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SoftBank Vision Fund

SoftBank Vision Fund

SoftBank Vision Fund is a subsidiary of SoftBank focused on investing in technology companies. It is located in London, England and was founded in 2017.

SoftBank is a venture capital company that has the stated mission of investing in late-stage technology start-ups that will revolutionize the future.The company has stated that it believes that in order for for its investment companies to make long-term meaningful impacts, they need to be patient and have scaleable vision. At its inception in 2017, it was nearly a $100 billion fund.



SoftBank Vision Fund invests in a variety of industries such as consumer, enterprise, financial technology, frontier technology, health technology, real estate, and transportation and logistics.Other industries in which the company invests include artificial intelligence, Internet of things, robotics, cloud technologies, and more.

SoftBank Vision Fund I

The first SoftBank Vision Fund was started in 2017 and was backed by investors such as Apple and Foxconn as well as sovereign wealth funds from nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The venture capital company invested heavily in start-ups that fill a need for society. Most of the company's investments in Silicon Valley have been more than $100 million dollars. Companies that SoftBank Vision Fund has invested in include Uber and DoorDash. SoftBank Vision Fund also invests in Asian start-ups, such as Grab, a ride-hailing platform. 

SoftBank Vision Fund II

In 2019, the company announced that it was launching a second fund. The stated focus of this fund is investing in start-ups that are designing and producing "next-generation enterprise technology" using artificial intelligence. Founder Masayoshi Son has stated that artificial intelligence will alter industries such as healthcare, corporate business models, and transportation. The company itself has invested $38 billion into the fund and combining that contribution with other investors' assets would bring the fund to $108 billion. SoftBank Vision Fund is using the profits from the first fund along with other company assets to make its contribution. Several investors from the original fund have invested in the second fund and companies such as Goldman Sachs and Standard Charter have also been confirmed as investors. Kazakhstan has joined the fund with its sovereign wealth fund and there has been no word on the involvement of Saudi Arabia in this fund. 



Timeline

2019

Vision Fund II is launched

SoftBank establishes its second vision fund at a value of $108 billion. 

2017

SoftBank Vision Fund is established

The company launches its first vision fun with $100 billion from investors. 

Funded Companies

Company
Description
Website
Industry
Location

Flexport is a licensed freight forwarder and shipping company based in San Francisco, CA, USA. They manage global logistics for businesses.

Chinese AI startup company developing face recognition technology backed by Alibaba.

Uber Technologies Inc. is a transportation network company (TNC) headquartered in San Francisco, California.

WeWork is a company providing shared workspaces for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startup companies, small businesses and large enterprises.

South Korean e-commerce company.

Roivant Sciences is a pharmaceutical company founded by Vivek Ramaswarmy. It focuses on the discovery and development of late-stage drug candidates.

Compass is a real estate technology company providing real estate listing application for buying, selling and renting properties.

Grab is a technology company providing a ride-hailing platform for booking service for taxis, private cars and motorbikes through a mobile device.

Rappi is a delivery service company operating in Latin American countries.

Automation Anywhere is a company developing cognitive Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software.

Katerra is a US based construction company.

OakNorth is a financial technology company that enables entrepreneurs access customized mid-sized loans.

Nuro is a company that develops self-driving vehicles designed for local goods transportation.

Zume Pizza is a food delivery company operating an automated pizza delivery platform. It offers pizza without artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup.

C2FO is a Kansas City, Missouri-based company founded by Sandy Kemper.

Tokopedia is a technology company providing a free online marketplace platform in Indonesia.

Globality revolutionizes how businesses buy and sell services by matching the best provider at the right price for every project.

Auto1 Group provides an online platform connecting buyers and sellers of cars.

Also known as Guazi.com, Chehaoduo is a China based company designing and providing an online car selling platform.

Greensill is a financial technology company founded in 2011.

American geospatial technology company that produces tools for map designers and application developers

Manbang Group is a logistics providing freight services through truck-hailing operations.

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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Masayoshi Son

Founder and CEO



Rajeev Misra

CEO, SoftBank Investment Advisers



Ron Fisher

Vice Chairman SoftBank Group Corp



Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Masayoshi Son blasts critics who 'don't understand' AI's potential

Staff Writer

Web

July 27, 2019

SoftBank is reportedly on the brink of revealing the sequel to its $100 billion Vision Fund

Daniel Strauss

Web

July 23, 2019

SoftBank's Vision Fund is preparing to invest $1 billion in Grab

Jon Russell

Web



SoftBank's Vision Fund is the biggest technology investment portfolio ever. This is where its billions have gone so far.

