Softbank, ‘King of Captital,’ Takes Tech Industry by Surprise with $100 Billion Fund

Softbank Capital is a multi-stage VC firm known for partnering closely with founders in disruptive industries across the tech landscape. Founded in 1995, the corporate venture capital practice is made up of a small team of entrepreneurs and investors who take an active approach to helping drive value at their companies.

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The investment arm of the Japanese mobile carrier, Internet service provider and holding company, has backed some of the world’s largest and most successful tech unicorns and partners with leading companies across industries.

Softbank’s newest, massive $100 billion “Vision Fund” includes $45 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, $15 billion from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, $1 billion from Apple, $1 billion from Sharp, $28 billion of Softbank’s own capital, and $3 billion from Qualcomm, Foxconn and Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s family office. Softbank is now just $7 billion short of its $100 billion target fund size by November 2017.

Masoyoshi Son, the chairman and CEO of Softbank Group and Japan’s richest man, says that the Vision Fund is positioned to be the biggest investor in the tech sector and will “further accelerate the information revolution by contributing to its development.”

The latest fund has a twelve-year cycle, with investments set to be deployed over five years, and maturing between seven and nine years before distributing assets back to investors. Since the fund was announced in October 2016, baffling VCs across the world due to its size, billions have been invested. Earlier this year, reports rumored that Softbank was eyeing a multi-billion-dollar position in Silicon Valley ride-hailing leader Uber Technologies. The tech giant already backs a handful of Asia’s largest ride-hailing companies, having co-led a $2 billion funding round in Grab.

Last week, the Vision Fund led enterprise collaboration company Slack’s $250 million funding round. It has also been used to back companies such as chip maker Nvidia, ARM and Improbable.