After posting a US$17.7 Bn loss on the valuation of its portfolio companies, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is planning to cut its staff by 10 percent. Vision Fund currently has about 500 employees.
As per the report in Bloomberg, jobs across all levels could be impacted. Vision Fund, which is headquartered in London, also operates in Tokyo and California.
The fund has been struggling since WeWork shelved its initial public offering, which prompted SoftBank to offer a US$9.5 billion package to rescue the US-based co-working startup. The pandemic has further worsened the financial situation of some other companies SoftBank’s Vision Fund has invested in.
In the company’s latest earnings call, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son warned that 15 of its portfolio companies might go bankrupt, while some may make it to the other side.
“Vision Fund’s results are not something to be proud of,” Son said earlier this month as he announced record losses. “If the results are bad, you can’t raise money from investors. Things aren’t good, that’s why we are investing with our own money.”
The fund, led by Rajeev Misra, operates as a SoftBank affiliate with most of the money coming from limited partners, led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment.
“It makes sense that SoftBank is cutting positions at the Vision Fund as they are in an extremely difficult situation, and they may start targeting highly paid workers to cut costs,” said Koji Hirai, head of M&A advisory firm Kachitas Corp. in Tokyo. The pandemic has disrupted the world of work and the economy in such a way that a company that supports other emerging companies with funds is struggling to manage its own cost. It is a tough time for all and the tough decisions are now part of it.