Apr 12, 2023 - Economy

SoftBank slims down by selling early-stage VC unit

Illustration of SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son in front of money

Masayoshi Son. Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

SoftBank Group has agreed to sell SoftBank Ventures Asia to a new entity co-founded by Taizo Son, the younger brother of SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son.

Why it matters: Beyond the nepotism, this is SoftBank walking away from one of its oldest venture capital efforts. SBVA was launched in 2000 and reports over $2 billion in funds under management.

Details: The Singapore-based acquiring entity is called The Edgeof, and is led by Taizo Son and Atsushi Taira. They previously worked together at a Japanese tech incubator and investment firm called Mistletoe.

More, per Bloomberg: "The two brothers have partnered on deals in the past, with SoftBank buying Finnish gamemaker Supercell in 2013 with funding from games maker GungHo Entertainment, then led by the younger Son. The elder Son has also used SoftBank shares as collateral for loans to support Taizo Son’s business ventures."

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