Softbank's (SFTBY) massive Vision Fund, an investor in many high-growth U.S. tech firms, could soon seek to go public.
A public offering of the fund could come as soon as this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The $100 billion Vision Fund, which was formed in 2017, has poured eye-watering amounts of capital into fast-growing firms that include Uber Technologies, WeWork and others. It has invested nearly all of the $100 billion it started with, and it also in the process of raising a second fund.
A Vision Fund IPO would need to overcome various barriers, including regulations designed to protect retail investors from risky venture capital investments. If the effort is successful, however, the Fund's goal is to remake itself as a smaller version of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B Report focused on technology firms, according to the Journal. Just ahead of its annual shareholder meeting this weekend, Berkshire's market cap currently stands at around $539 billion.
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The Vision Fund is credited with reshaping the landscape of tech investment by cutting nine and ten-figure checks to a portfolio companies that include Uber, Slack, Kabbage, Getaround and many others. It also held a sizable stake in Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report that it sold off in February, in a possible sign that the fund may be pulling back on deal size and trimming its free-spending investment approach.
Its largest investor is Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, a relationship that drew scrutiny after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Asked whether the Vision Fund plans to raise more capital from the Saudi Fund, Son told investors in February that it is "still too early to discuss."