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SoftBank Vision Fund loses $32 billion in a year due to startup valuation downgrade


SoftBank Vision Fund lost $32 billion in the financial year ended March, as the Japanese investment giant, the most prolific global investor in tech startups, suffered from valuation corrections on its private and public tech backings amid a weakening global economy.

The loss was up 68% from the same period a year earlier, when SoftBank reported $19 billion in losses at the Vision Fund unit. The losses come even as SoftBank has become very cautious about committing new capital to startups in recent quarters.

The Japanese conglomerate said its Vision Fund 1 posted unrealized losses of $1.6 billion each in SenseTime Group and GoTo and nearly $800 million in DoorDash.

“For private portfolio companies, fair values ​​declined across a broad range of investments, primarily due to write-downs of underperforming companies and share price declines among peer companies,” SoftBank Group said in earnings Thursday.

Yoshimitsu Goto, SoftBank’s chief finance officer, said earlier this year that the company had entered “defense mode” and was preparing for three different scenarios. SoftBank expects the market to show a linear recovery this year, or the second half of this year, or stumble into early 2024.

The shaky times at SoftBank Vision Fund spell a tough time for many of its portfolio startups. SoftBank has served as a strong growth investor for its portfolio startups, often leading or co-leading their subsequent rounds of funding.

More to follow.

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