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Softbank is launching a second Vision Fund—and it’s even bigger than the first

Softbank is launching a second Vision Fund—and it’s even bigger than the first
[Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]

SoftBank Group’s founder Masayoshi Son has revealed that it is launching a second Vision Fund that is even larger than its original $100 billion one, reports Bloomberg. The second Vision Fund aims to raise $108 billion with Softbank contributing $38 billion of its own capital to the fund while other tech giants including Apple, Microsoft, and Foxconn are also expected to contribute billions.

Softbank’s original Vision Fund was announced in October 2016, and since then has included investments in giants like WeWork, Slack, and Grab. In June Softbank revealed that its investments in the original fund have earned a 62% return so far. That’s based off investing $64.2 billion in 71 deals so far.

And those investments go toward companies that Son believes will reshape the world we live in in the future. Such companies are disruptors in the fields of transportation, artificial intelligence, and commerce. As Fast Company reported earlier this year:

There is no one on the planet right now in a better position to influence this next wave of technology as Son. Not Jeff Bezos, not Mark Zuckerberg, not Elon Musk. They might have the money but not Son’s combination of ambition, imagination, and nerve. The network of companies within the Vision Fund, if they succeed, will reshape critical pieces of the economy: the $228 trillion real estate market, the $5.9 trillion global transportation market, the $25 trillion retail business. We won’t be able to turn Vision Fund-backed services and technologies off like computers and smartphones. They will, ultimately, have minds and thoughts of their own.

Softbank’s second Vision Fund is expected to invest in more of the same types of companies, yet there is at least one major difference between it and the original Vision Fund. The second Vision Fund will not include any capital from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia originally contributed $45 billion to the first Vision Fund. However, after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it looks like Son now sees Saudi funding as a PR liability—at least for his new fund.

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