Monday 12 July 2021 12:14 pm

SoftBank gears up investments in second quarter, dishing out $13bn

SoftBank’s Vision Fund II has pushed the pedal on its investments in recent weeks, dishing out $13bn in its second quarter, according to reports.

The Japanese venture capital fund has injected cash into at least 50 companies, the Financial Times first reported, citing people brief on the data.

Many of the companies eyed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund II have not yet been named. City A.M. has contacted the group for comment.

The latest investments dwarf that of the bank’s first-quarter deals, which saw $2bn spent on fewer than two dozen companies.

The Japanese group set up the second Vision Fund in July 2019, after its first $100bn Vision Fund, with the intention to invest in artificial intelligence (AI).

The second Vision Fund is worth around $108bn. The SoftBank group injected $38bn into it, while technology giants Apple, Microsoft and Foxconn were to pledge the extra billions.

The fund has favoured tech platforms, like India e-commerce giant Flipkart and controversy-stricken Greensill.

SoftBank-backed Flipkart bagged a $37bn valuation today, after rallying $3.6bn in a pre-initial public offering (IPO) fundraiser, which was co-led by the Vision Fund II and Walmart.

Just days ago, online investment platform Clearco, formerly known as Clearbanc, raised $215m in its latest funding round from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2.

Clearco, which offers capital solutions for e-commerce, mobile apps, and cloud-based start-ups, snagged the funding just weeks after it completed its most recent $100m financing, round which swelled its valuation fivefold to $2bn.

The Japanese investment fund also backs internet-famed ByteDance, which owns TikTok, pandemic-popular Cameo, home-working tool Slack and online shopping payment platform Klarna.