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Among VCs, Softbank Appeared The Most In Indian Media Followed By Sequoia and Tiger Global Softbank reportedly suffered $6.5 billion in operating losses from investments in cash-burning businesses including New York-based real estate firm WeWork, and cab-hailing service Uber.

By Prasannata Patwa

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In 2019, Masayoshi Son-led Softbank made the most number of appearances among venture capital firms in Indian media as its investments in WeWork and Uber went sour. California-based Sequoia, and Flipkart investor Tiger Global were trailing right behind, according to a report released by public relations firm Wizikey.

The Japanese-headquartered investment giant takes up 45 per cent of the pie, followed by Sequoia at 27 per cent, and Tiger Global at 13 per cent. US-based Accel Partners, and China's Tencent were the next ones on the list at 6 per cent.

"Venture Capital firms have evolved in stature in the last few years. People just don't look at them for just capital requirement but for guidance at each and every aspect of the business. Hence it becomes interesting to see what is perceived image of these firms in media," said Anshul Sushil, co-founder and chief executive officer at Wizikey.

Softbank suffered $6.5 billion in operating losses from investments in cash-burning businesses including New York-based real estate firm WeWork, and cab-hailing service Uber, according to multiple media reports. WeWork's initial public offering fell through as the company failed to prioritise or put up a definitive path to profitability.

This incident set a wave of funding caution in the Indian start-up space as well, with late-stage investors prioritising profitability over cash burn.

Softbank currently has stakes across sectors including Ritesh Agarwal-run OYO Rooms, Uber-rival Ola Cabs, and payments platform Paytm.

Sequoia, on the other hand, is backing serial entrepreneur Kunal Shah's CRED, OYO, and Freshworks. "A shift in the top leadership of the firm coupled with the launch of its Surge program ensured the firm was never out of the media's spotlight," said the report.

Tiger Global's investments including Hyundai, and Kia Motor-backed Ola Electric, renting portal, and CleverTap contributed to its media coverage.

"Tencent is probably most widely known for its games, PUBG being the most prominent of those lately. What people not keenly following the venture capital space doesn't know is that it also operates one of the world's largest venture capitals. So much so that Tencent has invested in more Unicorns than even SoftBank," the report said. Tencent is an investor in Udaan, India's fastest-growing unicorn, and Ola Cabs.

Investments in agri-tech platform Ninjacart, and logistics player Blackbuck, among others, gave Accel Partners a place in the top five.

Prasannata Patwa

Entrepreneur Staff


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