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QUARTZ PRESENTS

How the massive scale of SoftBank’s Vision Fund helps—and hurts—its investments

QUARTZ/ALICIA GEARTY
By Dasia Moore
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

With nearly $100 billion in capital, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is the world’s largest tech investing fund. But in recent months, bigger has not proven to be better, and a series of scandals and shortcomings have left SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son “embarrassed and flustered,” according to his interview with Nikkei Asian Review.

Quartz’s latest presentation takes a close look at the Vision Fund’s massive scale, unicorn-packed portfolio, and recent challenges—from WeWork’s failed IPO to SoftBank’s struggle to attract investors for a second Vision Fund.

It is difficult to overstate the Vision Fund’s massive scale. With $98.4 billion committed from SoftBank and outside investors, the Vision Fund is nearly ten times larger than the median US venture capital fund (pdf).

Of the startups in the Vision Fund’s initial portfolio, at least 45% are valued at $1 billion or more, according to data from Pitchbook. Seven are ride-hailing startups, including decacorns Uber and DiDi Chuxing. The fund’s portfolio also shows heavy investment in artificial intelligence.

It is not clear that SoftBank’s massive investments are paying off once its highly-valued unicorns transition to the public market. As of this writing, Uber, Slack, and Vir Biotechnology have all seen their stock prices fall since going public.

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