shrink the size of its investments but will also spend more time on due diligence and have stricter criteria for new investments, Son had said.

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