The Wall Street Journal: SoftBank to lend its workers billions to invest in its giant VC fund
SoftBank Group is leaning on its employees, including Chief Executive Masayoshi Son, for cash as the firm rushes to raise an ambitious technology fund amid volatile markets.
The Japanese company plans to lend up to $ 20 billion to its employees to buy stakes in its second giant venture-capital fund, people familiar with the matter said. Son may account for as much as $ 15 billion of that amount, some of the people said.
It is an unusual setup that would doubly expose SoftBank 9984, +1.33% to a startup economy that is starting to show cracks.
At $ 20 billion, the employee pool would represent nearly a fifth of the money that SoftBank said in July it had lined up for its second Vision Fund, a successor to a $ 100 billion fund that launched in 2017 and is nearly spent. Adding in its own contribution to the second fund of $ 38 billion, SoftBank could make up more than half of the money raised, far more than is typical for a fund sponsor.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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