Tech

Japan's SoftBank is reportedly grappling with raising money for its latest fund

Key Points
  • In a bid to raise $100 billion for its next fund, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has faced a lukewarm reception from some of the world's largest investors, the Wall Street Journal reported
  • SoftBank Group shares tanked in Monday trade, plunging 6.22% on the day.
SoftBank Group founder, chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son announces his group's earnings results on May 9, 2019, in Tokyo.
Alessandro Di Ciommo | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group has reportedly hit a roadblock as it seeks to raise money for its latest fund, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In a bid to raise $100 billion for its next fund, SoftBank has faced a lukewarm reception from some of the world's largest investors — some of whom "plan to make limited or no contributions," reported the Journal, citing people familiar with the issue. Investors mentioned in the report include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as well as Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund.

Earlier in May, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said the second fund will match its first and landmark Vision Fund I at $100 billion. At that time, Son also said many investors from the first fund were showing "high interest" in its latest fund, along with new investors globally.

But the latest report from the Journal suggests otherwise, saying that many large funds were supposedly apathetic toward giving money to another party when they already have their own means for direct investment in late-stage startups. Even those with less expertise are said to be concerned about the fund's lack of transparency and governance, the WSJ said.

For its part, a SoftBank spokesperson told the Journal that concerns about large investors being lukewarm to the second Vision Fund were "misleading and even inaccurate."

Softbank did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. The company's shares tanked during Monday trade, plunging 6.22% on the day.

SoftBank's Vision Fund I was known for making large bets in companies such as ride-hailing giants Uber, Grab and Didi Chuxing. It also made investments in messaging platform Slack as well as The We Company, formerly known as WeWork, which provides shared spaces for start-ups. That fund was dominated by investments from the Saudi Arabian government.

For its latest fund, Son reportedly wants a wider investor pool, the Journal said.

In May, the WSJ reported that SoftBank was considering a public debut for Vision Fund I, which also invests in tech companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and Foxconn.

Read the Wall Street Journal report on SoftBank's challenges in raising funding for its latest fund here.

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— CNBC's Maggie Fitzgerald and Deirdre Bosa contributed to this report.