One of the biggest power players in Silicon Valley is based about 5,000 miles away from California.
Softbank, the massive Japanese conglomerate, started as a software distributor in the 1980s, grew into a telecom giant and now spans telecommunications, e-commerce, finance, technology services, semiconductor design, media and marketing, robotics and even baseball.
Last year, Softbank invested in more than half of the top 10 biggest investments in VC-backed start-ups, including WeWork, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, and ride-hailing giants Didi Chuxing, Grab and Ola.
SoftBank's Vision Fund is the biggest technology investment fund in history. While the $100 billion fund is primarily backed by Softbank, it also includes massive investments from Apple, Qualcomm, Sharp and the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.