It's been a busy month for Japanese telecom company SoftBank Group (SFTBY) .
The company has always been acquisitive, and this summer is no exception. On June 9, for instance, SoftBank acquired robotics company Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) , reportedly following up a month later with a stake in Roomba maker iRobot Corp. (IRBT) . SoftBank is also publicly flirting with an investment in either Uber or Lyft.
Just in the past month, however, SoftBank has exceeded even its own normally breakneck pace, making billions of dollars' worth of tech investments. On Thursday, Aug. 10, SoftBank inked its biggest solo deal yet, investing a reported $2.5 billion in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart as it seeks to compete with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) .
Here's a look at SoftBank's investments over just the past four weeks.
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Plenty Inc., July 19
SoftBank kicked off its latest acquisitive streak by leading a $200 million Series B round backing indoor farming company Plenty. The investment came from SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund, as did many other investments this month; the fund's Jeffrey Housenbold joined Plenty's board. Other investors in the round included the individual venture funds backed by Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Eric Schmidt.
Brain Corp., July 19
The same day as the Plenty investment, the SoftBank Vision Fund also led a $114 million Series C round for self-driving robot company Brain Corp. Qualcomm Inc.'s (QCOM) venture unit also invested alongside SoftBank, and Brain said in a statement that its consumer robots' software will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform.
Nauto, July 19
Self-driving was also the focus of SoftBank's third investment announced July 19. SoftBank, along with venture capital firm Greylock Partners, led a $159 million Series B round for self-driving technology and artificial intelligence company Nauto. They joined previous strategic investors participating in the new round, including the venture units of car companies BMW (BMWYY) , General Motors Co. (GM) and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) as well as insurance company Allianz (AZSEY) .
Grab, July 23
Four days after a trio of VC investments, SoftBank and Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing invested $2 billion in Southeast Asian transportation and mobile payments company Grab. Grab said in a statement that the round was the largest one ever in Southeast Asia and the company expects to raise an additional $500 million from new and existing investors.
Slack Technologies Inc., July 26
Bloomberg reported July 26, three days after the Grab investment, that SoftBank was leading a $250 million funding round raised by business messaging software company Slack.
WeWork China, July 27
On July 27, a day after the Slack rumors surfaced, SoftBank led a $500 million investment in co-working space company WeWork to back and expand its Chinese operation. SoftBank is a prior WeWork investor, and indeed, on July 17 the companies announced a 50/50 joint venture to launch WeWork Japan.
Kabbage Inc., Aug. 3
SoftBank's first pure fintech investment came Aug. 3, when it invested $250 million in online lender Kabbage Inc. That's more than half of the funds Kabbage has raised in total since its launch in 2011. Traditional banks like Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Scotiabank (BNS) have also backed Kabbage.
Altaeros, Aug. 8
The $7.5 million SoftBank invested in wind turbine company Altaeros Energies, announced Aug. 8, was a drop in the bucket compared to its investments just a week earlier. SoftBank is a prior Altaeros investor, joining a diverse group of backers, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Mitsubishi Corp. (MSBHY) subsidiary Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
Fanatics Inc., Aug. 8
The same day as the Altaeros investment, the Wall Street Journal reported that SoftBank was close to a $1 billion investment in online sports apparel retailer Fanatics Inc., lifting its valuation 50% to $4.5 billion. According to the Journal, both the NFL and MLB were joining SoftBank in this round after investing earlier in 2017. Other investors include Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) .
Roivant Sciences Ltd., Aug. 9
SoftBank reverted to its usual big-ticket deals the next day, on Aug. 9, leading a $1.1 billion investment in Roivant Sciences Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company. The round was the largest single private financing round ever for a healthcare company.
Flipkart Internet Pte Ltd., Aug. 10
Finally, on Aug. 10, one day after the Roivant deal, SoftBank became one of the largest shareholders of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart Internet Pte Ltd. Reuters reported that SoftBank's equity contribution was close to $2.5 billion. Flipkart said in a statement that the investment, on the heels of investments from tech giants Tencent Holdings Ltd. (TCEHY) , eBay Inc. (EBAY) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , left it with $4 billion in cash to compete with the likes of Amazon.