Japanese teleco Softbank Group Corp. could announce a closing on a tech fund worth up to $95 billion as soon as next week, said people familiar with the matter. Chief Executive Office Masayoshi Son’s investment pool has attracted interest from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and technology giants Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. Oracle founder Larry Ellison has announced plans to participate in the largest tech fund. Additionally, the Abu Dhabi based Mubadala Development Co. is also considering committing $15 billion.
Softbank has agreed to shell out $30 billion on technology companies in the last twelve months.
SoftBank Raising $95 billion tech fund
The Softbank Vision Fund announced last year, aims to be one of the biggest tech funds over the next decade. It will be based in London, and will be chiefly used to make strategic investments in tech ventures. A large chunk of the $95 billion tech fund will flow into Asia, where SoftBank has made investments in companies, including Didi Chuxing in China, Grab in Southeast Asia, and Snapdeal and Ola in India.
You can say, $95 billion is a huge amount. According to the National Venture Capital Association, the collection would be almost equivalent to all the funds raised by US venture capital firms over the last two and a half years.
So far, Softbank’s largest deal has been the acquisition of England-based chip designer ARM Holdings Plc in 2016. Its net income peaked 1.43 trillion yen for the fiscal year which ended in March. During the earnings call, Softbank announced it contributed $5 billion to Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing’s recent $5.5 billion fundraising. The investment was made through a subsidiary into Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., which is the formal name for Didi.
In April this year, it invested over $150 million to investment bank Raine Group LLC, as well as its parent company. According to a filing, some of the other investments include $75 million in Zymergen, a bio-tech company based in Calif., $63.5 million in SB Energy Holdings Ltd., and $300 million in WeWork Cos.