SoftBank Vision Fund partner overseeing Didi Chuxing, Grab resigns

The Vision Fund's $100 million backing for Biofourmis, a U.S. startup that tracks health data using wearable devices, highlights its new focus on early-stage investments. (Photo courtesy of Biofourmis)

SoftBank Vision Fund partner David Thevenon has resigned to pursue other opportunities, according to people familiar with the matter.

Thevenon, who is based in London, will leave after a phased transition for his portfolio companies, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private. The Vision Fund has not yet decided which executives will assume oversight of Thevenon’s portfolio companies, which include Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab Holdings Inc. and small-business lending platform Kabbage Inc. A representative for the Vision Fund declined to comment and Thevenon didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Thevenon joined SoftBank Group Corp. in 2014 and moved across to SoftBank Investment Advisers — the parent entity of the Vision Fund — in December 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is also on the boards of Didi, Grab and Kabbage.

In response to the question on the fund’s website about what he hoped to accomplish there, Thevenon explained that the projects he worked on in transportation, financial services, and robotics provide an opportunity to make an impact.

“I think if we do it right, we’ll be helping people to lead better lives—helping them do what they want to do, in a more efficient and affordable way,” he said. “That gives them new opportunities. It opens up their world.”

The Vision Fund has also added partners recently. Sam Merksamer, a former associate of billionaire Carl Icahn, joined SoftBank Investment Advisers as a partner in New York this month.

Bloomberg

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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.