The SoftBank Vision Fund (SBVF) had set a funding target of $100 billion when they had launched their Vision Fund initiative. This gargantuan figure has been the topic of a lot of controversy over the ages as SoftBank doesn’t have much choice as to whom to select as their limited partners for the aforementioned funds. However, today, the Funds inched ever closer to their target as it continues to pour into tech companies around the globe.
So far in 2018, the SoftBank Vision Fund has invested in more than 20 deals making up for more than over $21 billion in total investment. While the entire investment hasn’t been their own and invests alongside other syndicate companies, the amount invested is still staggering.
In a recently filed disclosure with Securities and Exchanges commission this morning, it was found that SBVF raised a total of approximately $98.58 billion from 14 investors since the date of the first sale on May 20, 2017. This indicates a $5.43 billion raise from six new investors in their limited partner base. This is based on the $93.15 billion raised from eight investors according to last year’s investment report.
According to the research team at TechZiffy,
“One of the biggest challenges for SoftBank is sourcing capital for their operational requirements, especially with a target as large as theirs. This limits their limited partner base to mostly Government-backed investors who have the resources necessary to invest into a fund of this scale. This leaves the group vulnerable to international policies and venture finance.”
November’s Financial report discloses that SoftBank Group Corp. invested an extra $5 billion in the fund with intentions of instaling an incentive scheme for the various operations of SoftBank Vision Fund. This brings SoftBank’s total contribution to the project to a $21.8 billion, which was the original target of the organisation. Additionally, $430 million from the six new partners cannot be traced back to the source as SoftBank refrains from issuing a comment on the same.
The biggest investor in the group has been Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which committed upwards of $45 billion into the funds. However, in recent allegations, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been charged with the unlawful torture, dismemberment, murder, and disposal of Saudi Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi early in October.
This places the SBVF in a tight spot as the judgement against the Crown Prince remains unclear as of yet. The SBVF has decided to wait until the decision of Khashoggi’s murder until it decides what it wishes to do with the Vision Fund 2. SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said there was not any certainty of a follow-up fund back in mid-October. This puts investor relationships with the crown prince under uncertainty as the company goes forward.