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SoftBank Mobility Strategies, 2030

·3-min read

SoftBank, with its $100 billion Vision Fund, has created the biggest investment cycle in history and has given start-ups a head start to launch their technology. Investments are focused on futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, and mobile applications across various sectors.

New York, Jan. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "SoftBank Mobility Strategies, 2030" -

AI will play an important role in auto technology is the central theme of SoftBank’s investment strategy. SoftBank has invested in all of the key technologies that will constitute the future mobility ecosystem, ranging from fintech and health tech to heavy logistics. The automotive sector is the biggest investment segment for Vision Fund, with more than 40% of the total raised capital. SoftBank’s $33 billion investment in auto tech has dwarfed all of the capital funds in the automotive industry, making it biggest fund size of all the time; shared mobility and mobility-related services constitutes more than 50% of the invested capital. SoftBank is either the biggest shareholder in regional shared mobility companies or is present through Uber. The controlling stake in ride sharing competitors has allowed SoftBank to drive consolidation in this space, resulting in the emergence of local leaders. Uber, Didi Chuxing, Fair, Grab, and Ola have secured some of the biggest investments from SoftBank, which enabled them to expand their business geographically, invest in product development, and acquire start-ups complementing their business. SoftBank invested billions of dollars so these companies flourish without going public for a long time. These strategic investments are expected to reinforce the company’s plan of building one player per sector per region, thus controlling the root of modern technology living.SoftBank has also invested in connected and self-driving vehicle technologies. The company has partnered with Toyota to form a joint venture called MONET, whose objective is to bring together SoftBank’s IoT technologies and Toyota’s autonomous vehicle platform to enable on-demand services such as mobility, logistics, and sales starting in Southeast Asia. Toyota’s E-pallet vehicle’s modular interior design will facilitate its use for various services such as mobile food preparation and shuttling people and packages.However, some of its decisions have become classic examples of governance failure. In 2019, SoftBank had the biggest loss in operating since its inception. The loss came from its Vision Fund and Delta Fund, which had falling value of some of the portfolio companies such as WeWork , Slack, and Uber. This loss from Vision Fund also led to SoftBank group recording its first financial loss in 15 years, Vision Fund lost $16.7 billion, which led to a stock price decline of 3.2% for SoftBank. The current statistics for SoftBank investments are not as expected, and the company is also facing pressure from limited partners to improve return on their investment. SoftBank is expected to take the lessons from these incidents and redesign strategy to maintain its position.This study aims to highlight the current place and importance of SoftBank in the automotive industry. The study focuses on SoftBank’s current and future investments in auto tech companies. It also looks into some of the major companies backed by SoftBank and highlights consolidation happening among these, and analyzes the potential of SoftBank to become one of the major influencers in automotive strategies. The study also states the challenges pertaining to SoftBank’s operations and the impact on the automotive industry.
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