SoftBank’s Vision Fund Rebounds on AI Surge, Eyeing Arm IPO, Japan


SoftBank’s Vision Fund is expected to turn profitable again after five quarters of losses, thanks to a resurgence fueled by artificial intelligence (AI) and the resulting increase in startup valuations. After suffering losses of ¥6.9 trillion ($48 billion) over the past two fiscal years, SoftBank is looking to bounce back with a modest profit at the Vision Fund for the quarter ending in June. Analysts estimate that SoftBank as a whole will report a profit of around ¥73 billion.

The success of SoftBank’s future deals depends largely on the initial public offering (IPO) of Arm Ltd., a chip designer owned by SoftBank. Arm is aiming to raise up to $10 billion in an IPO scheduled for September, valuing the company between $60 billion and $70 billion. If successful, Arm’s IPO would be one of the largest tech debuts on record, surpassing even Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Meta Platforms Inc.

The AI frenzy has significantly boosted the valuations of Arm’s peers. Nvidia Corp. crossed the $1 trillion mark in value this year, while the Nasdaq 100, a representative index for tech stocks, recorded its strongest January-June performance ever.

SoftBank offers investors the opportunity to invest in Arm as an AI play before its listing, making it an attractive choice for those wanting exposure to the AI market. Analyst Kirk Boodry from Astris Advisory believes that there could be further gains once Arm releases its public prospectus. The Vision Fund’s public holdings increased by about $1.1 billion in the June quarter, with companies like DoorDash Inc. and Grab Holdings Ltd. making significant contributions.

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In July alone, the Vision Fund’s public portfolio saw a $3.9 billion increase in value, driven by the rallies of DoorDash, Grab, and Didi Global Inc. If SoftBank can maintain this pace for the rest of the quarter, the Vision Fund is poised to deliver its best aggregate performance since January-March 2021.

However, Boodry remains cautious, recognizing that July’s gains may not be sustained and highlighting that the current tech market seems priced for perfection. Nonetheless, the positive momentum is worth acknowledging, and the upside potential of Arm should provide support even if the Vision Fund’s overall performance appears weak.

While SoftBank’s rebound is encouraging, it is important to remain balanced and consider multiple perspectives. The ultimate success of SoftBank’s Vision Fund relies on factors such as the AI market, investor sentiment, and the performance of portfolio companies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is SoftBank's Vision Fund?

SoftBank's Vision Fund is a private investment fund established by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese conglomerate. It focuses on investing in innovative technology companies, particularly those involved in artificial intelligence and related fields.

Why did SoftBank's Vision Fund suffer losses in the past two fiscal years?

SoftBank's Vision Fund experienced losses due to various factors, including the underperformance of some of its portfolio companies and a challenging investment environment. These losses amounted to ¥6.9 trillion ($48 billion) over the course of two fiscal years.

What is expected to fuel SoftBank's turnaround and profitability?

SoftBank's profitability is anticipated to increase due to the resurgence of artificial intelligence (AI) and the resulting rise in startup valuations. The AI market, coupled with the initial public offering (IPO) of Arm Ltd., a chip designer owned by SoftBank, is expected to bolster the fund's performance.

Why is the IPO of Arm significant for SoftBank's Vision Fund?

The IPO of Arm is crucial for SoftBank's Vision Fund because it has the potential to raise significant funds and increase the company's valuation. A successful IPO could further support SoftBank's turnaround and the profitability of its Vision Fund.

How has the AI frenzy impacted the valuations of Arm's peers?

The AI frenzy has substantially increased the valuations of Arm's peers. For instance, Nvidia Corp., a leading technology company, surpassed the $1 trillion mark in value this year. Additionally, the Nasdaq 100, a tech stock index, achieved its strongest January-June performance ever.

How does SoftBank offer exposure to the AI market to investors?

SoftBank provides investors with the opportunity to invest in Arm as an AI play before its IPO. This allows investors to gain exposure and potentially benefit from the growth and success of the AI market.

What potential gains could be expected once Arm releases its public prospectus?

Analysts believe that there could be further gains once Arm releases its public prospectus, which provides detailed information about the company and its financials. It may attract more investors and generate increased interest in the stock.

How has SoftBank's Vision Fund's public portfolio performed recently?

In the June quarter, the Vision Fund's public portfolio witnessed a $1.1 billion increase in value. In July alone, the portfolio's value surged by $3.9 billion, driven by the rallying performance of companies like DoorDash Inc., Grab Holdings Ltd., and Didi Global Inc.

What factors could impact the Vision Fund's overall performance?

The Vision Fund's overall performance depends on various factors, including the performance of its portfolio companies, investor sentiment, and market conditions. The AI market's growth and the success of Arm's IPO are additional elements that can influence the fund's performance.

Are there any concerns or risks associated with SoftBank's rebound and the Vision Fund's performance?

Analysts remain cautious despite the recent positive momentum. They note that the current tech market seems highly priced, which could impact the sustainability of gains. However, the upside potential of Arm's IPO is expected to provide support even if the Vision Fund's overall performance appears weaker.

What should one consider when evaluating SoftBank's rebound and the Vision Fund's success?

It is essential to maintain a balanced perspective when evaluating SoftBank's rebound and the Vision Fund's performance. Factors such as the AI market's trajectory, investor sentiment, and the performance of portfolio companies all play a role in determining the fund's ultimate success.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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