SoftBank: Vision or Delusion

Long PDF read analysing or pontificating Softbanks chance of success as a VC fund.

Very interesting.

On October 14, 2016, SoftBank shocked the world with the announcement of its $100 billion Vision Fund, which would focus on investing in late-stage technology companies. Within 7 months of the announcement, SoftBank had already cemented $93 billion in commitments. To put the unprecedented scale and speed of the Vision Fund into perspective—it took all US-based venture funds 4 years to raise $143 billion from 2014 to 2017.

In its short history, the Vision Fund has already led enormous financing rounds across the globe, from billion dollar plus investments in ride-sharing services like Uber to a $300 million investment in Silicon Valley’s dog-walking and dog-sitting app, Wag. In comparison, the median global VC deal size for late-stage companies was only around $11 million in 2017. The sheer amount of capital deployed has left the venture capital world stunned, with many questioning if competitive returns are possible at this massive funding scale.

At EquityZen, we decided to take a step back and analyze what it would take for the Vision Fund to deliver competitive returns.

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