Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad may be looking to invest in SoftBank’s $100-billion Vision Fund after holding preliminary talks with the Japanese conglomerate, according to a report by Nikkei Asian Review.
The report said that the talks between representatives of Khazanah and SoftBank were held in April, five months after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad formally invited SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son to join Khazanah as a director and adviser. Son turned down the offer, saying he wanted to focus solely on SoftBank.
SoftBank is reportedly looking to raise an additional $15 billion for the Vision Fund, which is largely backed by the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia. Since it was launched two years ago, the Vision Fund has so far invested around $70 billion in tech companies across the globe.
Outside of Tokyo, Vision Fund has other offices in London and Silicon Valley. However, the massive fund is seen to be demonstrating an increased focus on the Asian market.
DEALSTREETASIA recently reported that the Vision Fund is in advanced talks to open an office in China and expand its team in Singapore. Furthermore, the fund’s Asia director, Anna Lo, is also relocating from Silicon Valley to Singapore this year, she confirmed on LinkedIn recently.
The Vision Fund has invested in a plethora of companies in Asia such as Hong Kong-based travel unicorn Klook, Chinese robotic startup Cloudminds; Chinese car trading platform Chehaoduo, and Delhivery, an Indian logistics startup.
Its earlier portfolio companies in the region include Grab, OYO, Paytm and Tokopedia, among others.