Japan-based holding conglomerate SoftBank is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of its ₹7 lakh crores ($100 billion) Vision Fund, according to Reuters. The media firm reported that SoftBank is talking to six banks about the listing of the fund.
However, there is no formal confirmation from the telecom conglomerate. Sources say that SoftBank is discussing with the banks about how to do it and the plan is currently in exploration mode.
SoftBank may have taken on the idea from Naspers which has some of its assets listed on the stock market. The biggest asset in Nasper’s portfolio is Tencent, and it is listed. However, all the assets in the SoftBank Vision Fund’s portfolio are private.
Vision Fund counts Saudi Arabia’s and Abu Dhabi’s government as investors. The company is also in talks with the Sultanate of Oman for further infusion of capital. It is probable that the fund will double its workforce in the next year to keep up with the pace of making deals, according to SoftBank’s executives.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund was first set up in 2017 and is the world’s largest technology investment fund. It has already invested around ₹70,000 crores ($10 billion) in the Indian startup ecosystem. Some of the notable investments in India are Ola, Hike, Paytm, and OYO.
Media reports also suggest that SoftBank is in talks with Reliance Jio to invest around ₹14,000 crores ($2 billion) to ₹21,000 crores ($3 billion) through its Vision Fund. SoftBank itself is into the telecom sector and thus its interest in Reliance Industries is in line with its investments in the telecom, e-commerce and tech services.
Earlier in March, SoftBank’s Asia CEO JP LEE said that the firm will launch a new global fund of ₹3,500 crores ($500 million) known as SoftBank Acceleration Fund. The fund will be backed by SoftBank, South Korea’s National Pension Service as well as several other companies and asset management firms.