In Why Softbanks Masayoshi Son is Silicon Valleys power broker, Fast Company writer Katrina Brooker contends that no one – not Musk, Bezos or Zuckerberg – is in a better position to influence the next wave of technology. Son, the chairman of SoftBank, founded Vision Fund in late 2016 to back startups that he believes will contribute to global digital transformation.
Sons 300-year plan is ushered into its next phase by a machine-powered world where computers keep humans healthier and happier. To move with swiftness towards this future, Vision Fund announced an unprecedented plan to raise an initial $100 billion and has since facilitated investment capital from titans like Apple, Foxconn, and Qualcomm, as well as international governing bodies.
- Since its inception, Vision Fund has committed over $70 billion to startups with minimum investments of $100 million.
- One of the main driving philosophies of the fund is interconnecting everyday objects to create intelligent machines, this often means making multiple investments in the same categories.
- One high profile recipient of Vision Fund investments is WeWork. Thanks in large part to Sons mentorship and directive funding, WeWork is experiencing hypergrowth and has expanded to 83 cities across the world beginning to view itself less as a real estate company and more as a spatial platform to connect humans with machines.
- Through a new, quickly growing division within Vision Fund, Value Creation is facilitating connections between companies to encourage further growth. These introductions also help entrepreneur morale and feeling of connected purpose.
- Vision Fund is on track to nearly double its portfolio from 70 to 125 companies, which includes many AI-driven startups.
During a meeting with investors last November, Son reportedly said, Twenty years ago, the internet started, and now AI is about to start on a full scale.
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