Japan’s SoftBank is gearing up for the launch of the sequel to its $100-billion Vision Fund as soon as this week, with existing major investors likely to be its biggest backers, according to a Bloomberg report.
The anticipated launch will bring into fruition Son’s plan to raise a new $100-billion fund every two to three years and could further reshape the role venture capital — and to an extent, private equity — plays in bringing startups to life and helping them survive.
SoftBank could shell out as much as $50 billion from its own coffers for the new fund, a higher commitment than its $28 billion in the first Vision Fund. The report said SoftBank is eyeing a final close for the fund in March 2020.
Two of Vision Fund’s earliest investors, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., are expected to be major backers of the new investment vehicle. New investors are also expected to participate, according to the report.
In October last year, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman confirmed in a Bloomberg interview that his country’s sovereign fund plans to invest $45 billion into the second SoftBank Vision fund, just two years after putting the same amount into the first fund.
Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, made a $15-billion commitment to the first Vision Fund in 2017 and is likely to continue investing in the second fund.
Launched in 2016, the first Vision Fund had invested $64 billion in 71 companies, generating a 62 per cent return as of June this year. Its portfolio includes Uber, WeWork, Slack, DoorDash, and China’s Didi Chuxing.
An earlier Wall Street Journal report had said that some money managers, including sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, plan to make limited or no contributions to the SoftBank Vision Fund II.