Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. is in advanced discussions to lead a $100 million round in software-as-a-service firm Mindtickle, marking its first SaaS deal from its India team, said two people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.
The investment will value Mindtickle at $500-600 million, double the $250 million it was valued at in July last year when Norwest Venture Partners led a $40 million round.
Pune and San Francisco-based Mindtickle, founded in 2011 by Krishna Depua, Mohit Garg, Deepak Diwakar and Nishant Mungali help companies build sales capabilities including sales training and onboarding, and working on each aspect of sales, practicing and improving it using technology.
A SoftBank spokesperson declined to comment while Mindtickle did not respond to an email seeking comment.
“SaaS is being seen as the safest bet in tech investing right now. While economics has always been better than consumer internet companies, today there is a lot of room to grow even for mature companies. Which is why valuation multiples are rising,” said a person tracking the space, who did not want to be named.
In the last year or so, a number of publicly listed SaaS companies in the US have seen their valuation multiples jump from 10 times of revenue, which used to be the norm earlier, to 20-30 times of revenue. The successful IPO of software service firms such as Slack, Zoom, and more recently Snowflake, and the fact that they are showing a high rate of growth even as mature firms, is driving valuation multiples higher, investors say.
“SoftBank India has been evaluating the space for a while, and SaaS or even business-to-business is a sector they haven’t invested in so far,” said another investor aware of plans, requesting anonymity.
After doing no fresh deals in India for a year, Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank seems to be closing more deals actively.