Softbank’s much talked about ‘Vision Fund’ — which by the way has already been used by the company for quite a few investments — is about to touch it’s $100Bn goal.
Till date, SoftBank Vision Fund (SBVF) has raised $ 98.58 billion from 14 investors ever since its inception in May 2017. It raised $ 5.43 billion this year alone and also expanded its investor tally from 8 to 14. And the company is funneling whopping amounts of cash into tech startups all around the globe. SBVF has spent over a staggering $ 21 billion over a span of 20 deals in 2018. Just last month it invested $ 2 billion in Coupang, the Amazon of Korea. $ 4 billion in Alibaba and $ 3.35 billion in San Francisco based Cruise Automation are some of the other significant investments made by the company.
The company has shown interest in the Indian Market as well. It recently set up a new office in India and appointed Sumer Juneja from NVP as its Country Head. Softbank has so far invested about $ 8 Billion in India, out of which $ 5 Billion were in four of the biggest names in the Indian e-commerce space – hospitality company Oyo, digital payment platform Paytm, Insurance information providing site PolicyBazar and one of India’s top online retailers Flipkart.
Though the Vision Fund is the investment division of SoftBank, all the financial backing doesn’t come from the parent company. To fill out a $ 100 billion fund, the company has taken towards Government-backed investors. Tiger Global Management and Apple Inc have also invested in Vision Fund. The fund however, faces uncertainty since alleged violations on multiple fronts by their biggest investor (Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – $ 45 billion) have come to light. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is implicated in judicial torture, murder, dismemberment and disposal of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in early October.
It’s uncertain how SoftBank’s relationship with their principal backer will change when the verdict on the murder case finally comes out. And people are keeping a keen eye on that, since the verdict could male or break perhaps the biggest push to future tech investments, so far.