ANTI-DESPACITO: SoftBank Vision Fund Backing AI and Farming Startup Plenty

Posted on 07/20/2017

The SoftBank Vision Fund continues to back just about every major startup in the AI space. The fund recently backed San Diego-based Brain Corporation. SoftBank then co-led a US$ 159 million Series B round with Greylock Partners in Palo Alto-based Nauto, Inc., a developer of autonomous vehicle technologies.

The SoftBank Vision Fund is leading another US$ 200 million Series B round. This time in South San Francisco-based Plenty Inc., an indoor vertical farming startup. Other investors in the round include Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Kirenaga Partners, DCM, Data Collective and Finistere Ventures. The Vision Fund has sovereign wealth backers from the Middle East, where food is a big deal.

May – July VC Deals by SoftBank

Period Target Company Lead Investor Series Round
July 2017 Nauto, Inc. Yes B
July 2017 Plenty Inc. Yes B
July 2017 Brain Corporation Yes C
Jun 2017 Cybereason Inc. Yes D
May 2017 99 Yes C
May 2017 Guardant Health Yes E
May 2017 Improbable Worlds Ltd. Yes B
May 2017 OSIsoft, LLC Yes Private Equity
May 2017 One97 Communications Yes Unknown

Keywords: SoftBank Group Corporation.

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