Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group at the SoftBank World 2018 event in Tokyo, Japan.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son would not call WeWork a lifesaver, saying instead that the latest financing allowed his company to drastically reduce the average share price it paid to a coaching company. However, he described it as an "exception" that will not be repeated.
SoftBank will not make bailout investments, "Son told investors Wednesday after the Japanese conglomerate reported its first quarterly loss in 1
Son acknowledged that he had made some mistakes in his investment strategy and acknowledged that the dramatic decline of WeWork in recent months has led some to question his judgment and viability. of the huge Vision Fund of SoftBank SoftBank recorded $ 374.7 billion ($ 3.4 billion) written off from its investment in WeWork about two weeks after taking 80% control of the company with a new $ 5 billion financing package.
WeWork was forced to pull off an IPO in late September because of mounting losses and a reluctance of public investors to fund the business. as Executive Chairman. Son said there would be no future bailouts for startups backed by SoftBank.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere (R) and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure pose for photos on the New York Stock Exchange floor, April 30, 2018.
Brandon McDermid | Reuters
The Vision Fund has invested about $ 80 billion in less than three years, relying on large and current private technology companies to expand as quickly as possible. In a conference call Wednesday, Son addressed concerns that the fund is experiencing more portfolio failures.
"Are there other similar concerns? In fact, yes, there is, "said Son. "Like dog walking companies and other portfolio companies, we can see similar issues occur."
While Son did not mention the name of the dog walking company, he mentioned SoftBank's $ 300 million investment in Wag, which is still struggling and is now investigating the sale.
SoftBank also lost its investment in Uber, which saw a 40% IPO in May to a record low on Wednesday. But some major investments in the Vision Fund are still underway. Son emphasized Slack's investment as a success story amidst the turmoil.
"In fact, they have increased about five times the amount we invested," Son said. He also said that SoftBank is doing well with its Guardant Health investment and participation in 10x Genomics.
"There are many who make us a profit," he said. "But market investors are still getting more careful."
SEE: SoftBank has been stuck since its first loss of 14 years