Japanese investment firm Softbank launched its second vision fund in 2019, and since its inception, CEO Masayoshi Son and his team have been busy investing heavily in the sports and entertainment space.
The Vision Fund 2 – the encore to the $100 billion technology-focused Vision Fund 1 – raised an initial $40 billion of capital in 2019 and has since deployed over $20 billion into tech-focused startups.
The newer fund has made several sizable investments in the space over the past 10 months —funding rounds total $2.6 billion — and many of its investments have made their way into the headlines.
- Softbank participated in the $100 million funding round for Fanatics-owned Candy Digital – the developer of Major League Baseball’s NFT marketplace.
- It was the sole investor in a $400 million Vuori deal that valued the company at $4 billion.
- In August, it joined a $325 million round for Fanatics that valued the company at $18 billion.
- Also on the list: a $680 million round for NFT soccer platform Sorare, a $300 million round for Whoop, and a $220 million round for at-home fitness company Tempo — all led by Softbank.
While the Vision Fund 2 has yet to see any of its sports-related companies go public, the Vision Fund 1 saw several high-profile tech companies — such as DIDI Global, DoorDash, Slack, and Uber — hit the public markets. Vision Fund 2 could produce similar results.
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