SoftBank to invest $300m in WeWork

The Japanese company has lined up its second tech-focused deal from its $100bn fund, following an investment earlier this month in satellite operator Intelsat.

Japan’s SoftBank will invest $300 million in New York-based co-working space company WeWork in a deal that would value the company at over $17 billion, according to a SEC filing and multiple media reports.

The initial $300 million investment is expected to come from the SoftBank’s balance sheet, while later tranches which could total up to $3 billion will likely come from SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision, which is approaching a final close, as previously reported by Private Equity International.

WeWork provides shared office space for entrepreneurs and freelancers in more than 150 locations across US, South America, Europe and Asia.

Limited partners in WeWork include Beijing-based private equity firm Hony Capital, which invested $430 million in the company in March last year alongside its parent company Legend Holdings. Other investors in WeWork include the Harvard Management Company, Fidelity Investments and Goldman Sachs.

Earlier this month, the Japanese telco giant struck its first deal for the Vision Fund, with a $1.7 billion investment for a nearly 40 percent stake in satellite operator Intelsat. Under the terms of the deal, SoftBank plans to merge Intelsat with OneWeb, a smaller satellite operator it already owns, to expand its reach and services. It is understood that the combined company will be included in the Vision Fund.

The Vision Fund, the largest ever private equity fund, was launched in October and is mainly backed by the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and SoftBank. Tech companies Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn are also investors in the fund. Capital from the fund will be used to invest in tech companies focused on robotics and artificial intelligence.

SoftBank and WeWork did not immediately respond to PEI’srequests for comment.