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SoftBank Posts $5.6B Loss Thanks To Vision Fund Segment

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SoftBank posted a loss of $5.6 billion for the quarter ended in December of last year, thanks mainly to significant declines in its Vision Fund investment arm.

The Vision Fund segment recorded a $5 billion loss for the quarter — further illustrating the softness in the current tech market as valuations have been slashed on private startups and share prices of publicly listed companies have been decimated.

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In a significant change from the past status quo, charismatic SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son did not take part in the earnings release. Back in August, the engaging executive took responsibility for the poor performance of SoftBank’s investments, saying he had become “delirious” with the high returns the funds were seeing at the height of the market.

Slowing investment pace

SoftBank — known for its investment in U.S. companies like Uber, WeWork and DoorDash — has pulled back decisively on its investments. The Japanese conglomerate is now “focused on defense” when it comes to investing, and only deployed $300 million in capital for the quarter and only $600 million in the last two.

That is a sharp drop from the $29.7 billion SoftBank invested out of its Vision Fund arm during a six-month period in 2021 — the height of the venture capital frenzy that set new records.

Of course, SoftBank is far from the only big-name investor that has pulled back in the market. Others such as Tiger Global and Insight Partners also slowed their investment cadence. The tech market continues to wobble through rocky times and the economy struggles with rising inflation and interest rates, and supply chain issues.

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Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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