SoftBank leads $200 million investment in India's Grofers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp has led an investment round of more than $200 million (155 million pounds)in online grocery startup Grofers India through its Vision Fund, the New Delhi-based company said on Wednesday, upping competition in a hotly chased market in the country.

Grofers’ fresh funding comes after homegrown rival Bigbasket, which is backed by China’s Alibaba Group, recently raised $150 million to hit a valuation of over $1 billion. Both the startups compete with the likes of and Walmart Inc’s e-commerce unit Flipkart for various categories.

“This latest investment will help scale the company to ensure many more customers can access the best quality products at the best prices,” Chief Executive Albinder Dhindsa said in a statement.

Grofers did not say what it was valued at after the funding.

Softbank’s Vision Fund was set up in 2017 and is now the world’s largest technology investment fund, with a portfolio that includes pioneer Uber Technologies Inc, chip designer ARM and shared workspace firm WeWork.

The Japanese firm is considering an initial public offering of its $100 billion fund, a source told Reuters earlier this month.

Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; editing by Gopakumar Warrier