Here are the companies which have received substantial investments from the world’s largest tech fund.
Venture capital (VC) investors look for the next promising technology — a product, or concept which can alter the course of the industry where it belongs —and finance them in exchange for partial ownership.
VC has become an important source of funding for companies in their early stages who often experience difficulties in obtaining their funds from banks which tend to be risk-averse. 2019 was the second strongest VC investment year, bringing in a total of USD 114 billion. This is only second to the record-breaking USD 140 billion that was raised in 2018.
In the tech industry, among the most notable VC investors is SoftBank. The Japanese conglomerate runs the largest tech fund in the world through its subsidiary, Vision Fund. Data from CB Insights summarised companies which have obtained the largest venture capital sizes from the year 2013 to 2020 that features SoftBank as a round investor.
In the chart above, it is clear that the priority of SoftBank is ride-hailing and ride-sharing. Media outlets even refer to the company as the ‘real’ king of ride-hailing. The company which has received the largest amount of venture capital that includes SoftBank is the Chinese mobile transportation platform, Didi Chuxing, amassing a staggering USD 10.5 billion in total. In 2017 alone, SoftBank confirmed that it has invested USD 5.5 billion into the company some refer to as the “Uber of China.” Immediately following Didi Chuxing is the office and workspace solutions company, WeWork (USD 8.7 billion).
The ride-hailing companies Uber (USD 8.3 billion) and Grab (USD 4.5 billion) have also received substantial VC featuring SoftBank. Another mobility-related company SoftBank invested in is Olacab (USD 2.4 billion) based in India.
Apart from ride-hailing, SoftBank also invested in e-commerce companies like Coupang (USD 3.0 billion) based in South Korea and Flipkart (2.6 billion) in India. For both companies, Softbank has been the major investor. Moreover, Softbank has invested in the video game company Supercell (USD 2.7 billion) known for its iconic mobile game, Clash of Clans.
Founded in 1981, SoftBank is a multinational conglomerate holding company based in Tokyo, Japan. Through the SoftBank Vision Fund, it has established itself as one of the largest technology investment funds in history. Even with the Fund already reaching the size of about USD 100 billion, the company already announced its plans to raise more Vision Funds to invest in more companies in the next ten years. Currently, the focus of the Fund are late-stage startups in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics.
“Smart and Fun!” is SoftBank’s slogan, encapsulating their goal to continue growing as a company where employees can work intelligently and enjoyably while using new workstyles infused with IT and AI.
Its vision as a company is to contribute to the happiness of the people through the Information Revolution and eventually position itself as “the corporate group needed most by people around the world.”