Rani Molla

Web

September 18, 2017

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

SoftBank Investors Explain the Mega-Fund's Aggressive Investment Strategy

July 17, 2018

SoftBank Unveils $108 Billion Vision Fund 2

July 25, 2019

We expect Vision Fund to invest in 70 to 100 companies, says SoftBank director

February 26, 2018

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

Mihir Shukla





Brandless

Tina Sharkey





Cohesity

Mohit Aron





Coupang

Bom Kim





Doug Mack





Globality

Joel Hyatt





Tokopedia

William Tanuwijaya





Wag

Hilary Schneider





News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
January 5, 2020
The Economic Times
SoftBank made a big-bang entry in the industry in 2014, when it announced three investments totalling $1 bn.
January 5, 2020
The Economic Times
SoftBank made a big-bang entry in the industry in 2014, when it announced three investments totalling $1 bn.
Tim Culpan | Bloomberg Opinion
December 31, 2019
@bsindia
Read more about A 2020 shopping list Masayoshi Son: K-pop band, Aramco for investor? on Business Standard. A list of investments Masayoshi Son ought to consider after after an awry year for SoftBank Vision Fund.
Connie Loizos
December 26, 2019
TechCrunch
If you haven't noticed, Europe's startup scene is in full bloom, with more than $30 billion deployed in startups across the continent over the last 12 months and more than 20 countries now home to a so-called unicorn company. Investors around the globe are jumping into the pool, too. Consider that the Ontario Municipal Employees [...]
Ranju Sarkar
December 24, 2019
@bsindia
Read more about SoftBank invests $275 million in Lenskart; buys out some early investors on Business Standard. A large part of this investment will go towards building next generation technology and supply chain, said Peyush Bansal, Founder & CEO of Lenskart
December 18, 2019
www.nytimes.com
A venture capital firm known for making huge bets on Silicon Valley ventures has a toxic culture and an exceptionally high tolerance for risk, a report says.
Erin Griffith
December 10, 2019
www.nytimes.com
The technology investment powerhouse sold its shares in the dog-walking start-up at a loss as its pushes the companies it bets on to seek profits and long-term stability.
Catherine Shu
December 4, 2019
TechCrunch
Korean e-commerce giant Coupang has a new chief financial officer. The company announced today that it has hired Alberto Fornaro, who previously served the same role at International Gaming Technology (IGT PLC), the multinational gaming machine company. Fornaro succeeds Richard Song, who joined Coupang in 2011 and is retiring. Coupang is Korea's largest e-commerce platform. [...]
Bani Sapra
November 27, 2019
Business Insider
Investors are beginning to question SoftBank's investments, even as business executives depart their SoftBank-backed companies.
Romain Dillet
November 15, 2019
TechCrunch
SoftBank's Vision Fund has single-handedly changed the game when it comes to tech startup investment. And that's why I'm excited to announce that SoftBank Vision Fund investment director Carolina Brochado is joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Carolina Brochado isn't a newcomer when it comes to VC investment. She's worked for years at Atomico in [...]
Callum Burroughs, Megan Hernbroth and Charlie Wood
September 24, 2019
Business Insider
SoftBank's Vision Fund is the world's largest tech investor and has backed companies like Uber, WeWork, and Ola.
Jonathan Shieber
July 10, 2019
TechCrunch
As investors continue to move more aggressively into Latin America's startup scene, there's one industry that seems to be drawing more attention than any others -- financial services. As wealth across the region continues to rise, access to adequate financial services -- specifically debt -- has become a pain-point for an upwardly mobile middle class [...]
Romain Dillet
July 3, 2019
TechCrunch
SoftBank Vision Fund has single-handedly changed the game when it comes to tech startup investment. And that's why I'm excited to announce that SoftBank Vision Fund partner David Thevenon is joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Thevenon spent most of his career working for Google on international and strategic partnerships, especially in Latin America, Asia, [...]
Catherine Shu
June 27, 2019
TechCrunch
Fungible, a startup that wants to help data centers cope with the increasingly massive amounts of data produced by new technologies, has raised a $200 million Series C led by SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners and its existing investors. As part of the round, SoftBank Investment Advisers senior managing partner Deep [...]
Varsha Bansal
Invalid Date
DealStreetAsia
This round, which saw the participation of existing investors Carlyle and Fosun, will see the valuation of the company shoot up to over $1.5 billion.
CNBC International
Invalid Date
DealStreetAsia
Son also spoke about the rationale behind his attempt to invest substantially more in WeWork, holding on to the investment in Alibaba, reports of discord between his deputies and why the Vision Fund is betting big on AI.
Vibhuti Sharma
Invalid Date
DealStreetAsia
Japan's Softbank Group Corp said on Thursday it had launched a new $5 billion innovation fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America.
Reuters Editorial
Invalid Date
U.S.
Japan's Softbank Group Corp said on Thursday it had launched a new $5 billion innovation fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America.
Kate Clark
Invalid Date
TechCrunch
Plus, Pinterest is going public too, Lyft's IPO is imminent and London is home to the largest pre-seed fund ever.
Ka Kay Lum
Invalid Date
DealStreetAsia
The round was joined by new investors Foresite Capital, Perceptive Advisors and Tavistock Group as well as existing investors, including GV, Casdin Capital and BVF Partners.
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References