SoftBank’s Q1 profit soars 49% on the back of Flipkart divestment

Pedestrians walk past a SoftBank Group Corp. store in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp on Monday reported a 49 percent rise in first-quarter operating profit, boosted by the sale of its stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart – the first public divestment by its Vision Fund.

The telecoms and technology firm’s profit was also bolstered by the sale of the majority of chip designer ARM Holding’s Chinese operations to a local consortium.

The sale of the stakes are early signs that SoftBank is able to monetise its investments – a key concern for investors that have seen billions of dollars pumped into tech companies around the world but little profit-taking.

SoftBank’s Saudi-Arabian backed Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund, has invested $27.1 billion in 29 companies at the end of June.

Those investments are now worth $32.5 billion, SoftBank said.

The fund has upended the world of dealmaking with splashy investments in companies such as ride-sharing platform Uber Technologies Inc, co-working firm WeWork Cos and chipmaker Nvidia Corp.

SoftBank is preparing to list its domestic telecoms unit to raise more cash to feed its insatiable investing activities in what could be Japan’s largest-ever initial public offering.

Profit for the three months through June was 715 billion yen ($6.42 billion) from 479 billion yen a year earlier, SoftBank said.

SoftBank did not release a forecast for the current business year, saying there were too many uncertain factors.

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Reuters

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. 
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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.