SoftBank’s second Vision Fund could begin making investments as soon as next month, with the first fund having deployed $66.3 billion of its $98.6 billion lode as of June, SoftBank said in early August, according to media reports.
SoftBank meanwhile continues to negotiate with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Investment Co, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to raise additional capital for Vision Fund 2, the reports said.
The PIF formed a cornerstone of SoftBank’s debut near $100 billion Vision Fund. But the relationship between PIF and the SoftBank fund was called into question earlier this year after Saudi security personnel were accused of murdering the U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi state.
In March, CEO Masayoshi Son noted the “good relationship between the PIF and the fund’s management” adding it was too early to say whether they would commit to Fund 2.
“When it comes to [the] next fund… with what kind of term we go in to raise money, it’s still too early to discuss,” Son said. “There are terms to be discussed, conditions to be discussed… that’s how I see the situation.”
The Japanese telecommunications company said it has so far received pledges of $108 billion for the fund from about 12 investors, including from such institutions as Apple, Microsoft and Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company.
At a press conference, Son said he anticipated Vision Fund 2 would begin investing in one to three months by recycling proceeds from the first fund or perhaps by selling off SoftBank holdings in the first fund, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank has pledged $38 billion in capital to the fund.
Portfolio companies Uber and Slack have already gone public from the first fund, while We Company, (formerly known as WeWork). and CloudMinds have filed for IPOs.
Son projected five or six companies from the fund would float shares during the fiscal year ending in March and about 10 companies would follow the next year, Nikkei reported.
The first fund’s investments in 81 companies are worth $82.2 billion, with the value of bets on hotel chain OYO and delivery service Doordash up in value, Reuters reported.
As a result, the first Vision Fund saw operating profits rise 66 percent to $3.74 billion for the quarter ending in June, SoftBank said. Much of the profit remains unrealized.
SoftBank said it was still talking to potential investors and that it expects the fund’s anticipated capital to grow.
Goldman Sachs has been tapped to raise the vehicle, which is expected to close by March, Bloomberg reported in June.
“The objective of the fund is to facilitate the continued acceleration of the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies,” the statement noted.