SoftBank will cut investments by more than half this year: CEO Masayoshi Son

Bangalore: Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of Soft bankone of the most aggressive and influential technology investors globally, Thursday said it will likely invest only half or even a quarter of what it did last year this year.

Son’s comment confirms what the boot ecosystem in India and globally has long been expected – a
slowdown in big-ticket financing driven by macroeconomic factors and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis.

One of its presentation slides, after the company announced its final quarter results, indicated that “defense” would be the Japanese fund’s strategy for now.

“The investment peak was in Q1, but there was a huge slowdown in Q4. Compared to the investment amount made last year, I would say the new investment amount will be half or it could be as small as a quarter, “Son said in a post-earnings phone call in Tokyo, adding that loan to value. (LTV levels as well) and investment opportunities will play a role in deciding where to put capital.

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SoftBank will not only slow its investment pace, it will also spend more time on due diligence and have stricter criteria for new investments, Son said.

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SoftBank’s “defense” strategy comes as its Vision Fund posted a record loss of $ 26 billion for the year. Tiger Global, another aggressive tech investor, reports a
loss of $ 17 billion due to global technology sell-off, The Financial Times recently reported. “We are more cautious when it comes to the pace of new investments. I believe other private investors are doing that too,” Son said. “We should take a defensive stance right now.”

Among its listed portfolio companies, SoftBank recorded an unrealized loss of $ 600 million in fiscal 22 from its $ 1.4 billion investment in payment company Paytm. The company, which made its public market debut last November, has seen its own
the shares drop by more than 70% from the issue price of Rs 2,150. But the parent of Policybazaar PB Fintech, which went public the same week as Paytm, reported an unrealized gain of $ 300 million over the same period on a $ 100 million investment from SoftBank.

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