SoftBank launches $108 billion Vision Fund 2 with Saudi & UAE missing from initial list of LPs

SoftBank has announced the launch of second Vision Fund yesterday with the capital reaching $108 billion, based on MoUs it has signed with different investors.

The objective of the Fund is to facilitate the continued acceleration of the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies,” said SoftBank in a statement.

SoftBank Group (SBG) itself will apparently be the largest investor in the fund with $38 billion investment. Some of the notable investors who have signed MoUs with SoftBank and are expected to participate including Apple, Microsoft, Taiwanese Apple products manufacturer Foxconn and Standard Chartered Bank.

Saudi Arabia and UAE that were two of the biggest investors through their sovereign wealth funds (Public Investment Fund & Mubadala respectively) in SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1 are not in the list of LPs of Vision Fund 2 but the statement notes that SoftBank is currently in talks with additional participants and the total contribution to the fund is expected to increase.

It was earlier reported that SoftBank and its bankers have held preliminary talks with sovereign wealth funds from Saudi, UAE, and Oman for Vision Fund 2. It is not clear if the discussions with these Gulf-based funds are still ongoing.

Rajeev Misra, the CEO of SoftBank Vision Fund, however, in an interview earlier this week speaking of Saudi Arabia, had said, “Our interests align. We stand by them shoulder to shoulder. Our commitment is to support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia, hi-tech jobs not blue-collar, over the next few years.”

Even if SoftBank ends up having Public Investment Fund and Mubadala as investors, it is safe to assume that it won’t be as reliant on these two as it was for SoftBank Vision Fund 1.

Public Investment Fund and Mubadala had invested $45 and $15 billion respectively in the $97 billion Vision Fund 1 so over 60 percent of SoftBank’s first megafund came from the Gulf.

Some of the most notable investments of Vision Fund 1 include Uber, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Ola, WeWork, Doordash, GM Cruise, Paytm, Oyo and Slack.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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