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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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

NBA signals further interest in private equity funding

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The National Basketball Association is opening the door a little wider for private equity funds, which to date have been largely excluded from investing in its franchises.

Driving the news: The league's board of governors has approved a framework whereby a PE fund could own up to 20% in a single franchise, and stakes in up to five franchises, as first reported by Sportico and confirmed by Axios.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.