Aug 7, 2019

SoftBank Group gives more insight into Vision Fund 2

SoftBank Group CEO Son Masayoshi presents earnings figures. Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto/Getty Images

SoftBank Group Wednesday morning provided more info on Vision Fund 2, while reporting second-quarter earnings that smashed analyst expectations.

Why it matters: The big news was that SVF2 could begin investing as early as next month, with the trigger being when the original Vision Fund is 85% invested. It was at 68% through the end of June.

  • We also learned that quarterly operating income for SVF1 climbed 66% year-over-year to around $3.8 billion, largely on valuation increases for portfolio companies like OYO, Slack and DoorDash. But it also recorded $1.8 billion in unrealized losses from its stake in Uber, which continues to trade below its IPO price.

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son also was asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and basically pulled the old "hand-over-eyes, fingers-in-years" routine:

"[I'm] not in a position to know all the details of the incident and, on the other hand, we have to continue with the efforts of AI and the technological evolution to bring benefits to the people, and we are going to make steady steps to achieve that goal."

What they're saying: Son also said he has no plans to comment further on the topic, except that SoftBank continues to be in talks with Saudi's sovereign wealth fund for a commitment into SVF2.

  • Word is that Saudi and UAE infusions could bring in a combined $60 billion, which theoretically could be on top of the $108 billion already announced.
  • But remember that the announced money is just memoranda of understanding, and could be pared back if the Middle East money comes through. One source close to the talks says he wouldn't be surprised if SVF2 isn't ultimately sized close to the original's $100 billion.
  • One big question remains who the big, unnamed investors are in that $108 billion of MOUs. They likely represent a very large chunk, given that we hear at least one of the announced names committed to invest less than $1 billion.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.