Softbank, a company that is in the news almost every other day. Never the news is negative but always something about funding and the investments carried out by the company. It has always been about that and nothing more, there have been many instances where the company has risked millions of dollars and it has paid off. Sometimes it is only Softbank investing in business while others don’t have the courage to back the businessman rather than its business.
Softbank has taught the world of finance that it is not always about the business and sometimes you have to trust the person behind a business, that’s all. The story of Softbank investing in Alibaba is the proof of the mantra Japanese giant follows. The company’s president, Masayoshi Son told on David Rubenstein’s show that Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba did not have a plan in place when he came to the Japanese investor.
Son listened to his business plan but he did not make any sense but even then, Son gave Ma $2 million. He confessed on the show that he saw something in Jack Ma’s eyes and that is the only reason he invested and that investment is the only reason the world has an empire like Alibaba. The fact that Softbank has been much more than just an investment firm, it has always believed in building an empire like a team and it does that almost every single time invests.
The success of Softbank is not a secret as the founder and the main man in charge, Masayoshi Son has impeccable convincing skills. The Japanese entrepreneur is a master at convincing people to lend him money so that he can multiply it and give them back in assets. Son convinced the crown prince of Saudi Arabia to lend $45 billion to him in just 45 minutes. Mohammad Bin Salman was impressed by Son’s skills and it has become a story everyone tells.
That being said, the company is now filing for an IPO. The IPO filing is yet a distant thing but the exploration process has started. The company wants to do the same via its Vision Fund. That the only reason the company is looking for an IPO is to set up another Vision Fund. The first Vision Fund was a $100 billion strong and was made only for technology companies. The Vision Fund invested in some of the biggest companies in the world such as Uber and also bought the company that designed chips called ARM.
Point being, the company is raising funds for a second such Vision Fund which will also be made for the technology startups. Softbank has also talked to banks for the same. Right now, it is raising money from banks and a fellow investing company Naspers suggested the company to go for IPO as the South African company itself is listing some of its assets in order to raise money. It has suggested Softbank adopt a similar route to raise another $100 billion. However, the Japanese company has just asked the questions to the bank about listing some of the assets and the news broke out.
Sources close to Economic Times talked about the same. The source said that Softbank asked the banks as to how could the company possibly do it as Naspers can list its assets as Tencent is a listed company. However, all the investments Softbank has carried out are in private companies. That difference has to be considered. However, the question of the Initial Public Offer is still far off and the company is just testing the waters.
The source said, “They asked banks questions on how they could possibly do it. It is still very much in exploration mode. The big difference is that the biggest asset in the Naspers portfolio is Tencent, which is listed, whereas the portfolio of the Vision Fund is all private.”