Meet Ron Fisher, the SoftBank executive who awarded WeWork a $47 billion valuation months before it delayed its $10 billion IPO
- Ron Fisher is the Vice Chairman and Head of Investment at SoftBank Group where he oversees the organization's $100 billion Vision Fund.
- Fisher led SoftBank's multiple investments in WeWork, and is part of the startup's all-male board of directors.
- SoftBank, and Fisher by extension, is widely credited with overinflating WeWork's valuation in later stage private funding rounds. At its peak, WeWork was privately valued at $47 billion.
- On Tuesday, the startup announced it was delaying its public offering, which would've valued the company at a heavily discounted $10 billion, indefinitely.
It's not clear if Ron Fisher's billion-dollar gamble will pay off.
The SoftBank executive sits on WeWork's all-male board, having led the Vision Fund's multiple investments in the startup since 2017. As the Vice Chairman and Head of Investment at SoftBank Group, Fisher, 71, is one of the most senior employees overseeing SoftBank's first $100 billion Vision Fund, and the firm's WeWork investment could very well be his legacy.
SoftBank, and Fisher by extension, is widely credited with overinflating WeWork's valuation in later stage private funding rounds. SoftBank first became publicly involved with the New York-based coworking startup in August 2017 after it purchased $1.3 billion worth of shares from a group of undisclosed existing investors. At the time, WeWork was valued at $16.9 billion. That same month, SoftBank led the startup's $1.7 billion Series G, which valued it at $21.2 billion. At its peak, WeWork was privately valued at $47 billion after a $5 billion direct investment from SoftBank.
Now, Fisher's investment looks precarious, at best. After pouring billions in private funding into WeWork, the buzzy startup has decided to delay its public offering originally planned for the end of September. Once valued at $47 billion, the startup is now reportedly considering listing at a significantly discounted valuation of around $10 billion.
Here is what we know about Fisher, the SoftBank executive who led Vision Fund's controversial investment in WeWork.