SoftBank’s funds post a $ 27 billion loss on the collapse of technology investments

The news went from bad to worse for SoftBank.

The Japanese conglomerate said Thursday that it had lost about $ 27 billion in its two Vision funds for the year ending March, as many of the major tech companies it invests in struggled amid rising inflation and concerns over blockades. of Covid in China.

The company lost a total of $ 13.2 billion for the fiscal year, the latest sign of its serious change in fortune just a year after announcing it made more money in a quarter than any Japanese company in history.

Soft bankThe eccentric founder of Masayoshi Son, for years grabbed the headlines for jaw-dropping purchases as he turned his company into a holding company for tech companies that looked set to explode. But those big bets have collapsed, as the lot of big-name start-ups the company has been betting its future on have been doing poorly in recent months.

Many of Mr. Son’s major public investments tumbled on a mix of American sales in tech companies and a Chinese regulatory crackdown that has been targeting the tech industry for more than a year.

Major investments in companies such as the Chinese transport app Didi Global and the South Korean e-commerce company coupang I’m soured. Both of these companies have seen their value nearly halved due to the recent market turmoil.

In anticipation of a tough earnings report, SoftBank shares fell roughly 8% in trading on Thursday. Mr. Son, who acknowledged the difficulties, also made an effort to take an optimistic outlook, arguing that investments in next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence will ultimately pay off.