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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank Vision Fund posted a nearly $18 billion operating loss for the fiscal year ended in March, and wrote down about 75% of its WeWork investment — but who cares if it managed overall gains of $9.6 billion, right? At least, that's the message SoftBank execs are expected to deliver to investors later today in a briefing focused on the two Vision Funds, according to a source familiar with the fund.

Why it matters: SoftBank famously raised about $100 billion in 2017 to back big tech unicorns, but disappointing bets like WeWork and Brandless raised questions about Vision Fund's, well, vision.

What they're saying: Since telling investors in May that it expects about 15 of its portfolio companies to go bankrupt, SoftBank now points out that some have raised new funding, all with lead investors not named SoftBank.

  • Some had up rounds, like Fanatics, goPuff, and Rappi.
  • Yes, but: Getaround, the peer-to-peer car rental company, saw its valuation drop to $700 million in its latest financing from $1.4 billion in the prior round. To be fair, the company was struggling even before the pandemic, yet managed to find its footing in the recent months.
  • Tokopedia had a pretty flat round, while Zymergen had a modest bump in valuation.

Meanwhile, SoftBank's second Vision fund is much smaller — $10 billion at the moment — and entirely financed by its parent company.

  • During Monday's earnings presentation, chairman Masayoshi Son told journalists SoftBank is "open always to third-party investors but at the moment we are not that popular yet."
  • The source familiar with the Vision Fund's operations tells Axios that the challenge is finding good deals, not capital. Once it exhausts the initial $10 billion, Vision Fund 2 may turn to outside investors.

What's next: Hopefully it'll be filing for its SPAC soon...

Go deeper

Fund managers are ultra-bullish on stocks amid the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fund managers surveyed by Bank of America are more optimistic about the stock market now than they’ve been in more than two years. The bank surveyed 216 fund managers who collectively oversee $573 billion.

Worth noting: The survey began as U.S. election results trickled in. It was still in progress when Pfizer and BioNTech released promising data about the efficacy of their coronavirus vaccine.

15 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”