SoftBank Vision Fund: $93bn and counting

The record-breaking fund is aiming for a $100bn final close ‘within six months’.

The giant investment fund being raised by telecoms conglomerate SoftBank Group has held a first close on $93 billion, the company said on Saturday. The fund aims to hold a final close on $100 billion within six months. 

Investors in the SoftBank Vision Fund alongside SoftBank Group itself have been confirmed as the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – as previously reported – the Mubadala Investment Company, Apple, Foxconn Technology Group, Qualcomm Incorporated and Sharp Corporation.

The fund, which is already four times larger than the largest ever private equity fund, will seek to acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging technology businesses to established, multi-billion dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding, the company said in its statement. It will invest across the gamut of technology sub-sectors, from the 'internet of things' to computational biology to technology infrastructure.

The fund's initial investments will be a number of assets already acquired by SoftBank Group, including the likes of ARM Holdings, Intelsat and Guardant Health.

“Technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today,” said Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group. “The businesses working to solve these problems will require patient long-term capital and visionary strategic investment partners with the resources to nurture their success. SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs.”

SoftBank also confirmed Rajeev Misra as chief executive officer of SB Investment Advisers, the wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank that will manage the fund from offices in London, Tokyo and San Carlos in California.

“We are building a portfolio that is diversified across sectors, asset classes and geographies, and expect the Vision Fund to act as a platform to access a range of exciting, emerging opportunities in the technology sector, ” said Yasir Al Rumayyan, managing director of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.