The billion dollar angel – SoftBank

Softbank Group Corp is a Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet corporation established on September 3, 1981, and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It has operations in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet, technology services, finance, media and marketing, semiconductor design, and other businesses. The company is headed by founder Masayoshi Son.

Video Source: Startup Cat

Softbank was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 list as the 62nd largest public company in the world, and the third largest public organization in Japan after Toyota and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial. Between 2009 and 2014, Softbank’s market capitalization increased by 557%, the fourth largest relative increase in the world over that period.

In the early years of commencement Softbank bought COMDEX from The Interface Group in

1995, and later on in 1999 allowed the organizers of COMDEX to restrict admission of media, creating a spiraling effect. They eventually sold COMDEX to key3Media, a division  of Ziff Davis, in 2001.

On January 28, 2005, Softbank became the heir of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, Nippon Professional Baseball team. On March 17, 2006, Softbank broadcasted to buy Vodafone, Japan, giving it a stake  of Japan’s $78 billion mobile market. In April 2006 according to their growing business the bought 23% stake of Betfair an Internet betting exchange. In August 2006, Softbank sold all its shares of SBI Group  to a subsidiary of SBI’s holding company making SBI independent. Many more milestones were set by the organization in the upcoming years.

How Softbank’s $100B funds is in a league on its own.

In most situations corporate venture capitalists (CVCs) are named after their associated root and according to the root analogy its very true that most of these CVCs receive an ongoing  allowance from their root supporter with not even a single penny adding up to the capital share. As a consequence it is often taken for granted that CVCs are beholden only to the corporation and its strategic initiatives.

This is not accordingly the case with Softbank’s investment part. Although Softbank invests all its own funds in startups, and it was involved in doing such since 1995 under the aegis of Softbank Capital , until a new fund was raised by the company’s framer and CEO, Masayoshi Son, which darkens the acknowledged CVC model.

The research was broadcasted by the Financial Times, which said that Softbank’s new fund , called the “Vision Fund,” has raised  a lot of fund from partners, like:

  • $45 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
  • $15 billion from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company.
  • $1 billion from Apple.
  • $1 billion from Sharp.
  • $3 billion from Qualcomm, Foxconn and Oracle heir Larry Ellison’s family office
  • $28 billion of Softbank’s own capital.

This sums up to an amount of $93 billion according to June SEC filings, which is only $7 billion less than the publicly stated target fund size of $100 billion in November 2017, six months after initial close. Thus it is revealed that the fund is purposed to be deployed over five years, with anywhere between seven and nine years to mature before circulate the assets back to the investors.

This mixing of huge assets from multiple partners define that Softbank has partnered with some of the world’s most influential investors in the interest of advancing the 300-year plan of establishing the largest organization on the planet.

 Image Source: Bloomberg News

by Siddharth Sarkhel, The Blogging Connection