Son unveils SoftBank investment master plan - Mobile World Live

Son unveils SoftBank investment master plan

28 SEP 2018

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured) plans to raise $100 billion every two-to-three years to fuel its strategy of making huge investments in high-growth technology companies, Bloomberg reported.

In an interview with the news agency’s Businessweek magazine, Son said the company’s venture capital arm planned to make investments worth $50 billion a year, building on major buys already made by its Vision Fund.

SoftBank Vision Fund was set up in 2016, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and originally targeting $100 billion in capital. It has since received cash from a number of high profile investors including Qualcomm, Apple, Sharp and Foxconn, and raised more than $90 billion.

At the company’s AGM, in June, Son said investments made by the fund would be focused on “unicorn” companies; start-ups with a valuation of more than $1 billion. Stakes already acquired include Uber, WeWork and Flipkart.

In the last week alone, SoftBank was the lead investor in funding rounds from online real estate marketplace Opendoor; US property trading platform provider Compass; and hospitality company Oyo. The total value of the three investments came in at $1.8 billion, with SoftBank reported to have put in a significant amount of the capital.

The Vision Fund is part of Son’s well-publicised plan for 300 years of growth for the company.

Elsewhere in the interview, Son confirmed he has stepped back from the operational side of the business in favour of the investment side, a pledge made by the executive during the AGM.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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