Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 11 News List

SBGC invests US$2bn in ride-hailing giant Didi

Bloomberg

Softbank Group Capital Ltd (SBGC), the investment arm of Masayoshi Son’s technology empire, contributed US$2 billion to last month’s record fundraising by Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行).

SBGC invested the money in Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc (小桔快智), the formal name for Didi, according to a filing with the British Companies House.

In the previous month, it invested US$150 million in entities connected to investment bank Raine Group LLC, including its parent.

THE NEXT ALIBABA?

Didi’s US$5.5 billion funding last month was the latest to be backed by Son’s company as he seeks to find his next Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), an investment that has delivered a paper profit of about US$85 billion.

Other investments made by SBGC include US$300 million in WeWork Cos, US$63.5 million in SB Energy Holdings Ltd and US$75 million for Zymergen, a biotechnology company based in California, the filing showed.

VISION FUND

Son has been trying to close the US$100 billion Softbank Vision Fund to spearhead future technology investments.

Softbank Group Corp has said it would contribute US$25 billion to the fund, Saudi Arabia is putting in US$45 billion and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co is reportedly planning to invest as much as US$15 billion.

Apple Inc, Qualcomm Inc and Oracle Corp chairman Larry Ellison might invest US$1 billion each, people familiar with the matter have said.

SBGC and representatives for Didi did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Companies House filing did not specify if other arms of Softbank Group contributed funds to the investments, or how they relate to the Vision Fund.

The filing also showed that SBGC recorded a gain of US$1.1 billion on the sale of its stake in Supercell Oy.

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