Collaborating Authors

SoftBank Vision Fund lost ¥1 trillion in value during second quarter


"We are in a snowstorm again. It's a blizzard," SoftBank CEO and chairman Masayoshi Son said on Monday afternoon, when explaining how his company's Vision Fund lost around ¥1 trillion in value during the second quarter. SoftBank's CEO pointed to China's crackdown on tech companies as the main reason for the dip, with its investments in China having been hamstrung by fines and bans over the past six months. While not one of the company's Vision Fund investments, the company's largest asset Alibaba saw its valuation fall by around a third in the second quarter to $52 billion. Earlier this year, Alibaba was fined $2.7 billion for breaching China's antitrust regulations.

SoftBank invests $300 million in WeWork: source

The Japan Times

SoftBank Group Corp. invested $300 million in WeWork Cos., a person familiar with the matter said, an influx of cash that values the New York-based co-working giant at more than $17 billion. The investment from SoftBank is the first in what will probably be a much larger stake, said the person, who asked not to be identified. The additional cash is expected to come from the $100 billion Vision Fund. WeWork, which rents out desks and offices to small businesses, freelancers and other people seeking temporary working spaces, sold the shares at a higher price than in its previous round, which valued it at about $16 billion a year ago. The new investment was disclosed in a securities filing.

SoftBank invests $450m in real estate tech company Compass


Compass, a New York-based real estate technology company, has announced that it will receive a $450 million investment from Japan's SoftBank, calling it the "largest real estate technology investment in US history".

Masayoshi Son, the intrepid visionary

The Japan Times

This is second in a 10-part series on influential figures in the Heisei Era, which began in 1989 and will end when Emperor Akihito abdicates in April. In Heisei, Japan was roiled by economic excess and stagnation, as well as a struggle for political and social reform. This series explores those who left their imprint along the way. There's a well known anecdote about Masayoshi Son, the maverick billionaire founder and chief executive of SoftBank Group Corp. and the man behind the world's largest technology investment fund. Back in 1981, a 24-year-old Son had launched a software distribution startup with two part-time employees in a cramped office in Fukuoka.

SoftBank Partners With Saudi Arabia To Create 100 Billion Tech Investment Fund

International Business Times

Japanese telecommunications and internet company SoftBank announced Friday that it is partnering with Saudi Arabia to launch a technology investment fund that may manage as much as 100 billion. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) -- the country's top sovereign wealth fund -- may invest up to 45 billion over the next five years in the new fund, tentatively named the SoftBank Vision Fund, while SoftBank will put in nearly 25 billion. Several other "large global investors" are also in talks to join what may soon become the world's largest private equity fund, SoftBank said. However, the potential investors in the London-based fund were not identified. "With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally," SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, said in a statement.