The world’s most influential Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicked off this week in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to Huawei’s release of the world’s first 5G commercial chipset and terminal and the launch of a new generation of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S9 series, the financing scale Nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars of Japan’s Softbank’s Vision Fund also attracted much attention.
Its CEO Rajeev Misra on Monday received a number of media interviews CNBC and Bloomberg, the remaining 2/3 of the fund can invest in the target company, heavily invested in the future development of Uber equity, the relationship with the investment circle The combination of ecosystem construction, Softbank mobile phone spin-off listing and other key topics to explain.
Vision fund investment company goal is 70-100, has cast 30
According to the report released by Japan Softbank two weeks ago, the Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology vision fund, has been established for less than a year and has invested more than 35 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for the total fund-raising amount of May last year (93 billion U.S. dollars ), A total investment of more than 30 start-ups, mainly in the United States, India and other Asian countries.
In an interview with CNBC, Misra said that while Vision Fund invests more in the field of shared travel and e-commerce, it is not about thematic investment, but rather about building an “ecosystem,” focusing on bringing efficiency to different industries or Subversive company.
In addition to financial technology and financial services, Vision Fund also invests in cutting-edge insurance technology Lemonade, mortgage and home sales Compass, construction industry Katerra, Europe used car Auto1 platform, Indian low-star hotel online platform Oyo Rooms, office WeWork, a space-sharing company, achieved a wide range of cross-industry investments.
Misra expects the vision fund to target 70-100 investment companies after the first round of fundraising, with the usual investment in industries that have disruptive leading companies such as Uber, which invests in Uber in the United States and invests in China , Ola in India and Grab in Southeast Asia. These companies may have some business overlap with Uber, but usually do not invest in competing companies.
It will build the ecosystem of the companies it cast and promote the internal cooperation within the portfolio
Earlier, Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that after Uber’s $ 9 billion stake in Uber, Softbank has asked Uber to withdraw from individual Asian markets, saving the local leaders the cost of price competition and gaining market share, as well as improving Uber’s Uber is also discussing with Grab and Ola about possible cooperation before the IPO IPO in 2019.
However, in an interview with CNBC, Misra denied that the Vision Fund was “directing” Uber management’s actions, stressing that he was very satisfied with the new Uber management many times, that Uber would maintain its position as a global company, the IPO process in 2019 Steadily moving forward In his opinion, Uber’s future is not limited to the shipping industry. It also includes such auxiliary businesses as food distribution, insurance and car rental. It truly becomes a multinational platform and maintains its leading market share in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Australia.
Misra emphasized that Vision Fund has built an ecosystem in less than a year of investment and will have an indexing effect on the companies it casts to help them develop their global businesses. Funds also help companies that cross-sell, such as Auto1 selling used cars to Uber drivers or WeWork employees, and Lemonade selling health insurance to shared-economy employees.
In fact, the ecosystem has become one of the industry’s attractive forces for vision funds, and they are patient, long-term investors and strongly support entrepreneurs’ creativity and ambition to achieve hyper growth. The companies they invest in the next five years, “any time” can apply for adequate capital, and get more support from Softbank. Therefore, “a lot of start-up companies with a huge amount of financing, the first call always hit the vision fund.”
And the wind circle “a high degree of habitat”, is “seriously consider” mobile phone business IPO
Quite a few foreign media also asked about the relationship between the Vision Fund and the venture capital circle. Previously, venture capitalists questioned the high level of investment made by Softbank, which in turn caused the startups to overvalued or they were willing to delay listing in the privatization stage for a long time Etc., the valuation is too high also makes it difficult for other venture capital investment. For example, Softbank invested $ 4.4 billion in WeWork in 2017 to make it valued at up to $ 20 billion. However, when WeWork wanted to win Softbank’s investment in early 2015, the stock index “only” had $ 5 billion.
In response, Misra said that the Vision Fund and the Venture Capital Circle are highly co-located relations, rather than hostile. The Vision Fund also really benefited many early venture capital agencies. In addition to investing in the early stages of technology start-ups, Softbank will also invest in the high-speed development stage of 3-4 years after the first round of financing, which will provide liquidity to VCs that want to withdraw early. For example, when the Vision Fund invests in Uber, some VCs get an exit price that is 100 times the original investment.
Misra did not make any comment on the news first disclosed by Nikkei in January that Softbank plans to spin-off its mobile handset division, one of its core businesses, and invest a further $ 18bn in financing into its vision fund to boost investment in science and technology More explanation, but that the relevant plan is still in its early stages, but “Softbank seriously consider this option.”
According to Bloomberg News, Vision Fund has a huge potential for investment in Europe with only $ 563 million being invested in Germany’s online used car dealership, Auto1, and a planned $ 502 million investment in London-based virtual reality startup Improbable Worlds. Misra also said in an interview that he was looking for European investment targets and hoped that the companies in the same industry could finally share the fruits of R & D.