SoftBank posts record loss as Vision Fund bets take hammering
Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank has reported a record loss of 3.16 trillion yen (£19.4bn) as its investments take a hammering during the global tech selloff.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund, one of the most prolific tech investors in the world, posted a record 2.33 trillion yen (£3.8bn) loss as valuations of its portfolio companies slumped amid the global downturn.
SoftBank said the losses during the three months ended 30 June are “attributable to third-party interests” and cited “global stock market turmoil” and the “rapid fall of yen”.
“For SoftBank vision fund, we know we have to reduce operational costs substantially,” said SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son. “Our vision remains the same, our beliefs remain the same. But we know we have to reduce operational costs, including headcount. For new investments, we have to be more selective.”
SoftBank said that falling valuations of private companies in its portfolio contributed to losses. Swedish fintech company Klarna, for example, saw its valuation cut by 85% in a July funding round.
This isn’t the first loss for SoftBank. Back in May, the investor reported a $27bn (£22.17bn) record loss for its Vision Fund, which has invested in British companies including Arm, Gousto, PrimaryBid, Revolut and Zopa.
SoftBank’s UK investments this year include a $230m (£172m) secondary placing investment into recipe box startup Gousto and participation in investment platform PrimaryBid’s $190m (£140m) Series C funding round.
SoftBank is the owner of Cambridge semiconductor designer Arm, which has been subject to speculation over the destination for its public listing.
UK tech figures and politicians have been courting SoftBank for a London listing, but SoftBank reportedly favours an New York IPO.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi last week picked up on the push for a London listing by reportedly writing to SoftBank’s Son.
Arm co-founder Hermann Hauser, previously told UKTN that the government’s actions now are akin to “trying to close the gate after the horse has bolted”.
UKTN has contacted SoftBank for comment.