SoftBank Vision Fund: Looking for opportunities in IoT, robotics, AI, ride sharing, fintech and healthcare

The focus is on technology investment in leading companies with focus on countries like US, China, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia

The SoftBank Vision Fund is focusing mainly on countries like US, China, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia and is looking to expand relationships with leading companies. The Fund is expected to be active across a wide range of technology sectors, including but not limited to Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, mobile applications and computing, communications infrastructure and telecoms, fintech/payment, healthcare, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.

The SoftBank Group (SBG) created the SoftBank Vision Fund with the belief that the next stage of the information revolution will require unprecedented large scale long-term investment. The Fund’s portfolio companies are expected to significantly benefit from SBG’s global scale and operational expertise, as well as its ecosystem of group portfolio companies (including Sprint and Yahoo Japan) and this will thereby help them to accelerate their own growth profile.

The SoftBank Vision Fund has already announced committed capital of over $93 billion of committed capital. In addition to SoftBank Group (SBG) and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF), investors in the Fund also include the Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates, Apple, Foxconn Technology Group, Qualcomm and Sharp.

Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group said, “Technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today. The businesses working to solve these problems will require patient long-term capital and visionary strategic investment partners with the resources to nurture their success. SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs. The SoftBank Vision Fund is consistent with this strategy and will help build and grow businesses creating the foundational platforms of the next stage of the Information Revolution.”

SoftBank Vision Fund Portfolio:

  • nvidia: Powering the world’s first self driving car
  • DiDi: World’s leading one stop mobile transportation platform
  • OneWeb: Building constellation of satellites to enable broadband access
  • SoFi: A new kind of finance company taking a radical approach to lending, wealth management and insurance
  • GuardantHealth: Focussed on conquering cancer by using its breakthrough blood-based assays, vast data sets and advanced analytics
  • OSIsoft: Dedicated to helping people transform their world through data
  • Nauto: California based transportation technology company whose artificial intelligence-powered data platform is making driving safer and fleets smarter
  • Plenty: The indoor farming company solving the globe’s fresh produce shortages
  • Brain: San Diego-based AI company that partners with manufacturers of commercial equipment to convert their manual machines into autonomous robots
  • OYO: India’s largest hospitality company and its network currently spans over 230 Indian cities including all major metros, regional commercial hubs, leisure destinations, and key pilgrimage towns
  • Improbable: A British technology company that focuses on large-scale simulations in the cloud, enabling virtual worlds of unprecedented scale and complexity
  • WeWork: Platform for creators, providing more than 130,000 members around the world with space, community and services through both physical and virtual offerings
  • Slack: Fastest growing enterprise collaboration platform vis-a-vis Salesforce, LinkedIn, Dropbox, servicenow and workday
  • Mapbox: Leading neutral geo-location platform for agriculture, drones, real estate, media, government and logistics through 900,000 developers
  • Flipkart: India’s No. 1 retailer with cumulative GMV of 500x in 2016 and EC market share of 60 per cent as of July – September quarter 2017
  • Paytm: India’s No. 1 digital payment service with digital payment share of more than 58 per cent in FY2016-17
  • Fanatics: Online retailer of unlicensed sports apparel. Has strategic partnerships with professional leagues, associations and events and college teams
  • Roivant Sciences: Seeking to transform biopharma market through Artificial Intelligence
  • Vir Biotechnology: Aim to solve multiple infectious diseases like influenza, HIV, RSV etc
  • ZhongAn Insurance: Leading online insuretech company to offer customised insurance by leveraging big data and AI

Source: SoftBank

Yasir Al Rumayyan, Managing Director of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said, “Our investment in the SoftBank Vision Fund alongside other sovereign and corporate investors is an important part of our overall investment strategy. We are building a portfolio that is diversified across sectors, asset classes and geographies, and expect the Vision Fund to act as a platform to access a range of exciting, emerging opportunities in the technology sector.”

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company said, “Technology and innovation are central to the UAE’s economic diversification strategy, and we believe the Vision Fund has the scale to deploy significant capital into these disruptive industries that are shaping the future.”

The Fund will have the right to acquire certain investments already acquired (or agreed to be acquired) by the SoftBank Group, including 24.99% of its holding in ARM, and investments in Guardant Health, Intelsat, NVIDIA, OneWeb and SoFi.

The Fund has invested in wide portfolio of companies such as biopharma, insuretech, sports apparel, e-commerce, geo-location platform, enterprise collaboration platform, hospitality, indoor farming, transportation technology company and mobile transportation platform.

SoftBank is also planning to be involved in NEOM project of Saudi Arabia, a new city project near Red Sea.





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