FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) on Monday reported a record 1.4 trillion yen ($13 billion) operating loss in the April-March financial year 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 2 trillion 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 Technologies Inc (UBER.N).
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.
($1 = 107.1500 yen)
Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing