Masayoshi Son, who is the leader of the SoftBank Group leader, has set his sights on an ambitious new target for his investment corporation. His company owns a 15% stake on the ride-hailing giant Uber, and he is set to make upwards of $13 billion when Uber goes public later this month. But his ambitions lie more than his exploits in the ride-hailing sector.
This entrepreneur from Japan has invested $60 billion across 40 companies in the transportation sector. The automotive sector is currently owned $3 trillion at the moment, but the paradigm of people owning their cars will shift towards a more service-oriented destination where people can avail transportation services with the help of a mobile app in the future. This includes ride-hailing services as well as car sharing and autonomous driving vehicles.
The extent of the investment of SoftBank has not yet been publicly known, but Masayoshi San aims to influence the massive transportation sector and play a part in steering how people interact with goods and services. Currently, SoftBank has partnered up with Toyota and Uber, but they will soon join forces with other multinational companies in their bid to dominate the transportation sector.
Uber’s IPO will help the company to reach a valuation of $100 billion, which means that SoftBank will be a significant beneficiary of this initial public offering as it invested $8 billion into Uber for a 15% stake in 2008. This will enable Son to further increase his foothold in the industry and raise more funds for his future investments in the mobility sector.
The Japanese automaker Toyota approached SoftBank with a partnership offering, and SoftBank obliged as it signed an MOU in March of 2018. Both the companies are looking to invest in mobility services and autonomous driving technology with their partnership. SoftBank and Toyota are also looking to invest $1 billion into Uber’s self-driving unit, but this deal has not yet been finalized. Both the companies are now looking aggressively into introducing self-driving for the Japanese market.
SoftBank’s investment portfolio is very diverse, and already started several arms of the company to invest further into a diverse set of holdings. Its Vision Fund has a total budget of $100 billion. The deep pockets of SoftBank, coupled with an aggressive investing strategy and a sweeping vision for the future of transportation has given the leader of SoftBank Masayoshi Son a great influential power to reshape the entire transportation industry.
The Vision Fund has employed 30 professionals who are working tirelessly to promote cohesion and integration among the different companies it has made investments in. SoftBank believes that if their companies talk to each other, it would promote an accelerated environment of greater cooperation and further development among its entities.
SoftBank has investments in Didi, Ola, and Grab along with Uber. It has made a huge investment into the self-driving arm of GM, which is called Cruise. The investment company is the largest shareholder across the ride-hailing giants who dominate the Asian and North American markets.