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Softbank To Become More Selective In Investing In Another Sign The Good Times Are Over

SoftBank—an investor in tech giants like Didi and Uber—announced a loss of $27.7 billion on investments in its Vision Fund for its just-ended fiscal year and told investors there will be a “stricter selection of investments” for the new year.

In reporting earnings for its fiscal year ended March 31, SoftBank revealed a net loss for its Vision segment of $20.5 billion, compared to a profit of $31.4 billion for the previous year.

The dramatic reversal forced SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son to tell investors there will be stricter investing criteria moving forward and a more defensive posture.

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The company already is in the midst of that change, as it reported investing only $2.5 billion in the recent January-March quarter—down from $10.4 billion a quarter earlier and well below the peak of $33.3 billion in the calendar year third quarter of 2018.

Perhaps a good illustration of SoftBank’s change came in February, when it did not release a promised $1.35 billion to autonomous carmaker Cruise as part of the deal upon Cruise’s commercial deployment of vehicles.

Instead, General Motors acquired SoftBank’s equity ownership stake in Cruise for $2.1 billion.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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