SoftBank's quest to ride AI unicorns now has a partner, with the Japanese behemoth announcing a second SoftBank Vision Fund that will consist of $108 billion (¥11.7 trillion) in funds.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 will focus on "market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies" making use of AI.
The Japanese company will kick in $38 billion of its own funds, with the rest committed under memoranda of understanding with the likes of Apple, Foxconn Technology Group, Microsoft, Mizuho Bank, National Investment Corporation of National Bank of Kazakhstan, and Standard Chartered Bank.
In its 2018 results disclosed in May, SoftBank reported ¥297 billion in realised gain from selling Vision Fund investments, and ¥1 trillion from increases in investment valuations. Its realised gains were from Walmart's May purchase of Flipkart for $16 billion, of which SoftBank had a 20% stake, and the selling of Nvidia shares in January.
SoftBank said the fair value of its investment in Uber increased by ¥418 million over the year, ¥203 million in Guardant Health, and ¥154 million in Oyo.
As of March 31, the SoftBank Vision Fund portfolio had parted with $60 billion in investments for a fair value of $72.3 billion.
For the SoftBank Group as a whole, the company took in ¥9.6 trillion in sales, an increase of 5%, from which it made ¥2.35 trillion in earnings before interest and taxes, up 81%, and ¥1.4 trillion of net income.