SoftBank reportedly provided 1 in every 10 dollars by VCs to startups in 2019

masayoshi sonSoftBank CEO Masayoshi SonTomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

  • SoftBank has been one of the biggest players in tech startups in 2019 and has a major hand in Uber, WeWork, and Slack, but its role could be even larger than previously thought.
  • Analysis by Crunchbase News has shown that 10.5%, or one in every 10 dollars spent by venture capitalists, has come from SoftBank.
  • Masayoshi Son's investments have been mixed through the year, however, with WeWork's IPO falling through earlier this week.
  • View Markets Insider's homepage for more stories.

SoftBank has been one of the biggest names in tech in the last year with the Japanese venture capitalist firm spending billions on startup tech companies.

Staggeringly, one in every 10 dollars spent by VCs in 2019 so far came from SoftBank, and its assorted entities including the Vision Fund, approximately 10.5% of global spend, according to analysis by Crunchbase News. SoftBank's Vision Fund has transformed the market for venture capital in recent years with its $100 billion size dwarfing its competitors.

Despite mixed results in terms of success, given the failed IPO of WeWork earlier this week, SoftBank has positioned itself as one of the key players in the world of tech, with the Vision Fund itself accounting for 8% of the cash provided by venture capitalists.

Crunchbase News noted that SoftBank alone was not responsible for all of the investment, rather it looked all the rounds of investing where SoftBank was a sole investor and also listed as just a participant.

SoftBank's hold has only grown

Nevertheless, the data from Crunchbase News shows that SoftBank's hold within tech has only grown in the last year and that the company has pushed into late-stage investing more often - just take the investments into Uber, Slack, and WeWork ahead of their IPOs as examples.

Have a look at this list. It includes the $5 billion that SoftBank put into WeWork this year as well as billions on other tech companies from Asian taxi-hailing firms to Colombian food-delivery startups.

Softbank has come under fire though for its investment strategy after the botched IPO of WeWork. The Japanese firm allows tech companies to stay liquid while being held privately, eventually being able to go public.

However, WeWork exposed the issues of this plan as the original valuation of $47 billion was cut to just $10 billion before the IPO was pulled, as SoftBank's execs decided it was not worth it. SoftBank had plowed more than $10 billion into WeWork prior to this, and had a 29% stake in the firm, only for the grand IPO plans to fall through.

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