SoftBank Group on Monday reported a record 1.4 trillion yen ($13 billion) operating loss in the January-March quarter as the value of its tech bets via the $100 billion Vision Fund crumbled.
The tech and telecoms conglomerate’s disastrous result, caused by a 1.9 trillion loss at the Saudi Arabian-backed fund, compared with a group operating profit of 495 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.
The fund’s $75 billion investment in 88 startups was worth $69.6 billion at the end of March, after booking losses on U.S. office space sharing firm WeWork and U.S. ride hailing firm Uber.
Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s strategy of fronting huge sums of cash and pushing for breakneck growth had already delivered two consecutive quarters of losses at the fund before being upended by the coronavirus outbreak.
The heavily indebted SoftBank has leveraged its bets to supply further funds to its investing juggernaut – a strategy that is coming under growing strain as valuations tumble.