Morning Report: We haven’t talked about SoftBank’s investment cadence much. Let’s rectify that.
In the midst of VCs raising ever-larger funds in Q1 2018, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that SoftBank’s Vision Fund still has an incredible amount of money to deploy. Since the Vision Fund’s inception, approximately $41 billion has been invested into 48 known startups—$4.3 billion of which was deployed in Q1 2018 into the following startups: Mirror, Wag, Auto1 Group, solarisBank AG, DoorDash, Grofers, Snow, ACV Auctions, Caret Games, Reonomy, Ping An Healthcare, Grab, Uber, and Katerra, and Compass.
Of course, that still leaves about $60 billion in the Vision Fund’s coffers for SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son to fling about. However, as our own Jason Rowley pointed out, it’s not a given SoftBank will be able to keep up its investment cadence into startups:
It’s still going to be difficult to invest [the Vision Fund’s] capital judiciously. In a good year, $100 billion is about the size of the entire global VC market. To fill out the rest of the Vision Fund, it’s likely we’re going to see more deals like the $32 billion all-cash buyout of ARM that SoftBank completed in July 2016.
So where will that money go throughout the rest of 2018? It’s hard to determine, though it’s probably safe to assume that some startups will continue to benefit from SoftBank’s largesse. But just how many startups is anyone’s guess. And in a frothy IPO market, some startups who would be good candidates for such checks may opt to go public while markets are particularly agreeable.
From The Crunchbase Daily:
- After raising $660 million from 32,000 people in an initial coin offering for their Pincoin and Ifan tokens, team members of the Vietnamese cryptocurrency company Modern Tech have apparently taken the money and left the country.
- Shares of Zuora, a provider of subscription billing software, rose sharply in first-day trading Thursday, closing at $20 after pricing initially at $14. The Silicon Valley company raised $154 million in the offering.
- SpaceX is looking to sell about $500 million worth of shares in an offering that values the company at close to $24 billion. That valuation would make 16-year-old SpaceX the third most valuable private, venture-backed U.S. company.
- A Crunchbase News analysis of the academic backgrounds of startup investors finds a diverse collection of college majors. Engineering and technology degrees were most highly represented, followed by social sciences and business.
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