Feb 1, 2023 - Economy

SoftBank Vision Fund's mixed SPAC bag

Illustration of a hand about to sign a blank check that reads SoftBank

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

SoftBank's Vision Fund jumped into the special purpose acquisition company boom during the pandemic, but it's had mixed success with the investment vehicle.

Driving the news: On Friday, SoftBank liquidated its first (and thus, oldest) SPAC after failing to merge with a target before its Jan. 12 deadline.

Yes, but: The Japanese investment giant has been able to merge one of its three SPACs — SVF Investment Corp. 3.

  • After announcing the deal in December 2021, the SPAC's merger with warehouse robotics company Symbotic closed in June of last year. The company is currently trading at over $15 a share after beating quarterly revenue expecations earlier this week.
  • Its other SPAC has yet to announce any prospective merger, and the deadline of March 23 is fast approaching.

Between the lines: Beyond its three SPAC vehicles, a number of SoftBank Vision Fund portfolio companies have gone public via this route, and some have been marred with problems.

  • View, a Bay Area maker of so-called "smart windows" has struggled with financing and was nearly delisted by the New York Stock Exchange for failing to file certain financial statements.
  • Others like Grab and WeWork have seen their stocks struggle amid the larger market downturn.

Go deeper: Not so SPAC-tacular anymore

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