SoftBank Group Corp. spends $ 120 million on Norwegian online grocery stock and then targets the market with the highest hourly labor costs in Europe. I launched it.
According to Paul Davison, director of SoftBank Investment Advisers, the deal is an example of how a country paying the average worker can come up with some of the smartest technologies.
“Oda, Norway’s largest online grocery store, operates in a high labor market and groceries are a low-margin category,” Davison said in a recent interview. For that combination, the company “needed to incorporate true automation and fulfillment efficiency into everything it did from the beginning.”
The Tokyo-based company’s investment in Norway follows a major acquisition of another Scandinavian company.
At the end of last year, Softbank bought a 10% stake in Swedish cloud-based platform provider Sinch AB and recently Kahoot! Owned about 15% stake in. ASA, a Norwegian game-based learning platform.
SoftBank is also present in many companies in Asia and other low-wage regions, but investment models in Scandinavia suggest that cheap labor is not a competitive parameter in the past.
According to Davison, the idea was to use technology to target companies that “disrupt existing markets and industries.”
The high-paying Nordic countries have a higher punch in innovation than the small population suggests. Sweden, Denmark and Finland rank in the top 10 of the world’s global innovation index, alongside much wealthier and larger countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
It is reflected throughout the industry. Banks in each country are considered to be at the forefront of digitalization and payment services, and cash is virtually obsolete in most parts of the region.
Since Spotify Technology SA, the number of examples of Scandinavian technology that has entered the global stage is increasing rapidly. Klarna Bank AB, Avito, Supercell, iZettle and Trustly Group AB were all born in a high-tax, high-paying welfare society where the government invests in free education.
“There are many opportunities in Scandinavia,” said Davison. “The region continues to produce outstanding, world-leading founding teams with over $ 10 billion in massive achievements.”
“All the founders and teams we meet in the region have a true clarity of vision, not just building a business to sell and move on to the next,” Davison said. Stated. “They focus on building a unique, destructive and long-term franchise.”
A 2019 study by the Swedish central bank concluded that service industries such as computers and legal consulting were hiring more people, but technological advances did not lead to lower jobs. The sector will also be hit, but history suggests that new jobs will be created, the report said.
As for Oda, grocery stores now have a “strong baseline playbook for international expansion,” Davison said. He says that the way it works means that customers are confident that they can outsource their selection of fruits and vegetables. He also states that the model is “reproducible in different regions.”
“The Nordic countries are unique in that e-commerce penetration is high by global standards. Consumers are accustomed to buying online,” he said. “But the penetration of the online grocery category is still relatively low. It creates special opportunities for all Nordic countries today.”
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