Japanese tech firm SoftBank has its fingers in all the technology pies with is $93m investment Vision Fund.
Now it looks like its stake in the tech world is about to get bigger as sources told Recode the company is looking to raise money for a second, and possibly larger, fund than the first one.
The source said:
“It’s conceptual, but serious.”
When contacted, SoftBank declined to speak to Verdict about the plans.
Here’s what SoftBank’s next fund could look like
When the conglomerate’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, announced the Vision Fund last year he said:
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“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.”
Recent investments by the Vision Fund include the London-based virtual reality (VR) startup, Improbable. It was one of the UK’s largest venture capital deals, with SoftBank led a $502m investment round.
As well, the Japanese firm is looking to take a 14 to 20 percent stake in the ride-sharing startup, Uber. Board member Arianna Huffington was speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference earlier this week when she said it’s likely the deal will come together in the next week.
Latest investments have been concentrated in Europe, Asia, and North America. This is interesting considering one of the major backers of the fund is Saudi Arabia, which contributed $45bn.
The Arab nations, particularly cities like Dubai, have been stepping up their focus on technology. Another fund by SoftBank could go into projects in places including Dubai.
As well, if the company does invest in Uber it looks like SoftBank will become the biggest investor in ride-sharing startups. It has also invested in Uber’s rivals including Didi Chuxing and Grab in South-East Asia and Ola in India.
Is it likely that soon Son, the richest man in Japan, will also have investments in most of the tech companies around the world? It really doesn’t seem that far off.