SoftBank Vision Fund CEO explains plan to build the biggest network of tech companies in the world

Key Points
  • SoftBank's Vision Fund plans to be the largest shareholder in 100 technology companies around the world, according to Rajeev Misra, the fund's CEO.
  • The Fund will actively seek mergers among its investments, such as Uber's deal with Grab earlier this week.
  • Other investments that don't merge will still work together through partnerships, said Misra.
SoftBank Group Corp. founder, Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.
Alessandro Di Ciommo | NurPhoto | Getty Images

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son's plan to take over Silicon Valley and the global world of technology is starting to take form.

The $100 billion Vision Fund will invest in another 30 companies over the next two years, adding to the 30 it has already invested in over the last year or so, said Rajeev Misra, the fund's CEO. He spoke Tuesday before Son and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave a press conference to announce their $200 billion solar power generation project in New York.

The fund aims to be the largest shareholder in 100 technology companies around the world after it has finished investing all of its money, he said. The goal is to create the biggest ecosystem of tech companies in the world.

The Vision Fund will also push to consolidate several of its companies, Misra said. SoftBank invested in ride-sharing companies Uber and Grab and helped orchestrate a merger in a deal announced earlier this week.

The Vision Fund's largest investments thus far include Uber, ARM Holdings, Nvidia and WeWork. The fund itself is controlled by SoftBank, but includes investments from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which chipped in the largest sum at $45 billion, as well as the UAE's Mubadala Investment Co., Apple, Foxconn, Qualcomm and Sharp. It may also include other undisclosed investors.

Part of the strategy will include investments strategically moving operations beyond their home markets and into other countries, where they can be linked with other holdings in the fund, Misra said.

The fund will actively push many of its investments to work with each other, creating a web of companies controlled, or heavily influenced, by SoftBank and its CEO Masayoshi Son, Misra said.

For example, real estate brokerage site Compass, which took a $450 million investment from the fund in December, is using space from WeWork, he said.

The fund, which was at $93 billion, has now closed with $100 billion after raising $7 billion from other U.S. companies and managers of the Vision Fund in the last few months, according to a source familiar with the fund.

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