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SoftBank Joins Forces With Saudi Arabia to Build $100B Tech Fund
Here’s a something interesting. Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank announced on Thursday that it would form a new investment fund that could invest up to $100 billion in tech firms across the globe.
The comically-large fund, tentatively named the SoftBank Vision Fund, will be seeded with at least $25 billion from SoftBank and up to $45 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over the next five years. Several other large investors are reportedly in talks to join the fund as well, which could push the fund to its maximum size.
As the Financial Times points out, the $100 billion fund is roughly the same size “as all funds raised by US venture capital firms over the last two and a half years,” and by my estimates, there will be at least two VCs who will say “it’s the motion of the ocean, not the size of the boat” in regard to it.
Anyway, while the new fund’s size is a bit disconcerting – especially when you factor in all the dry powder currently held by VCs – one probably shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the whole thing as an enterprise borne out of hubris. SoftBank, after all, has a pretty solid track record as an investor. Its early stage investment in Alibaba for instance is the stuff investors dream of, and given that it might not be a strict venture fund, the SoftBank Vision Fund just might do a few large tech PE deals as well. That’s all just speculation, though.
At any rate, Masayoshi Son appears to be quite stoked about the whole deal:
“With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally. Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector. We will further accelerate the Information Revolution by contributing to its development.”