SoftBank, the Japanese tech company buying stakes in Silicon Valley unicorns at eye-popping valuations, has spent half of its $100 billion investment fund in just two years, according to company filings.
Out of $97 billion in capital committed by the company and third-party investors, just $49 billion remains, the documents show. The fund launched in early 2017 and doesn’t officially close until November 20, 2022.
At its current rate of spending of around $7 billion per quarter, the remaining fund will last just a year and a half, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out.
And it’s no wonder. SoftBank has put billions of dollars behind expensive startups.
As of January, the company invested around $10 billion into WeWork. Its most recent WeWork investment gave the startup $2 billion of capital at a $47 billion valuation, though that add-on investment did not include any money from the VisionFund, according to Reuters.
SoftBank also paid an estimated $9.25 billion for a 15% stake in Uber, which made SoftBank the largest individual shareholder at Uber.
The third quarter financial results, released Wednesday, shine a light on what has come to be one of the most disruptive and impactful investment arms in Silicon Valley.
As of December 31, the Vision Fund held 49 investments, including venture capital darlings like DoorDash, Uber, WeWork, and Slack.
Those 49 investments cost the fund a total of $45.5 billion, according to the filing. SoftBank estimates that those investments are now worth a total of $55.3 billion. Those figures exclude investments that SoftBank has already exited from.
The company’s first major exit took place in May, when Walmart paid $16 billion for a 77% stake in the Indian e-commerce company Flipkart. Softbank, which paid roughly $2.5 billion for a 20% stake in Flipkart, said in the filing that it sold its stake for around $4 billion.
With stakes in IPO-ready companies like Uber and Slack, SoftBank could see more mega exits in 2019 as well.
Overall, the fund reported gains of ¥838 billion — approximately $7.6 billion — the majority of which is unrealized gains from valuation bumps on private companies such as WeWork. That figure also accounts for substantial losses on its investment in the publicly traded Nvidia. SoftBank documented its losses at ¥299.5 billion, or roughly $2.7 billion.
Consequently, SoftBank revealed, it sold of its entire stake in Nvidia — worth around $3.6 billion — in January.
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