Softbank Group executives are considering a smaller venture capital fund before raising Softbank Vision Fund 2, CEO Masayoshi Son said Wednesday during the company's third-quarter earnings call.
He reiterated information the company first reported in news release in July that the fund, following its $100 billion first Vision Fund, has $108 billion in memorandums of understanding for Vision Fund 2.
Company executives "would like to set aside" the $108 billion in memorandums of understanding, he said. Rather than raise a $108 billion fund, SoftBank executives are considering raising a smaller, shorter duration "bridge" fund, Mr. Son said.
One reason for raising a bridge fund before launching Vision Fund 2 is because of underperforming investments in the first Vision Fund, including Uber Technologies and WeWork.
SoftBank is considering raising a smaller fund to show investors performance from smaller, shorter-duration investments before launching Vision Fund 2, he said.
"We have learned lessons," Mr Son said. "At the moment, I think that our next fund ... should be a little bit smaller because again we have caused concerns and anxiety to (a) lot of people," he said. "Maybe we start from (a) smaller scale and ... shorter period in terms of investment as sort of (a) bridge to make sure that people or stakeholders feel comfortable."
In the July news release, SoftBank said that it planned to invest $38 billion of its own money in the second fund, with remainder from global technology companies, Japanese financial institutions and a Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund, among others.
SoftBank's list of co-investors included Apple Inc., Foxconn Technology Group, Microsoft Corp., Mizuho Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd., SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc., National Investment Corp. of National Bank of Kazakhstan and Standard Chartered Bank.