Major investors like Apple and Microsoft have yet to sign on to Vision Fund 2, for which SoftBank initially said it would raise US$108 billion. The Japanese conglomerate itself remains the only large contributor to the fund, with a US$38-billion pledge. Despite objections from some senior executives, founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is reportedly determined to go ahead with the plan. (Reuters)
Talking point: SoftBank’s first Vision Fund, which raised US$97 billion, is the largest tech investment fund in the world. It has generally put at least US$100 million into late-stage private tech companies approaching a public launch—but some of its largest investments have suffered major valuation drops. Its highest-profile recent black eye came courtesy of WeWork, into which the Vision Fund invested US$10.65 billion. The office-rental company cancelled its IPO in the face of investor skepticism over its corporate structure and lack of profitability, and on Thursday announced it would cut between 10 and 25 per cent of its workforce. Among the Vision Fund’s other investments, Uber’s shares are 34 per cent lower than when it listed, and Slack shares are down 41 per cent from their June high.