The Real Deal National

SoftBank is struggling to find investors for its next $100B fund: report

Large investors from Canada and Saudi Arabia planning to make few or no investments
June 03, 2019 10:40AM

Softbank's Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

SoftBank is eager to raise another $100 billion Vision Fund focused on tech startups. Its investors? Not so much.

Some of the largest money managers in the world that SoftBank approached are planning to make limited or no contributions to the Japanese company’s next venture, according to the Wall Street Journal. These include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which was the largest backer of SoftBank’s first Vision Fund with a $45 billion investment.

Some firms are wary of the new venture due to the fund’s governance and lack of transparency, while some larger companies already have startup investment programs of their own and do not want to pay fees to SoftBank.

SoftBank has hired Cantor Fitzgerald to help fundraise, and the financial services firm is working to introduce the company to large institutional investors. SoftBank hopes the networks of Cantor Fitzgerald president Anshu Jain and CEO Howard Lutnick will help it find new investors for the fund.

The second Vision Fund has already considered going public to keep pace with the investment pace of CEO Masayoshi Son.

SoftBank — which has bankrolled real estate companies like the We Company and Compass — has said it can contribute $50 billion to the fund on its own. The company raised the first fund two years ago, and it is almost fully spent.

A spokesman for SoftBank told the Journal that it was “misleading and even inaccurate” to say the next Vision Fund was having trouble attracting investors. [WSJ] – Eddie Small