Investments

SoftBank’s Second Vision Fund Invests In Two Companies

SoftBank’s Second Vision Funds Invests In Two Companies

SoftBank’s second Vision Fund has invested in two companies, artificial intelligence company Behavox and healthcare-facing company Karius, according to Reuters.

The fund put $100 million into Behavox, which is based in New York, and $165 million into Karius, which is based in California.

SoftBank has been dealing with losses from its first Vision Fund, which invested in ride-hailing companies and coworking company WeWork.

It reported the second consecutive quarter of losses, which caused CEO Masayoshi Son to tamper down his second fund. Although the capital injections are smaller than is normal by SoftBank standards, the second fund is apparently doubling down on medical companies.

It recently also invested in Roivant Sciences, a drugmaker, and Vir Biotechnology, which is a drug developer focused on infectious diseases.

Karius is a company that blood tests difficult-to-diagnose infections. The company said it would use the money to continue its commercial outreach and fund its clinical research.

“Softbank’s healthcare team is very experienced, and we actually learnt a lot through the diligence process through their questions,” said Karius CEO Mickey Kertesz. “I anticipate they [Softbank’s healthcare team] will add a lot of value beyond the financial resources we have secured.”

Karius is already using its testing in over 100 hospitals. The company uses technology that was previously part of looking at the way cancer progressed to help detect pathogens, like bacteria and fungi.

In Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Bill Muller said the test is used for patients who are at a high-risk for infections that aren’t easy to diagnose by other methods. He said a hospital probably uses the test between five and 10 times a month. Karius said the test costs about $2,000.

Karius is valued at more than $700 million, according to a filing in the state of Delaware, but the company won’t publicly comment on its valuation.

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