SoftBank Still Has A Lot More Deals To Make

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 AGDoorDash, Grofers, Snow, ACV Auctions, Caret Games, Reonomy, Ping An HealthcareGrab, Uber, and Katerra, and Compass.

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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.

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