Investments

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 Could Back Burger Maker, Pharma Delivery Firm

SoftBank

SoftBank Group Corp. is making investment plans for its second Vision Fund, Bloomberg reported.

Sources have said that the Japanese conglomerate is reportedly in talks about funding Alto Pharmacy, a pharmaceutical delivery startup; Creator, which is focused on robotic burger-making; and Memphis Meats, a maker of lab-grown meat. It is still raising money for the new fund, which is expected to be larger than its first Vision Fund.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Memphis Meats and Alto Pharmacy all declined to comment, while Creator did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, SoftBank revealed that it was launching a second investment vehicle based on its $100 billion Vision Fund, which was created in 2016 after the firm made a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman to have the world’s biggest buyout operation. The Vision Fund has invested almost $70 billion in startups like Uber and WeWork.

Of Vision Fund 2’s possible investments, San Francisco-based Alto Pharmacy (previously ScriptDash) has raised the most in funding, with $104 million from investors to date. It raised $50 million late last year from investors, including Greenoaks Capital, Zola Global and Jackson Square Ventures.

Creator, previously known as Momentum Machines, has raised about $24 million to date, while Memphis Meats has raised about $20 million.

SoftBank had previously said that investors, including Apple, Microsoft, Mizuho Bank and others, would commit about $108 billion to its second Vision Fund. But that was before WeWork shelved its IPO after showing a $900 million loss in the first half of 2019, sparking worry over how it was being managed. SoftBank has already invested $10.65 billion in the company, and there have been reports that it is in advanced talks to take over the troubled startup.

As a result, some of the biggest backers of the first fund have reconsidered how much they want to invest into the second Vision Fund.

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