SoftBank moves InMobi to Vision Fund 2 portfolio, ups Fund 2 target to $30 bn

SoftBank moves InMobi to Vision Fund 2 portfolio, ups Fund 2 target to $30 bn
Photo Credit: Reuters
13 May, 2021

SoftBank Group Corp has transferred its stake in InMobi to Vision Fund 2, ahead of the advertising technology startup’s impending initial public offering (IPO). 

The Japanese conglomerate has received all necessary approvals for the transfer, person privy to the development said. 

SoftBank did not comment on queries till press time. 

Founded in 2006 by Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena and Amit Gupta, Bengaluru and Singapore based InMobi was the first Indian startup to hit the $1 billion valuation milestone. A $200 million investment from SoftBank Group Corp, among its earlier investments here, in 2011 propelled the startup into the unicorn club.  

In December last year, InMobi subsidiary and lock-screen content provider Glance was valued at over $1 billion following a $145 million investments from Google and Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital. 

According to a Bloomberg report published in March, InMobi is set to IPO with an offering size of $1 billion in the US public markets and is in active talks with investment bankers. The IPO is expected to value the company at $12-$15 billion, the report said.  

Separately, SoftBank has raised the target corpus of the second Vision fund to $30 billion as of May 11, 2021 according to the its latest earnings presentation. SoftBank Group Corp will be the sole limited partner in the fund. As of November 2020, the fund had a target of $10 billion. 

“Vision Fund 2 has just begun and has already invested in more than the number of companies than Vision Fund 1,” SoftBank chairman and CEO Son said during its fourth quarter 2020-21 earnings call.  

The second fund has already invested in 95 companies, a tad higher than the first fund’s portfolio of 92.  

Son added that Vision Fund 2 will continue to be backed by SoftBank’s own money and not include participation from third party investors. 

“As I mentioned earlier, in Vision Fund 2, 100% our own money, we've been doing our good investments. We still have some room there,” said Son, confirming that the commitment was increased three-fold. He further added, “In the future, we may consider inviting third-party money, but we don't know yet at this moment.” 

SoftBank launched its first Vision Fund in 2017 with a nearly $100 billion corpus where it held an equity stake of nearly $58.6 billion. 

From Fund I, it has backed several Indian companies including fintech Paytm, budget hotel platform OYO and food delivery platform Zomato.  From its second fund, SoftBank has made bets on eyewear maker Lenskart, edtech platform Unacademy, social ecommerce platform Meesho and others.  

As part of its earnings presentation, SoftBank also said that Paytm stood to gain 7% shareholding in Japanese payments app PayPay after financial year 2022. Paytm has been a technology provider for PayPay since its launch in 2018 and SoftBank announced IPO plans for PayPay previously.  

SoftBank recorded a net income for the financial year 2020-21 at $45.9 billion. The company also reported a $36.9 billion profit for its Vision Fund unit for Q4 of FY 2020-21 from its investment in South Korean ecommerce company Coupang which went public on the NYSE in March.