SoftBank’s Latest Investment Shows Growing Interest In Customer Engagement

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son is known for investing massive amounts into the tech sector. The Japanese investor with a $21 billion fortune has, through SoftBank and his first $100 billion Vision Fund, invested millions in some of Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies, including Uber, Slack, Amazon, Tesla, and Netflix. SoftBank also was the biggest investor in WeWork, losing more than $4.7 billion after the company's failed IPO.

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Now, SoftBank is putting all bets on cloud-based Swedish customer engagement company, Sinch. SoftBank is investing $690 million in the company that provides cloud-based omnichannel voice, video, and messaging services to help enterprises communicate with customers.

A spokesperson revealed that the company intends to mainly use the proceeds from the share issue to increase its financial flexibility for new acquisitions.

“We see clearly how our cloud-based platform helps businesses leverage mobile technology to reinvent their customer experience,” said Oscar Werner, Sinch CEO. “Whereas people throughout the world have embraced mobile messaging to interact with friends and family, most businesses have yet to seize this opportunity. We are establishing Sinch as a leader in a global growth market that is still very fragmented, and we’re excited that SoftBank is now helping us realise that vision.”

Sinch has seen its fortunes transformed this year, turning it into the best performing company on the Stoxx Europe 600 index. It is one of a number of tech firms that thrived during the pandemic as consumers relied more than ever on virtual communication to stay in touch with their employers, friends, and families.

This move comes on the heels of Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Kustomer, which specializes in customer service platforms and chatbots.

Deals and investments such as these indicate a growing opportunity in customer engagement and CRM. With people working and doing everything else remotely, and with the global economy taking a hit, there has been an increased demand for digital channels. Organizations like Sinch build platforms to help businesses manage customer relations, spanning social media, email, websites with interactive chats, chatbots, messaging apps, and phone calls with omnichannel offerings.