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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

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Third Way: "Big Lie" could become "Big Coup"

Graphic: Third Way

Third Way, the center-left think tank, is urging fellow Democrats to respond to the Capitol riot with "the size, scope, and seriousness of a presidential campaign," co-founder Matt Bennett tells me.

Driving the news: "For the first time in U.S. history, a party must mount two parallel presidential campaigns: one to win the election, and the other to prevent its theft," Bennett said, calling this "a Paul Revere moment."

Advocates say Biden has let Haitian migrants down

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Christian Torres/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Continued turmoil in Haiti is causing a growing number of Haitians to try to make it to American shores — and some advocates say the Biden administration isn't supporting this community in its time of crisis.

The big picture: Haitian-American activists in South Florida told Axios Today they feel like President Biden has gone back on campaign promises he made to the community to stand up for them.