With bets on companies such as Uber and WeWork, SoftBank has become a tech investment powerhouse. But making money is not necessarily the end-all be-all when it comes to its investments, CNBC reported.
SoftBank Vision Fund’s Managing Partner for EMEA and Asia Munish Varma said at an event, according to the news outlet, “We look for businesses that are addressing very significant pain points.” He said that indicates firms that are “addressing markets that are massive, with a product that clearly satisfies their needs.”
At the same time, Varma emphasized that the fund looks to growth-stage firms. Those kinds of firms are not hurrying toward listings in the stock market. Varma spoke next to OakNorth Co-founder and CEO Rishi Khosla. While many tech firms haven’t made a profit yet, the company, per CNBC, “has been profitable since 2017.” But Varma noted that the fund is “not too focused on when a company makes a profit.” Instead, the fund is looking as to “whether the business makes sense.”
The news comes after it was reported in February that OakNorth Holdings announced that it had notched secured $440 million in funding from the Clermont Group along with the SoftBank Vision Fund. With the newest round, the company’s funding soared to more than $1 billion. OakNorth has lent more than $3.7 billion to U.K. businesses without a single default or late payment since its 2015 rollout, it was reported at the time.
The new funding was said to be used to roll out the company’s lending operations in the U.S. — Varma said at the time, “OakNorth is delivering a highly differentiated service to a key segment of the market that has historically been underserved by commercial banks.” Varma continued, “The company has a clear and ambitious vision to scale globally, and we are excited to work with them to achieve this goal.”