Briefing

SoftBank senior director says most Canadian companies are too small to interest Vision Fund

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Yoshiaki Tanaka said later-stage tech firms, on which SoftBank focuses, are hard to come by in Canada, where most firms are bought out by U.S. investors after they reach a certain size. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: SoftBank’s first Vision Fund, the largest tech investment fund in the world, tends to invest in late-stage private tech companies approaching a public launch. Most VC investment deals in Canada are under $100 million—with three exceptions in the first half of 2019—but deal size in the country is steadily growing. The first half of this year saw a record $2.15 billion in VC deals, and deal size is up 26 per cent compared to the average of the last five years. Overall, VC investments in Canada are shifting toward later-stage firms. Meanwhile, SoftBank is facing investor skepticism for Vision Fund 2. Its losses from cash-losing startups like WeWork and Uber, which could top US$5 billion, are making major investors like Apple and Microsoft wary of putting money into the fund.