Briefing

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is slowing down

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The company’s first US$100-billion technology fund made just six investments in the third quarter of 2019, down from over 10 in each of the previous three quarters. It has announced only one deal in the current quarter. (Crunchbase)

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Talking point: The slowing pace of the fund’s deals partly reflects the amount SoftBank has already spent. The Vision Fund cuts big cheques—it’s invested US$71.4 billion in 83 companies, and roughly a third of that has gone to just three ride-hailing firms. It’s reserving much of its remaining capital for follow-on investments, so it’s unlikely to add many new names to its portfolio. The poor performance of Uber and WeWork, in which Vision Fund invested billions, have hampered efforts to raise a second fund of similar size. That the first fund’s outlays are slowing at the same time means late-stage private tech companies could have less access to big funding rounds, pushing them towards the public markets—where Uber, WeWork and fellow SoftBank investee Slack have received a hostile reception this year.