Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group has sought an additional $10 billion for its Vision Fund to support its portfolio companies through the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported, citing people in the know.
The Tokyo headquartered company will put in $5 million on its own and is in talks with outside investors to commit $5 billion more, the report said.
With the Covid-19 outbreak, many SoftBank-backed companies’ key services have taken a major hit, casting a shadow on its creditworthiness. Even before the pandemic set in, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s investments into unproven startups was raising investor eyebrows, the Bloomberg report added.
Apart from providing a breather for Vision Fund’s struggling portfolio companies, the new capital infusion will reserve some cash to pay back a coupon attached to the Saudi investment, the report added.
The SoftBank Vision Fund I has put in $80 billion from its $100 billion corpus across 88 investments and has returned $10 billion to its sponsors, the report said.
Its largest bet in India continues to be the $2.5 billion it pumped into Flipkart in 2017 and exited at a profit when Walmart bought a majority stake in the ecommerce company. SoftBank’s second biggest bet in the country was OYO, where it invested $1.5 billion in November.
From the second fund, SoftBank has only invested in one startup -- eyewear retailer Lenskart -- so far.