The previous two years have despatched Mr. Son on a brand new curler coaster trip. The pandemic initially drove SoftBank’s investments in big-name tech firms into the bottom, despatched them hovering, after which crashed them once more. Companies like Coupang, a Korean e-commerce enterprise, and DoorDash, a food-delivery app, had highflying preliminary choices, however have since dropped sharply.
Additionally, China’s crackdown on its tech sector has pummeled the worth of SoftBank’s massive portfolio of Chinese firms. In response, SoftBank has quietly bought off a big share of its holdings in Alibaba. An early funding of $20 million within the Chinese e-commerce big was so profitable that it as soon as accounted for nearly 60 p.c of SoftBank’s web asset worth.
At its excessive level final yr, Mr. Son’s Vision Funds — the unique Vision Fund, the second, smaller Vision Fund 2, and a Latin American fund that was not too long ago added to the portfolio — had grown by greater than 7 trillion yen ($52 billion). But by the tip of June, the funds had given up nearly all the positive aspects that they had revamped their whole historical past. Since March, the worth of the Vision Funds’ publicly traded shares fell by 31 p.c, in contrast with 22 p.c for the Nasdaq general, Mr. Son mentioned.
SoftBank has additionally been damage by the falling value of the yen over the previous yr, which has pushed up the price of the corporate’s dollar-denominated debt.
With latest losses and the brand new funding path the corporate will doubtless must make layoffs, Mr. Son mentioned, including that “Vision Fund head counts may need to be reduced dramatically.”
Mr. Son mentioned the corporate was additionally contemplating promoting the asset supervisor Fortress Investment Group, which it bought for over $3 billion in 2017.
Following the earnings report, SoftBank announced it will purchase again as much as 400 billion yen ($3 billion) of its shares. The announcement follows a call final November to purchase again 1 trillion yen of inventory. SoftBank’s shares rose barely on Monday in Tokyo. They are down greater than 16 p.c over the previous 12 months, roughly the identical as the Nasdaq index.