Masa Son pours money into new fund as Softbank cuts bets on China – .

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Masa Son pours money into new fund as Softbank cuts bets on China – .


Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son Doubles Investments.

The billionaire investor behind tech companies like WeWork, Alibaba and Doordash plans to invest $ 2.6 billion of his own money for a 17% stake in SoftBank’s newest venture capital game: Vision Fund 2, he said on Tuesday.

Son made the announcement during an earnings call with investors on Tuesday – months after SoftBank announced it was tripling the fund’s size to $ 30 billion in the following months without any significant fundraising.

The company now claims to have $ 40 billion in committed capital for its artificial intelligence-focused fund, which has returns of 119%.

“Its trying to create a culture of putting your money where your mouth is,” someone close to SoftBank told The Post.

But Son’s commitment also raises questions, as business leaders are generally encouraged to avoid mixing their personal investments with their corporate responsibilities.

Masa Son speaks
Relatives of Masayoshi Son say he wants to “put his money where his mouth is” with the latest investment.
Getty Images

“Either he thinks the deals are good and he wants to participate, or he’s trying to support the fund,” said Jeff Stewart, co-founder and managing director of Global Public Offering Fund.

Softbank’s Vision Fund 1 and 2 have become legendary for placing huge bets – and paying huge sums – in startups like WeWork, Didi, and DoorDash.

But the investment giant also went through a rough patch, starting in 2019 when WeWork seriously affected its valuation.

The fund reported net income of $ 6.9 billion on Tuesday, a 39% drop from the previous year. Vision Fund SoftBank reported a profit of $ 2.1 billion; Vision Fund’s profit for the previous quarter was $ 58 billion.

Softbank faces a new challenge as China clamps down on tech companies there, including companies headed by Alibaba’s Jack Ma.

Chinese companies account for 23% of the Vision Fund’s investments, while Alibaba accounts for nearly 50% of the asset value estimated by SoftBank.

Son also told investors on Tuesday that he would be cautious with Chinese investments going forward given that country’s crackdown on anything tech-related.

“Until the situation becomes clearer, we want to wait and see,” said Son, who owns a 27% stake in Softbank, who declined to comment.

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