SoftBank Vision Fund to expand India arm; Amazon India’s big sellers demand higher margins

SoftBank Vision Fund to expand India arm; Amazon India’s big sellers demand higher margins
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23 Jul, 2019

Investment giant SoftBank likely to add a dozen executives in India. Amazon India’s biggest sellers now want higher margins from brands and distributors.

SoftBank Vision Fund to hire 6 partners for India, strengthen team

Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp's $100 billion Vision Fund is strengthening its India team after opening its first office in Mumbai, The Economic Times reported

The fund plans to hire a dozen executives over the next few months, including six operating partners who will help its investee firms scale globally, the report said.

The partners will lead the fund’s initiatives while assisting portfolio entrepreneurs to tap international markets, the report said, citing Munish Varma, managing partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers.

SoftBank is planning to invest at least $2-4 billion in India in the next two years, The Economic Times reported earlier this month.

In its most recent India bet, SoftBank invested more than $200 million (Rs. 1,406 crore then) in online grocer Grofers.

Amazon’s largest sellers Cloudtail and Appario demand higher margins

Cloudtail and Appario, the two largest sellers on the Indian arm of e-commerce giant Amazon, are demanding higher margins from brands and distributors, The Economic Times reported.

The large vendors are demanding 18%-20% hike in margins on the existing margin base, the report said.

Cloudtail India is a joint venture of Amazon Asia (24%) and Prione Business, a company owned by Catamaran Ventures (76%).

Appario Retail is a subsidiary of Frontizo Business Services, a joint venture of Patni group (51%) and Amazon Asia Pacific Holdings (48%).

Amazon was forced to reduce its holdings in both these ventures to comply with the new foreign direct investment policy.

Grofers to deploy 500 EVs by December

Gurgaon-based online grocery delivery startup Grofers plans to deploy 500 electric vehicles (EVs) across 13 cities by December 2019, The Mint reported.

The company currently operates 100 EVs in Delhi and 50 in Jaipur, the report said.

The report said the move will reduce the company’s last-mile delivery costs by 50% in places where the EVs are deployed.

Last month, e-commerce marketplace Flipkart said it plans to deploy electric vehicles for its last-mile deliveries