What’s the big deal about SoftBank?
SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son at a conference laying out his new Vision Fund 2 which will invest into more tech startups (Source: Fortune)
April 5th, 2021
SoftBank (TYO: 9984) is a multinational conglomerate holding company. They’ve been in recent news lately because of a long list of acquisitions the company has overseen.
According to Forbes Global 2000, Softbank is the 66th largest company in the world and the 6th largest company in Japan.
Mainstream media is now focusing more on SoftBank after Hulu’s release of WeWork: The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Dollar Unicorn, which follows the rise, and eventual fall, of the office rental company WeWork. SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi “Masa” Son plays a pivotal role in the film.
Masayoshi Son is not only the second richest man in Japan but also founded SoftBank in 1981 and launched its $100 vision fund in 2017.
In less than 3 years, the Vision Fund backed around 90 startups valued at over $75 Billion. SoftBank is currently invested in notable American firms, such as 10x Genomics (NASDAQ: TXG), Compass (NYSE: COMP), DoorDash (NYSE: DASH), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Slack (NYSE: WORK), and Uber (NYSE: UBER).
SoftBank helped many of these startups go public and has aided their ultimate corporate dominance. However, not all of their investments originally turned a profit. The failed WeWork IPO back in 2019 was detrimental to the fund. To save the company from bad management, Son paid eccentric WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann a reported $1.7 Billion to step down and cut ties with the company.
That being said, SoftBank ended up rebounding from that loss to recently posting an 844 billion yen ($8 billion) third-quarter profit, according to Reuters.