SoftBank reported an annual operating loss of 1.36 trillion yen that makes up to % $ 12.7 billion. The bank has accounted for the most heightened losses ever in history.
Amidst pandemic and after recurring losses, SoftBank lost a huge name in the board, Jack Ma. The Japanese conglomerate experienced a series of bad tech bets in 2020. The losses are driven entirely by the Vision Fund that is a $100 billion tech fund pioneered by SoftBank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son.
The Vision Fund and similar funds have witnessed operating losses of 1.9 trillion for 2019-20 fiscal year. It happened because the innovative companies such as WeWork, UBER were cratered due to COVID-19. Son said, “this is a big crisis for many of us”.
SoftBank on Monday also revealed that Alibaba founder, Jack Ma had decided to resign from the bank’s board. Jack Ma is the director of the Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, held the position for almost 13 years.
Jack Ma is an eminent member to leave after FRCOF’s (Fast Retailing Co Ltd) Founder, Tadashi Yanai. Tadashi left SoftBank’s board last year around November-December.
Jack Ma is really close to Masayoshi Son. Son has invested over $20 million in Alibaba in 2000 and $ 60 billion when Alibaba decided to go public in 2014.
Masayoshi used to have dinner with Ma every month before this pandemic began. They used to talk about business and life. He said in one of his recent interviews that “we will remain friends for the rest of our lives, I believe”.
Jack Ma, Founder, Alibaba (Right)
Masayoshi Son, Founder, SoftBank (Left)
Ma’s departure comes after SoftBank decided to take critical steps to shore up its finances. The plan includes selling $41 billion in assets to buy back shares and decrease the company’s heavy debt.
Son also said on Monday that the company had already secured $11.5 billion in funding using Alibaba’s shares as collateral. SoftBank has a 25.1% stake in Alibaba that is worth more than $133 billion. He also said that SoftBank will be able to fly and jump over the valley after the crisis on being asked about more recent tech investments.
Masayoshi Son has predicted that 15 companies that are funded by the Vision Fund Portfolio will go bankrupt. And, the rest will be able to survive but without creating any positive returns.
Masayoshi Son also shared his perceptions about WeWork and said that SoftBank has made a failure in investing in WeWork. However, it could help in the long run when companies will rethink long term office leases.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund – 88 Companies