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Home / Business / SoftBank rolls out other Tech Megafund, with Apple among top investors

SoftBank rolls out other Tech Megafund, with Apple among top investors



Tokyo-

SoftBank Group
Corp

said it would launch a new technology megafund and has secured $ 108 billion in investor commitments

apple
Inc.,

Japanese banks, Taiwanese investors and Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund.

SoftBank plans to invest $ 38 billion of equity in the fund, a sequel to the nearly $ 100 billion vision fund that was launched in 2017. In addition to Apple, investors include National Investment Corp. for the National Bank of Kazakhstan, Foxconn Technology Group,

Microsoft
Corp

and Standard Chartered Bank.

Japanese financial institutions, including the country's top three banks, will also participate, SoftBank said.

Since its launch in May 201

7, the first Vision Fund Fund has large shares in the world's most valuable startup and rewritten venture investment rules. But the company has struggled to get support from institutional investors for large investments in startup which often takes years to reach profitability.

If the company is able to secure commitments from other investors, such as the sovereign wealth fund Saudi Arabia – the first Vision Fund's biggest supporter – Vision Fund 2 can grow further.

SoftBank will probably raise funds for its contribution to the second Vision Fund by redeeming shares in the first Vision Fund, which includes shares in more than 70 companies, including the ride-hailing company

Uber Technologies
Inc.

and co-working space provider WeWork Cos., analysts said. Uber noted its stock this year, while WeWork aims to be public in September, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.

The second Vision Fund is planning to invest in artificial intelligence, which SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son has said will benefit from the increasing amount of real-world data collected by sensors, cameras and other machines.

"The power to predict the future is emerging," Son said last week at a Tokyo conference SoftBank held for corporate customers. "The amount of data will grow one million times over the next 30 years."

SoftBank's ability to cash in the second Vision Fund is likely to receive a boost from the planned SoftBank-controlled merger

Sprint
Corp

and

T-Mobile USA
Inc.

The two US mobile phone operators are working on a settlement with the Justice Department that would remove federal objections to their merger, although some states are also trying to block it.

Sprint's $ 40 billion debt has burdened SoftBank's balance sheet. If the merger goes through, SoftBank would have a minority stake in the overall entity, and Sprint's debt will no longer be included in SoftBank's books, releasing the Japanese company to take on more risk.

Write to Mayumi Negishi at mayumi.negishi@wsj.com

Copyright © 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared July 26, 2019, printed edition such as & # 39; Investors Commit $ 108 Billion to SoftBank Fund.


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