SoftBank's Looking to Invest Right Now | Summary and Q&A

September 22, 2015
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SoftBank's Looking to Invest Right Now

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In this video, Softbank's President and COO, Nikesh Arora, discusses Softbank's business scope and investment strategy. He explains the company's diverse portfolio, including its telecom business in Japan, investments in companies like Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, and ownership of companies like Sprint and Supercell. Arora also discusses Softbank's investments in Asian companies like Coupang in Korea and Snapdeal in India. He highlights Softbank's focus on large market opportunities, viable propositions, and strong management teams. Arora mentions Softbank's shift in investment strategy, emphasizing larger investments in proven companies rather than early-stage startups. He also talks about Softbank's focus on the Indian market and its plans to invest $10 billion in the country, citing India's growth potential and the opportunity to create successful companies. Arora concludes by discussing Softbank's approach to the transportation industry, its investments in Uber rivals in different regions, and the potential for multiple successful companies in the market. He also mentions his personal investment in Softbank and his commitment to the company's success.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Softbank's primary business?

Softbank's primary business is its telecom company, which is one of the top mobile businesses in Japan.

Q: What other businesses does Softbank own?

Softbank also owns a stake in Alibaba, Yahoo Japan, Supercell (maker of Clash of Clans), and has acquired companies like Sprint and Coupang.

Q: How much did Softbank invest in Coupang?

Softbank invested $1 billion in Coupang, a Korean e-commerce company.

Q: What kind of company is Coupang?

Coupang is an e-commerce company in Korea that operates on a mobile platform, similar to Amazon. It differentiates itself through its high customer service model.

Q: Why did Softbank invest a billion dollars in Coupang?

Softbank believes that Coupang has huge potential in the Korean market and the e-commerce industry. Similar to Amazon, Coupang requires a large amount of capital to capture market share from existing players.

Q: Has Softbank made other major investments in Asia?

Yes, Softbank has made investments in companies like Snapdeal in India and GrabTaxi in Southeast Asia, both of which are leading players in their respective markets.

Q: Is e-commerce a big focus for Softbank?

Yes, Softbank has been focusing on e-commerce investments in the past year. They believe that e-commerce, along with transportation, healthcare, and education, offers significant growth opportunities.

Q: Is the US market a focus for Softbank?

Softbank is closely looking at the US market, although they believe some valuations are currently high. They are waiting for the right opportunities to invest and believe there will be many successful companies in the US over the next three to five years.

Q: What kind of companies is Softbank looking to invest in?

Softbank is looking for companies targeting large markets with viable propositions and strong momentum. They also consider the management team's ability to scale the company.

Q: What makes India an interesting market for Softbank?

Softbank sees India as a market with steady growth potential, especially under the new government. They believe India is highly connected but highly fragmented, offering opportunities in e-commerce and transportation.

Q: How much money is Softbank planning to spend in India?

Softbank has set aside $10 billion for investment in India, indicating their commitment to the market's potential.

Q: Why did Softbank stop investing in early-stage startups?

Softbank wants to diversify its portfolio and avoid plateauing in the future. They believe that by investing in companies that have already proven themselves, they can continue to create value and avoid the plateauing common in the tech industry.

Q: What kind of companies does Softbank want to invest in?

Softbank wants to invest in companies that target large markets, have viable propositions, show momentum, and have strong management teams.

Q: Why did Nikesh Arora make a large personal investment in Softbank?

Arora wanted to increase his risk profile and show his belief in Softbank. His investment makes him the second-largest individual shareholder in the company.


In summary, Softbank is a diversified company with its primary business in the telecom industry in Japan and investments in various technology companies around the world. They have a focus on large market opportunities and strong management teams. Softbank has shifted its investment strategy to focus on larger investments in proven companies, aiming to avoid plateauing. They see India as a market with significant growth potential and have set aside $10 billion for investment in the country. Softbank is also actively investing in the transportation industry, particularly in Uber rivals, and believes multiple successful companies can coexist in the market.

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