SoftBank Capital is a US-based multi-stage corporate venture capital investment company with a focus on entrepreneurial ventures known as market disruptors and are likely to endure.
SoftBank Capital provides venture funding as well as strategic support services to selected companies and caters to all stages of investment including seed, early-stage venture, late-stage venture and private equity. Around US$600 million is managed across three funds.
About SoftBank Capital
SoftBank Capital is a US-based multi-stage corporate venture capital investment company with a focus on entrepreneurial ventures known as market disruptors and are likely to endure. SoftBank Capital provides venture funding as well as strategic support services to selected companies and caters to all stages of investment including seed, early-stage venture, late-stage venture and private equity. Around US$600 million is managed across three funds.
With innovation at heart, SoftBank Capital predominantly backs companies in the industries of biotechnology, mobile telecommunications, and Software as a Service (SaaS). Since its launch, SoftBank has developed close ties with several industry leaders throughout Asia in the technology, mobile telecommunications and internet fields, and has partnered with Yahoo! Japan, Alibaba Group, Criteo, Zynga, Gilt Groupe, Salesforce.com, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Geocities, Microsoft, and E*Trade.
Headquartered in New York, United States, SoftBank Capital was founded in 1995 as the investment arm of SoftBank Group Corp, a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. SoftBank Capital was managed by four partners: Eric Hippeau, Ron Fisher, Michael Perlis and Steve Murray and soon achieved membership of the National Venture Capital Association. In 2011 one of the partners, Mike Perlis, left his role of general partner when he joined Forbes Media as CEO. In 2015 the company raised a substantial growth fund for eminent technology and large-scale e-commerce companies MediaTek and Alibaba. In 2015 SoftBank Capital was closed by SoftBank. The goal was to stop actively searching out new investments but to continue overseeing its existing portfolio. In later years SoftBank continued to make investments through its Vision Fund initiative.
In 2013 SoftBank Capital raised US$250 million in growth fund for companies including MediaTek and Alibaba. In March 2018 SoftBank’s Vision fund acquired a third of American billionaire businessman Travis Kalanick’s stake in international driving platform Uber for US$1.4 billion. Other major investments made by SoftBank’s Vision Fund are:
- A US$450 million investment into the real estate technology company Compass
- The acquisition of a 20% equity in GM Cruise for US$2.25 billion made over two payments
- A US$353 million investment in DoorDash, a food delivery company
- A 45% stake in Wag, a dog walking service
- Funding of US$865 million for Katerra, a construction company
- An additional investment of US$9.3 billion in Uber, which made SoftBank Uber’s largest shareholder
SoftBank Capital in the News
In July 2018 it was reported that SoftBank’s Vision Fund will set up a US$250 million startup fund and that managing partner of SoftBank Kabir Misra would step down from his role as soon as the fund is closed. He will, however, continue on in an advisory capacity. Bloomberg announced that SoftBank and DiDi Chuxing are about to launch a ride-hailing app – something that has thus far not been common in Japan. In Forbes, it was reported that SoftBank would be leading a US$121 million investment in Light, a startup that develops self-driving cars, robots, and drones. In Fortune Magazine SoftBank’s aggressive investment strategy was discussed. It was concluded that the company’s offers are so attractive because bigger investments significantly increase the likelihood of success. SoftBank has a minimum investment of US$100 million.
More Companies in the Americas
GP Investments is a Brazilian alternative investment company with a focus on technology investments. Learn about the company’s history and find out about its most significant investments.
Princeville Capital is a US-based investment company which is focused on growth-stage technology companies.
XponentialWorks is a venture capital firm based in California. Read about the company’s history and investments.
Benchmark, a top Silicon Valley investment firm that has been making waves with investments in France. Discover how the boom in investment in French technology companies has spurred on top investment firms like Benchmark.
Avalon Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund particularly focused on making investments in information technology, biotechnology, healthcare, pharmaceutical, venture capital and life sciences.
Redpoint Ventures, an American investment firm that invests in local industry giants as well as a variety of companies in South America, particularly in Brazil and Colombia.
Socialatom Ventures is a seed capital firm founded by entrepreneur and investor Andrés Barreto. The company invests in global tech startups located across the Americas and are pioneers in the recent entrepreneurial ecosystem development in Latin America.
WIND Ventures is a Corporate Capital Venture focusing on start-ups and scale-ups in new mobility, eco energy, and retail, to boost their growth in Latin America.
Founders Fund is a leading VC firm that has been involved in the early stages of some of the most important fintech developments of the past two decades.
Investors in the Americas
Innovation and free thinking are guiding principles for Paul Buchheit. His work at Y Combinator and the many angel investments which he nurtures are a testimony to his application of these principles in daily life.
Murray Edwards is a Canadian oil sands investor and businessman ranked by Forbes as one of the top 15 wealthiest people in Canada.
Renuka Ramnath is an Indian private equity fund manager, an advisor to funds of approximately US$ 1 billion, and the founder, MD, and CEO of Multiples Alternate Asset Management Ltd.
Steve Case is an American businessman who introduced the world to AOL. Find out about his business ventures.
Ryan Moore is a venture capitalist based in Massachusetts in the United States. He is the founder of Accomplice VC, a venture capital firm with a focus on early-stage investments in technology companies.
Charlie Songhurst is a US-based but British-born individual angel and advisor who has personally invested in around 500 companies throughout his career, predominantly in Europe.
Carlos Slim is an award-winning Mexican investor, entrepreneur, engineer, and philanthropist. Between 2010 and 2013, the business magnate was ranked by Forbes as the wealthiest person in the world.
Christine Tsai, a Guam business executive who co-founded and heads 500 Startups, a global company on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs.
Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal, is a Ukrainian-American software engineer and businessman known for making early investments in emerging technology companies.