SoftBank’s Vision Fund To Cut Staff—Report

Illustration of pencil eraser erasing workers

After seeing significant losses in the first half of the year, SoftBank will cut about 20% of staff at its Vision Fund investment arm, according to a Bloomberg report.

The Vision Fund has about 500 employees, so the cuts should affect about 100 positions, per the report.

The news is the latest headline in a tumultuous year for the investing giant. In May, SoftBank—an investor in tech giants such as Didi and Ubertold investors there will be a “stricter selection of investments” for the new year. The announcement came as part of the company’s earnings report for the fiscal year ended in March.

SoftBank has been hurt by the falling markets, especially the underperformance of companies like China-based ride-hailing app Didi, Singapore-based logistics company Grab, and South Korea’s e-commerce platform Coupang.

Then, just last month after announcing a $22.7 loss, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son acknowledged mistakes had been made in investing from the fund.

“When we were turning out big profits, I became somewhat delirious, and looking back at myself now, I am quite embarrassed and remorseful,” Son said at a news conference.

Perhaps the best example of SoftBank’s mindset shift came in February, when it did not release a promised $1.35 billion to Cruise as part of an agreed upon deal when the autonomous carmaker completed a commercial deployment of vehicles. Instead, General Motors acquired SoftBank’s equity ownership stake in Cruise for $2.1 billion.

SoftBank’s plight is perhaps the best illustration of how different this year is from 2021.

Further reading

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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