Japanese entrepreneur Masayoshi Son, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank Group Corp., is reportedly seeking to raise another monster technology fund. The new fund is likely to be similar in size to the nearly $100 billion raised for SoftBank's first Vision Fund, which has yet to close.
“Vision Fund II will definitely come. It’s just a matter of time,” said Son said in an interview during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday. While the Vision Fund 2.0 won’t launch within six months, said the CEO, it will “in the near future.” (See also: What Does SoftBank Do?)
SoftBank's massive Vision Fund has sparked a move in the private equity and venture capital space as institutions are raising larger and larger investment pools. Investors such as Sequoia Capital have been pushed to raise billions of dollars for their own mega-funds in order to keep up with the scale and rapid pace of investment of the Vision Fund. In less than a year, the new fund has deployed roughly $45 billion in capital in investments such as ride hailing platform Uber Technologies Inc., office-share company WeWork Companies Inc. and semiconductor manufacturer NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).
Son: ‘Use the Force'
Son has reportedly held preliminary talks with investors regarding committing to a second fund as early as 2019, according to Fortune magazine, citing anonymous sources close to the matter. Sources indicated that the planned fund should attract a broader pool of investors compared to its predecessor, which garnered a great deal of interest from sovereign wealth funds in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
At the event on Tuesday, Son spoke to his method for choosing his investments. “Yoda says use the force,” he said, referencing the Jedi master in the popular Star Wars films. “Don’t think, just feel it.”
“Every time my team does due diligence, they do it for one, two, three months and do a deep dive. But my first insight in the first few minutes is sometimes more meaningful than detailed calculation,” added Son. (See also: Why SoftBank Is Interested in Robotics.)