How Far Along is SoftBank’s Vision Fund After Reaching its First Close?

On the heels of U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Saudi Arabia, Japan-based SoftBank Group announced its first major close regarding the gargantuan SoftBank Vision Fund. Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, Chairman of SoftBank, was also in Riyadh at the time. After Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Presidential election, Son met with Trump, pledging US$ 50 billion of investment into the United States, thus seeking to create 50,000 U.S. jobs.

Initial investors backing the fund include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Mubadala Investment Co., Qualcomm, Sharp Corporation, Apple Inc., and Foxconn Technology Group. PIF has the largest commitment at US$ 45 billion and will reserve the right to participate in certain deals. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has not fully-confirmed its participation in the fund. When fully-funded, the global SoftBank Vision Fund will be the largest private equity-style, technology-focused fund ever formed.

The SoftBank Vision Fund aims to “accelerate the information revolution,” looking to back investments in robotics, computational biology, mobile applications, cloud technologies, consumer internet businesses, artificial intelligence (AI) and financial technology. The Vision Fund will seek to buy minority and majority ownership interests in both private and public companies. These companies could be both mature, established businesses, all the way to, emerging technological companies. The fund will target investments starting at US$ 100 million or more. Also, PIF had invested billions into Uber Technologies, while SoftBank invested in Chinese taxi app Didi. With that being stated and to avoid potential conflict, the Vision Fund plans to not participate in taxi-app deals.

When fully-funded, the global SoftBank Vision Fund will be the largest private equity-style, technology-focused fund ever formed.

Vision Fund Investor Table

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