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WeWork and Uber are giving SoftBank a black eye, but that doesn't mean Vision Fund II is in trouble, experts say (UBER)

Date published: 2019-09-10
Originally published: Here. Excerpt below.


Uber and WeWork's well-publicized struggles with public investors may not be a good look for SoftBank, their deep-pocketed backer. But for now, the fallout of those disappointments is likely to be limited, venture capital experts say.
Investors far and wide still have plenty of capital floating around and are constantly looking for ways to invest it, venture industry experts told Business Insider. Venture funds in general still offer an attractive investment, particularly in a time of low and decreasing interest rates. And for investors sitting on massive amounts of money, few institutions have the scale to deploy as much capital as SoftBank has shown with its $100 billion Vision Fund, the experts said.
At its base, investing is a supply-and-demand game, and right now, there's a lot of supply in terms of capital, said Dan Malven, a managing director at 4490 Ventures.
"These entities that have so much capital to put somewhere, what are their alternatives?" Malven said. "At that scale, capital is a commodity. It flows to wherever investor returns are."
SoftBank's taken a hit recently on some of its own investments. Last week, CNBC reported that the Japanese conglomerate's stake in Uber was worth $600 million less than what the company had paid for it thanks to the big drop in the ride-hailing firm's shares since its initial public offering in May. Uber's stock closed at $32.24 on Monday, down 28% from its $45 IPO price.
Meanwhile, WeWork is considering taking a massive haircut to its valuation in an effort to go public. Facing pushback from potential public investors over its huge losses and questionable governance, the company is considering accepting a market capitalization of between $15 billion $20 billion in an initial public offering — assuming it goes public at all, according to The Financial Times. In its last private funding round — a $4 billion investment by SoftBank in January — the coworking giant was valued at $47 billion.
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