SoftBank Vision Fund to set up office in China, expand presence in Singapore

Masayoshi Son. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank Vision Fund is in advanced talks to open an office in China and expand its team in Singapore, said a person privy to the development.

SoftBank Vision Fund currently has offices in London, Silicon Valley and Tokyo. It lists Singapore as an additional office on its website.

The $100-billion venture fund plans to recruit about 10 people each in Singapore and China, the person told DEALSTREETASIA on condition of anonymity, adding that the office in China is likely to be set up in Shanghai.

It is understood that Anna Lo, Asia director, SoftBank Vision Fund, is also expected to relocate from Silicon Valley to Singapore this year. Lo, a long-time employee at SoftBank, currently manages SoftBank’s Bodhi fund, which focuses on early-stage companies in China, India and Southeast Asia.

Originally from Taiwan, Lo joined SoftBank in 2006 and spent over 13 years with SB China and India, forming and managing the Japanese conglomerate’s Asia portfolio. She also spent over a year as project director of SB Product Group. In 2014, Lo was appointed director for SoftBank Group International, and was promoted to director of SoftBank Investment Advisers in 2017.

SoftBank Vision Fund’s expansion in Asia underscores its growing focus on the region as it begins to shore up its investments here. The Saudi-backed venture fund recently 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.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is reportedly raising another $100 billion, in a bid to invest in late-stage tech deals. Its Seoul-based, early-stage ventures arm, SoftBank Ventures Asia is also in talks to raise as much $500 million for its upcoming fund. It is also casting its eye on overseas investments. SoftBank recently announced that it was launching a $5-billion fund focused on Latin America.

Also read:

SoftBank Vision Fund expects windfall from $7.7b Uber investment in first public exit

Grab to raise additional $2b in funding this year, SoftBank to top up

SoftBank hires industry veterans for $5b Latin America tech fund

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.