Japanese VC SoftBank has announced a total of US$500 million fund that it will provide to back early stage startups led by Seoul-based SoftBank Ventures Asia. The fund is called SoftBank Acceleration Fund and is said to be launched next month, as reported by Inc42.
SoftBank, joined by South Korea’s National Pension Service and others will support the fund.
As a part of the fund launch, the company plans to open new offices and hire investment managers in Singapore and Shanghai, as told by The Telegraph.
SoftBank has a reputation of correctly investing in companies that turned into a billion-dollar valuations company. But it is reported now that the firm’s new fund will focus exclusively on early-stage startups.
“It’s an important signal within the SoftBank Group that SoftBank thinks early-stage investments are important and will make continued efforts on them,” said Seoul-based SoftBank Ventures Asia CEO JP Lee.
Furthermore, it is reported that SoftBank Ventures Asia has positioned itself as the SoftBank group’s global arm for early-stage investing.
SoftBank is known for holding shares in the likes of Uber, ARM, and WeWork. The company has stated that it plans to expand its investment portfolio by creating new funds worth US$100 billion every two to three years and spend US$50 billion annually.
Just last week SoftBank allocated US$2 billion to invest in companies in South America in the next four to five years.
London-based Vision Fund by SoftBank led by former banker Rajeev Misra has attracted US$93 billion from interested parties including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Apple, and Abu Dhabi although it’s yet to make a profit. Also in last week, Vision Fund invested US$1.5 billion in Asia’s largest ride-hailing service Grab.