SoftBank looks deeper into Indian mobility sector: Report

Chennai: SoftBank is reportedly looking at the Indian mobility sector, including the two-wheeler mobility space, as the investment major looks at the next phase of innovation.

Reports stated that the firm, after dominating investments in the ride hailing space globally with bets on Uber, Grab, Didi Chuxing and Ola, has made inroads into upcoming segments like rentals, autonomous driving and even asset management firms globally. That trend could also play out in the India market, said ET in its report.

SoftBank’s move beyond ride-hailing could be a bet on the emerging two-wheeler rentals business and the Japanese firm has had engagements with companies such as Bounce, Vogo and Drivezy, though no investment plans are in the pipeline yet, said the report.

Providing substance to its claims, the report stated that SoftBank’s interest in the new mobility space can be gauged through its two investments in peer-to-peer car rental service Getaround and vehicle leasing platform Fair, both in the US.

The firm had invested $300 million in Getaround in August last year, followed by leading a $385 million investment in Fair in December.

It must be noted that peer-to-peer car leasing platforms such as Zoomcar, Revv and Drivezy have not scaled up as anticipated and are still behind Ola and Uber in operations.

Short-term intra city scooter rides have emerged as a fast-growing business, with the sector already clocking over one lakh rides a day, largely in Bengaluru, said the report.

NT Bureau