After big tech bets, Modi and Softbank’s son talk about more investments

Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank Group, met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to talk about the company’s future investments as the startup boom in India appears to cool amid worries about global economic conditions.

Including payments app Paytm, whose market value plummeted after listing in Mumbai in November, the Japanese company has invested more than $14 billion in India’s tech industry.

Softbank’s Vision Fund reported a $26.2 billion loss this month, the highest loss in the fund’s history. Indian startups have found it much more difficult to raise cash this year after attracting a record-breaking $35 billion in 2021.

Japan’s interest in India was further boosted by a tweet posted by the Indian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman, Arindam Bagchi.

Son said that India has been growing fast and has become the third-largest startup generator in the world in a video statement released after the meeting.

Adding that Modi was keen to continue supporting startups, he said, “India’s future is bright.”

During the meeting, Suzuki Motor Corp, the majority owner, and Suzuki Suzuki, India’s largest automaker, discussed investment in electric vehicles and batteries.

Modi urged Fast Retailing Co Ltd, the parent company of Uniqlo, to invest in India’s upcoming all-in-one mega textile parks in a separate meeting.

He is in Tokyo for both the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity and a meeting of the leaders of the Quadrilateral group – India, Japan, the United States and Australia.