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Home / SmartTech / SoftBank's Vision Fund Closer to $ 100 Billion – TechCrunch

SoftBank's Vision Fund Closer to $ 100 Billion – TechCrunch



Much has been said about the SoftBank Vision Fund (SBVF), mainly because of the size of the vehicle.

It is important to know that the $ 100 billion sum most commonly associated with the giant fund is just one target. Today, however, the Vision Fund has come even closer to this 12-digit target as it continues to burden billion-dollar technology companies around the world.

So far, the SoftBank Vision Fund has invested in more than 20 deals in 2018. Total investment of over $ 21

billion. Of course, not only did this amount come from the Vision Fund – SoftBank's Vision Fund typically invests with one or more consortium partners who help fill in larger rounds – but the amounts are still mind-boggling. The graph below shows the Vision Fund's investment since its inception in 2017.

In an annual disclosure statement (Form D) filed this morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SBVF announced that he raised a total of around $ 98.58 Since the date of the first sale on May 20, 2017, investors have received 14 billion from 14 investors. According to last year's annual application, 8 investors raised approximately $ 93.15 billion. This means that the Vision Fund raised $ 5.43 billion last year and added six new investors to its limited partner base.

In a November financial report, SoftBank Group Corp. (page 21, note 1) reported that an additional $ 5 billion has been invested in the "incentive rate" fund. The total SoftBank contribution is to 21.8 billion US dollars, which corresponds to the original goals.

The latest Form D also names six other limited partners. Crunchbase News expects the $ 430 million of new capital that we can not return to SoftBank to come from these new partners. SoftBank declined to comment on who they are.

Uncertainty about Vision Fund 2

One of the main challenges an investor is as big as the Vision Fund is procuring capital. SoftBank does not have much choice about whom to take on as a Limited Partner. To top up a $ 100 billion (or more) fund, state-sponsored investors are among the only market participants with the financial resources to anchor their base of limited partners. And sometimes international politics and venture capital financing collide.

The Saudi Arabian public investment fund pledged $ 45 billion to the SBVF; it is the biggest supporter of the fund. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is involved in the extrajudicial torture, assassination, dismemberment and elimination of the Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in early October.

In November, TechCrunch reported that SoftBank would wait for the outcome of Khashoggi's murder investigation before deciding on Vision Fund 2. New revelations this weekend close the window of legitimate doubts regarding bin Salman's involvement in the murder.

Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US intelligence agency intercepted eleven intermittent messages from Salman and one of his closest aides, who allegedly overseen the execution squad in the hours leading up to Khashoggi's death. However, with the growing consensus between international and intelligence services, the White House continues to defend Saudi Arabia.

In light of these recent developments, it is uncertain how the relationship between SoftBank and the principal donor of the Vision Fund will change in the future. Whether anything changes, is not known at this point.

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said mid-October was "not certain" for a follow-up fund.


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