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.
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.
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's 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.
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