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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

SoftBank Group on Thursday announced that it has secured $108 billion for its second Vision Fund, a late-stage venture capital vehicle whose original $100 billion edition turned Silicon Valley upside down. The final size is expected to be even larger.

What to watch: SoftBank listed around a dozen groups that had signed memoranda of understanding to invest, including Apple and Microsoft. There is no mention of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, which was the largest Fund 1 contributor with a $45 billion slug, although that doesn't necessarily mean it's not involved.

The original Vision Fund, raised in 2017, invested in such companies as Uber, DoorDash, GM Cruise and WeWork.

  • SoftBank itself plans to commit $38 billion, up from $28 billion the first time around.
  • Other return backers include Apple and Foxconn.
  • In addition to Saudi, other missing Fund 1 limited partners include Qualcomm, Sharp and a sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates.
  • New investors include Microsoft, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, MUFG Bank, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., SMBC Nikko Securities, Daiwa Securities Group and Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund.

Microsoft could be a particularly intriguing addition, based on a WSJ report indicating SoftBank plans to encourage its "roughly 75 companies to shift from Amazon's cloud platform to Microsoft’s."

  • No word on how it would convince existing portfolio companies to make such a fundamental switch, although it certainly could have quid pro quo leverage over future investment targets.

The bottom line: Silicon Valley grumbled through the first Vision Fund, arguing that it overcapitalized companies and persuaded certain founders to chase market share without regard for underlying fundamentals. Expect those complaints to get even louder.

Go deeper

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.