SoftBank, the Japanese internet conglomerate, has agreed to take a bet on the newly formed lobby group for Indian startups ‘indiatech,’ according to a report published in Times of India. However, there is no information about how much money Japanese giant will be putting into Indiatech.
A SoftBank spokesperson said, “SoftBank is one of the several other investors including Matrix and Kalaari in Indian Internet businesses such as Ola, Flipkart, and Hike, which is supporting Indiatech. Our intent is to work with the government to support the development of the rapidly evolving Internet ecosystem in the country and we hope the organization would facilitate this.”
Apart from capital assistance, SofBank will also provide strategic assistance to this lobby group, a person familiar with the matter said.
Founded last year by Flipkart, Ola and other Indian startups, the primary aim of this lobby group is to band together all the Indian startups into one community and raise united voice against the deep pocketed foreign companies. Most Indian startups argue that several foreign companies are reaching into their huge cash reserves to dump enormous capital into the Indian market, thereby creating unfair competitive environment in the market.
Flipkart has been the most vocal startup on this front, since it has suffered the most by entery of American based Amazon into Indian e commerce market. Ola, another key member of Indiatech, has equally suffered huge losses owing to fierce competition from Uber.
However, big foreign companies like Uber and Amazon have downplayed the argument of ‘unfair competition,’ claiming that that they are as much an Indian company as other local companies competing in the market.
Meanwhile, SoftBank’s decision to support Indiatech is least surprising, considering that it is one of the most prolific investors in the Indian startup ecosystem. It has invested huge money in host of big Indian startups like Flipkart, Ola, Oyo Rooms, Paytm, Grofers, Hike and Snapdeal.