SoftBank May Lead $400 Mn Funding In Lenskart; Also Expected To Invest In Dailyhunt

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Source: Recode

SoftBank Vision Fund is in advanced discussions to close two investments — in eye-wear retailer Lenskart and local language-based news & content platform Dailyhunt — as the Masayoshi Son-led internet firm continues its deal-making spree in the country. This is as per a report in the Economic Times.

Source: Afaqs

SoftBank is expected to invest in a $400-million round of funding in Lenskart, while it is expected to invest about $150 million as part of a larger round in Dailyhunt, said three sources briefed on the matter.

Source: Twitter

SoftBank Vision Fund’s deal with Delhi-based Lenskart, where it will also potentially see a co-investor join the round, will value the company at close to $1.5 billion, according to two of the sources mentioned earlier. The deal will also include about $100 million of a secondary share sale by existing investors in Lenskart, which plans to use the fresh capital to fuel its global expansion.

In Dailyhunt, SoftBank is expected to lead a $250-million round in the company where it will be joined by private equity major Carlyle, which is investing about $100 million, said one of the sources mentioned earlier.

Source: Livemint

The transaction also includes a partial stake sale by existing investors and is expected to value the Bengaluru-based company at $800-900 million, said the source briefed on the matter.

The two transactions also underline how SoftBank Vision Fund is looking to back companies that have a path to profitability. “SoftBank is increasingly backing winners and is not just going after hyper-growth but also companies with good unit economics,” said one of the sources briefed on the matter. Also, interestingly, entrepreneurs are likely to opt for a co-investor with SoftBank in the financing round, as they look to expand their investor base.

For instance, Lenskart has been seeing interest from multiple investors over the years. It has been able to get about $150 million for secondary sales where investors have got an exit as compared to $120-130 million in primary capital it has raised for building its business. Lenskart saw revenues increase by 84% to Rs 292 crore, while losses more than halved to Rs 118 crore in the financial year ending March 2018, according to latest filings available.

SoftBank is interested in Dailyhunt as there has been an increased proliferation of data consumption with the entry of Jio. Dailyhunt, which is backed by investors like Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners India, has 2.50 lakh posts every day on its platforms across 14 languages from 1,000 publishers. Across its mobile websites and applications, Dailyhunt has 188 million monthly active users. It has over 19 billion page views of content and 2.4 billion video views per month.

Source: Medium
Source: LinkedIn

According to a report by KPMG, the digital advertising market is expected to double from Rs 16,000 crore now to Rs 33,300 crore in three years and the share of regional advertising is expected to grow from 8% to 30%. Dailyhunt has also seen an increasing pick-up in business as it is now seeing an annualised revenue run rate of close to $80 million over the last few months, said one of the sources mentioned earlier.

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