As recently as six months ago, raising money from SoftBank was the ultimate dream for most founders of late-stage startups, both in India and overseas. Those that had already managed even placed raising money from SoftBank on a higher pedestal than the ultimate Holy Grail for any founder—an initial public offering, or IPO.
“An MPO is our IPO,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of India’s payments unicorn Paytm*, said in an interview to the Nikkei Asian Review. “It’s important for us to remain private for at least two to three more years.”
An “MPO” was a Masa Public Offering, a play on the largesse bestowed by SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son on the investors and founders of any company that caught his fund’s fancy.