SoftBank’s Son Plans to Launch Another Massive Tech Fund

SoftBank Group Corp.’s Chief Executive Masoyoshi Son isn’t slowing down any time soon, as the Japanese serial entrepreneur is reportedly gauging interest for a second mega fund. The new fund likely to be similar in size to the first Vision Fund, which has yet to close at around $100 billion.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

SoftBank’s founder said in an interview during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday that a Vision Fund 2.0 “will definitely come,” and that “it’s just a matter of time.” While the new fund will not launch within the upcoming six-month period, said Son, it will “in the near future.”

The sheer size and rapid pace of capital deployment from SoftBank’s first massive tech fund has caused major disruption in the traditional private equity and venture capital markets. Firms such as Sequoia Capital have been pressured to raise bigger and bigger rounds to compete with the less than one-year-old mega-fund. SoftBank’s $100 billion tech fund has invested about $45 million in capital in investment such as Uber Technologies Inc., WeWork Companies Inc. and Nvidia Corp.

SoftBank’s CEO has reportedly held preliminary discussions with investors regarding committing to a second fund as early as 2019, according to Fortune, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. These sources indicated that the planned fund should attract a broader pool of investors compared to its predecessor fund, which secured a large deal of capital from sovereign wealth funds in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

At the event on Tuesday, Son spoke to his method for targeting investments.

“Yoda says use the force,” he said, referencing the Jedi master in the popular Star Wars films. “Don’t think, just feel it.”

“Every time my team does due diligence, they do it for one, two, three months and do a deep dive. But my first insight in the first few minutes is sometimes more meaningful than detailed calculation,” said Son.