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SoftBank to Commit $40 Billion to Second Vision Fund: Report

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Tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp will invest $40 billion in its forthcoming second Vision Fund, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

SoftBank’s board will meet on Thursday to approve the commitment, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

While the first, $100 billion Vision Fund launched with $60 billion in backing from the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, SoftBank has pledged to launch its second even without such support as it markets the fund to potential investors.

The second fund has secured investment from Goldman Sachs Group and Standard Chartered, WSJ said.

Goldman hopes the commitment will help secure work on the growing number of SoftBank portfolio companies heading to the public markets, the report said. Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund will also invest, the WSJ said.

SoftBank, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered declined to comment.

Tokyo-based SoftBank can tout the 45 percent internal rate of return made by investors in the first fund’s common shares – albeit gains that are mostly on paper.

Since the first fund’s launch its biggest outside investor, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has been pulled further into domestic projects as the government runs a larger-than-expected deficit, potentially limiting its overseas ambitions.

While PIF is among existing investors in talks with SoftBank, any decision to invest in the second fund will be made only after assessing a formal proposal, a source familiar with the talks said.

With the first Vision Fund having burned though much of its cash in the two years since it launched with investments in more than 80 late stage tech startups, the fund’s manager is ramping up its staff numbers as it looks to manage the transition to the launch of the second fund.

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OnePlus Nord finally gets OxygenOS 11 with Android 11

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Although not really its flagship brand, the OnePlus Nord was definitely one of the company’s highlights last year. It came at an opportune time when people were looking towards mid-range phones due to a pandemic and a global economic crisis. The phone also came just months before Google rolled out Android 11 to the masses, which meant that owners of … Continue reading

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Walmart just dropped Express Delivery’s annoying restriction

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A few months after dropping its $35 minimum order requirement for its Walmart+ subscription, the retailer is back with a similar announcement: you can now get Express Delivery on any orders, not just ones that reach a $35 minimum threshold. The change doesn’t impact the delivery fee, however, so customers will still pay a premium for the service. Walmart’s Express … Continue reading

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Instagram Live Rooms opens video streaming space for four

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Instagram Live is getting support for up to four people in a single broadcast, doubling the number of participants as services like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces gain traction. Though not necessarily being pitched as an explicit rival to recent audio-focused hit Clubhouse, Instagram Live Rooms will make shared broadcasts much more straightforward. Launched back in 2016, Instagram Live was updated … Continue reading

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