Monday 15 June 2020 10:31 am

Softbank invested in Credit Suisse funds financing its Vision Fund bets

Softbank has reportedly invested over $500m (£399m) into Credit Suisse investment funds that made large bets on startups backed by the Japanese tech investment giant’s Vision Fund.

Softbank invested in the Swiss lender’s $7.5bn range of supply-chain finance funds, the Financial Times reported, citing three people familiar with the matter. 

Read more: Softbank buyback plan raises doubts about its ‘financial soundness’

The funds are marketed by Credit Suisse to professional investors. Marketing documents sent to investors show that the funds have increased their exposure to several startups backed by Softbank’s $100bn Vision Fund over the past year, according to the FT. 

Four of the 10 largest investments in Credit Suisse’s main supply-chain finance fund were Vision Fund companies at the end of March, the paper reported, accounting for 15 per cent of its $5.2bn assets.

These included hotel chain Oyo – which has started to retreat from a rapid global expansion as coronavirus hammers the hospitality industry – and car subscription startup Fair, which cut 40 per cent of its staff last year.

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Fair was also the second-largest investment in Credit Suisse’s “high income” supply-chain finance fund at the end of last year, the FT reported. 

Reports of the investment come at a challenging time for Softbank, which warned last month that it may not pay a dividend for the first time since its listing in 1994 after an $18bn hit from the Vision Fund dragged the conglomerate to a record loss

Read more: Softbank to lay off 15 per cent of staff at Vision Fund arm

Greensill Capital, a Vision Fund-backed firm specialising in supply-chain finance, selects all the assets that go into the Credit Suisse supply-chain finance funds under an arrangement dating back to 2017, according to the FT.

Softbank, Credit Suisse and Greensill Capital have all been contacted for comment. 

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