SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 announced | Here are all the details
SoftBank has announced the launch of its “Vision Fund 2” just hours after its meeting with board members to confirm the injection of funds into the new vision fund.
SoftBank announced that the capital of Vision Fund 2 — the official name of the fund — has reached about $108 billion, based on agreements signed. This makes this second vision fund the largest ever recorded in the history of investment funds in the startup ecosystem the world over — even though it is just $11 billion above its debut Vision Fund of $97 billion.
Of the $108 billion, SoftBank’s exact investment in Vision Fund 2 will be $38 billion — arguably making them the largest investor in the new fund. The first Vision Fund’s largest investor was Saudi’s Public Investment Fund.
The Vision Fund 2 is going to focus investments in Artificial Intelligence based technology.
Vision Fund 2 will focus investments in Artificial Intelligence based technology. Considering the vehicle regularly cuts cheques of $100 million and above, this could play a huge role in furthering the research into the AI sector and shortening the timelines before we see driverless cars, drones deliveries, AI disease-detecting machines become commonplace.
The list of expected investors in Vision Fund 2 as per the announcement include “Apple, Foxconn Technology Group, Microsoft Corporation.”
The second vision fund will also see investment come from Japan’s financial institutions including “Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd., The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc.,”
Other institutions investing in Vision Fund 2 include Standard Chartered Bank, who was one of the first confirmed investors in the fund, as well as new sovereign investor, “National Investment Corporation of National Bank of Kazakhstan.”
Besides, “major participants from Taiwan” will also be investing in the second Vision Fund, who were unnamed in the announcement.
In SoftBank’s announcement, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and UAE’s Mubadala have not been added to the list. However, sources confirm that the two investment firms from the MENA region are in talks to invest in SoftBank’s second vision fund.
Some of the investors from the list announced are still in talks, such as Microsoft, who could come on board under the condition that SoftBank encourages its portfolio of 75 companies under the Vision Fund to migrate from Amazon’s Web Services to Microsoft’s Azure.
SoftBank’s initial Vision Fund of $97 billion invested in large tech companies including Careem, Uber, Didi Chuxing, Ola, WeWork, and more. Earlier this June, Masayoshi Son announced that the fund generated a return of 62% from $64.2 billion investment in 71 companies.
Considering the latest news of Noon’s ambitions to being driverless delivery services to the UAE, Didi’s expansion to the Middle East, and the world’s push towards AI-based technology—the Vision Fund 2 will play a massive role in helping the world leap into the future. We’ll be delving into the new fund’s possible implications in the MENA region following this announcement.