Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank Group/Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, both key partners in the first fund, are still in talks about possible investments.
Monday 29, July 2019
SoftBank Group’s founder Masayoshi Son unveiled a second enormous fund for technology investments, seeking to keep his place as the most influential investor in the industry, reported Bloomberg.
The Japanese conglomerate aims to raise a total of $108 billion for the second Vision Fund, which would make it even larger than the first, unprecedented $100 billion effort.
SoftBank is also taking more control—and risk—this time around, committing $38 billion in capital itself and replacing Saudi Arabia as the largest investor. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund chipped in $45 billion for the initial effort.
SoftBank said the second fund is expected to collect money from Apple, Microsoft as well as Foxconn Technology Group and the sovereign wealth fund of Kazakhstan. Son also won broad support from Japanese financial institutions with seven identified as signing MoUs to participate.
The Japanese financial firms that have signed MoUs are Mizuho Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group together with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group as well as Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Daiwa Securities Group.
Additionally, other contributors will include Standard Chartered, an unnamed Taiwanese investor and SMBC Nikko Securities.
Son is aiming to raise a new massive fund every two or three years to take advantage of opportunities he sees in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.
In June, SoftBank disclosed the initial Vision Fund had earned 62 per cent returns so far after investing $64.2 billion in 71 deals.
It’s not clear whether SoftBank or Saudi Arabia pushed for the country’s decreased role in the second fund.
The original Vision Fund was announced in October 2016 but took another seven months for its first major closing. Saudi Arabia was the biggest investor with its $45 billion contribution, followed by SoftBank’s $28 billion and $15 billion from Mubadala.