In AI pivot, SoftBank quietly sells off Vision Fund assets

SoftBank Group’s flagship Vision Fund has quietly sold off or written down billions of dollars’ worth of its publicly-listed holdings in recent years, a sign of founder Masayoshi Son‘s shift away from the venture capital deals that were once an obsession and toward strategic investments in semiconductors and AI.
Since the end of 2021, the world’s biggest startup fund has seen its US-listed portfolio shrink by almost $29 billion, as it sold down stakes in companies such as DoorDash and Grab and share prices fell, regulatory filings show.That figure doesn’t include the sale of the Vision Fund’s stake in chip designer Arm Holdings back to SoftBank last year. The one-time tech kingmaker is now a shadow of its former self, having laid off more than a hundred staff and slowed new investments to a fraction of its past pace.
Son is selling off assets from the fund’s portfolio as he prepares for possible forays into AI and related hardware, said people familiar with the billionaire’s thinking. SoftBank’s equity capital market team has played a central role in monetising the Vision Fund’s sizeable stakes with minimal market disruption, said the people.
Many of the investments led by the SoftBank chairman now bypass the Vision Fund and are orchestrated by the holding company.
Son has moved on to new obsessions, inspired in part by the success of Arm. The chip designer’s market value has soared to around $106 billion since its market debut last year, making SoftBank’s 90% holding worth more than all of SoftBank. A SoftBank representative declined to comment.

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