Special Offer: Try The Information for $10.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo by AP.
Exclusive
Asia

SoftBank Money Comes at High Cost

By
Alfred Lee
 |  Oct. 5, 2017 7:00 AM PDT
Photo: SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo by AP.

As SoftBank has been spraying money at tech companies in recent months, it has been negotiating unusually tough terms that sharply improve its chances of earning a big return, according to a review of previously undisclosed deal terms. In some cases, the terms allow SoftBank to assert control over many matters at the companies.

For instance, companies such as online lenders Kabbage and SoFi have given SoftBank the right to veto an IPO if the investor won’t earn a big return from the offering, Delaware filings show. The terms are aimed at reducing risk for SoftBank, which, through its $93 billion Vision Fund, has been paying exorbitant valuations in an array of tech investments in recent months.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
Will Apple Kill the Free Podcast?: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Will Apple Kill the Free Podcast?: The Information’s Tech Briefing
The podcasting industry as we know it is about to change. Plans by Apple to launch a subscription service for podcasts, as The Information reported today, portends a shift to a much more balkanized podcasting world. Instead of shows being broadly available for free on a variety of outlets, in the future podcasts will be attached exclusively for a price to specific outlets. It’s not only...
Latest Briefs
 
SoftBank Vision Fund’s Jeffrey Housenbold to Depart
Facebook Blocks New Events in D.C. Ahead of Inauguration
Andreessen: Content Blocking Could Come From Browser, Email and Internet Providers
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
How Blocking Trump Puts the Future of the Internet at Risk
Modest Proposals Policy Facebook
How Blocking Trump Puts the Future of the Internet at Risk
The move by social networks to deplatform President Trump last week was the right call. In reality, he left Facebook and Twitter no other choice.
The Information’s Return to the Office Tracker
Startups COVID-19
The Information’s Return to the Office Tracker
Of the companies most opposed to continuing remote work after the pandemic fades, Netflix stands out for the intensity of its stance.
Sequoia Buys Shares in Elusive Startup Zapier at Multibillion-Dollar Valuation
Exclusive
Sequoia Buys Shares in Elusive Startup Zapier at Multibillion-Dollar Valuation
Zapier isn’t a household name outside Silicon Valley, but the world’s top venture capitalists have long been trying to own a piece of the booming enterprise software firm.
Let’s Not Celebrate the Platforms for Kicking Trump Off
Opinion Facebook
Let’s Not Celebrate the Platforms for Kicking Trump Off
Calling for violence on social media is OK and spreading disinformation is fine, especially if you’re the president of the United States.
Snap Names New Content Leader in Push to Counter TikTok
Exclusive Media/Telecom Google
Snap Names New Content Leader in Push to Counter TikTok
Snap has promoted executive Ben Schwerin to be its new senior vice president of content and partnerships, a move that signals the company’s ambitions to compete more aggressively with TikTok and to cut more deals with media companies and app developers.
Can Mayor Francis Suarez Bring Silicon Valley to Miami?
Can Mayor Francis Suarez Bring Silicon Valley to Miami?
Rumors about who might be moving to Miami to escape the supposed decline of the San Francisco Bay Area are spreading faster than the VC funding buzz around hot tech startups.