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SoftBank reports £25bn loss for tech investment fund

SoftBank loss
Image credit: NYCStock via Shutterstock

Multinational conglomerate SoftBank has posted a record loss of $32bn (£25.4bn) for its tech-focused investment fund, which has backed a number of major tech firms in the UK and beyond.

In its FY22 report, the Japan-headquartered firm reported a major loss for its Vision Fund, which has a major investment presence in the UK tech industry.

Through its Vision Funds, SoftBank has backed major UK tech companies, including Revolut, Improbable, and OneWeb.

The company has cited the war in Ukraine, along with growing tensions between the US and China as significant factors in the disappointing performance of its tech portfolio.

CFO Yoshimitsu Goto said: “With no solution in sight, we need to be deeply concerned about the geopolitical risks. Just because the last three months were good, . . . we can’t go back to resuming investments.”

Last year represented a difficult period for the bulk of UK tech firms, which have had to face a sharp rise in operational costs. These difficulties have persisted into 2023 as well, with several SoftBank-backed firms in the UK cutting back.

Recipe box subscription startup Gousto, which was backed by SoftBank in January of last year, cut its valuation from £1.4bn to £250m in February, as reported by Sky News.

Revolut has also had a drop in value this year as key investor Schroeder lowered its internal value of its stake in the firm. This represented a valuation drop of almost half, going from $33bn to $17.7bn.

Company CEO Masayoshi Son has put his primary focus in recent months towards the upcoming IPO of Arm, the Cambridge-based semiconductor company set to go public in New York following an application made this month.