Japanese telecommunications and internet giant SoftBank Group Corp has announced the first major closing of the SoftBank Vision Fund. With over US$93bn of committed capital it is the biggest private equity fund ever.
In addition to SBG and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, investors include the Mubadala Investment Company of the UAE, Apple Inc, Foxconn Technology, Qualcomm and Sharp Corporation or affiliates.
Final closing is expected no later than six months following the date of this initial closing (22 May). The committed capital from SBG is a maximum of US$28bn, including certain expected in-kind contributions.
- Full fund name: SoftBank Vision Fund LP
- Investment period: Five years from final closing, subject to certain exceptions
- Fund period: Minimum 12 years from final closing, subject to certain exceptions
- General Partner: Overseas wholly owned subsidiary of SBG
- Limited Partners: Currently SBG, PIF, Mubadala, Apple, Foxconn, Qualcomm, Sharp
Information revolution underway
The fund was created as a result of SBG's strongly held beliefs that the next stage of the information revolution is underway. Building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large-scale long-term investment.
Investment decisions will be made by an investment committee expected to be established in the UK. Investments of US$100m or more are generally required to be carried out through the Fund or its associated vehicles.
The fund will target meaningful, long-term investments in companies and foundational platform businesses that seek to enable the next age of innovation. The fund will seek to acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies.
These will range from emerging technology businesses to established, multi-billion dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding.
The fund and associated vehicles are expected to be active across a wide range of technology sectors.
These include but are not limited to
- The Internet of things
- Artificial intelligence
- Mobile applications and computing
- Communications infrastructure and telecoms
- Computational biology and other data-driven business models
- Cloud technologies
- Software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.
Rajeev Misra to be CEO
The fund will be advised by wholly owned SGB subsidiaries. SGB's strategic head of finance Rajeev Misra will serve as the CEO of the SB Investment Advisers and will be a member of the investment committee. He will play a key role in all fund transactions.