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Asia Venture Capital

Startup Investments Pump Up SoftBank, Which Is Planning More

SoftBank can thank paper gains from its startup investments for keeping the drop in its operating profit to only 3.7%.

An increase in the value of investments in Indian hotel startup Oyo, U.S. delivery company Doordash and collaboration software maker Slack helped the telecom company-turned-tech investor offset losses from its stakes in Uber and others. The outcome for the quarter was better than analysts expected. Going forward, SoftBank will also get a boost from the Justice Department’s approval of its Sprint unit to merge with T-Mobile, helping take some debt off its books.

SoftBank, whose $100 billion Vision Fund had made 81 investments as of the end of June, is about to begin doubling down on startup deals with a new fund, currently known as Vision Fund 2. It could begin investing out of that new fund as soon as next month, although it’s still a work in progress.

It still isn’t clear how SoftBank will reach the $108 billion it says its second fund will be. The Wall Street Journal reported that discussions from announced limited partners like Apple and Microsoft were still in early stages. The first Vision Fund’s two big investors—Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund—are still in talks to invest in the second fund, the Journal reported.

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