The Vision Fund, a venture capital arm of SoftBank, has launched a sweeping layoff process, cutting at least 30% of its workforce globally, or approximately 150 of the 500 employees, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The news comes nearly two months after SoftBank chief executive officer and founder Masayoshi Son said the company would review the organization’s size and structure and that it planned to do some cost-cutting due to a record 3.2 trillion JPY (about $23.4 billion) loss in the three months ended in June.
It is unclear which regional offices would be affected by the layoffs. The London-headquartered VC firm has offices in the U.S. and Asia. SoftBank declined to comment when reached by TechCrunch.
The majority of SoftBank’s record loss — approximately $17.3 billion — ties to the Vision Fund, which has backed more than 470 startups globally in the past six years. Son also said during SoftBank’s earning report in August that some unicorn founders are unwilling to accept lower valuations in fresh funding, which has led him to believe the winter may be longer for unlisted startups. During the earnings call, the Japanese tech firm said it had marked down 284 of its portfolios in the latest quarter, including listed corporations and still-private startups.
SoftBank recently cut the valuation of its portfolio company Oyo to $2.7 billion, for example; the India-based hotel chain startup is months away from its IPO. In another major readjustment, Klarna, a SoftBank-backed firm, raised $800 million in new financing in July a $6.7 billion valuation, down from the $45.6 billion valuation that SoftBank assigned the company a year ago.
Despite the massive losses, the Japanese tech conglomerate is reportedly considering launching a third Vision Fund, according to a recent WSJ piece.
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