Published: 6/5/2020


Starting the day off with a Justin Timberlake lyric: “What goes around, goes around, goes aroundComes all the way back around”. And no I didn’t spend the day listening to 2000s pop, I’m talking about Softbank and their investments in the US & India. Today, one of their companies, called Brandless (e-commerce marketplace that sells all kinds of products for only $3 each) shut down all operations and fired 90% of their staff due to high operational costs. In other Softbank news, they also announced a $300M Series E investment into Firstcry, a baby products marketplace, based in Pune (more on this below)

  • http://bit.ly/2UH5P9J (The Juggernaut): With Arvind Krishna being announced as the new CEO of IBM & Sandeep Mathrani of The We Company, Indian (mostly born in 🇮🇳) account for 2% of all Fortune 500 CEOs. A lot of the major tech cos have Indians are the helm (including Microsoft, Google, Adobe & MasterCard). And the last cool insight, every single one of the companies outperformed the NASDAQ! The future is looking bright for Indian CEOs in the US (and of course back home as well).
  • http://bit.ly/3bvehP0 (Inc42): India has a new unicorn, which (unsurprisingly) has been funded by Softbank out of their Vision Fund II. The deal values the baby products marketplace at $1.2B and is the second Indian marketplace investment in the last 3 months (Lenskart in late Dec 2019). Firstcry’s financial metrics actually look quite good: Revenue: ₹240 Cr (FY17) → ₹355.2 Cr (FY18) → ₹535 Cr (FY19) → 2033 Cr (FY20 expected) Losses: ₹393 Cr (FY17) → ₹55 Cr (FY18) → Unreported in FY19 And with an acquisitions in the preschool space (Oi Playschool), it seems like the company is working towards vertical integrating new products & services on top of their existing marketplace. Parents would go to their platforms for buying clothes for their children, sending their children to the playschools and maybe organizing birthday parties on Firstcry.
  • Here’s the Brandless story if anyone was interested in that: https://www.protocol.com/softbank-brandless-shuts-down

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    More tomorrow :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/tanayj/status/1226920134800900100