The news report by The Financial Times (https://app.ft.com/content/d6200489-27ca-4730-8729-6400fc9791f3) unfairly singles out Softbank, for the statement I made about the rapid expansion of our operations in FY 2019. The point I made was that with hindsight, losses could have been lower that year without sacrificing growth.
The operational losses we had in 2018/19 were in part driven by the excess capital we had, as we tried to grow faster through operational investments. I would like to note that in this period we grew over 3x, and became a stronger business, however, our cumulative losses of $30-40M could have been lower. Those decisions were entirely “ours”, – management and board, and singling out one shareholder is unfair, and not something I believe is true.
To put the facts on the table, SoftBank (SB) had as little as 8% shareholding then. The team I deal with at SB, led by Munish Verma, has been amongst the most mature and consistent investors we have on our cap table. Munish’s first investment was us, then Firstcry, followed by Delhivery and Lenskart, all of them are highly regarded for being capital efficient. These are facts, I have spoken about multiple times in various forums.
The interview was about how our business fared amidst the pandemic, what we learned in the last three years, and the Swasth Alliance. Thus, I feel the final outcome was unfair, and does not reflect my views.
Co-founder & Group CEO