WeWork was one of the unluckiest companies last year after its plan to become public sank the ship, resulting in its former founder stepping down from his post. But did you know that apart from him and the workspace business, one of those that got badly hit by this was investor SoftBank?
Particularly, it was Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s CEO, that had greatly suffered from the entire brouhaha. According to the Billionaires Index of Bloomberg, his net worth is $14.1 billion, which makes him the third richest man in Japan, next to Tadashi Yanai, clothing brand Uniqlo founder, and Takemitsu Takizaki, Keyence founder, respectively.
While Masayoshi is still known for being one of the wealthiest, he is also known for his bad investment decisions, the most recent example of which is WeWork. SoftBank put up the Vision Fund years ago with the goal of investing $100 billion in promising and budding tech brands.
This could have been a good thing for SoftBank had it been wise in investing. But the sad truth is that it didn’t – startups it funded ended up losing money because they failed to become public, which could have been instrumental in repaying the firm.
It is also worth noting that Masayoshi’s current net worth was a far cry from what the $76 million he used to have. It also came to a point when the figure sank to a relatively meek $1.1 billion, which means he previously lost somewhere around $75 billion.
Despite the massive blows on Masayoshi, he managed to stand up and rebuild SoftBank from the rubbles. But despite this, the 62-year-old, who has a $22-percent stake in the company, is sitting anew on top of what seemed like major losses for the firm.
In an interview in October, just a couple of months after WeWork’s failed IPO plans made the rounds, the entrepreneur admitted he was embarrassed by what was happening to the companies SoftBank had invested in.
Under its Vision Fund, it allocated $7.6 billion to ride-hailing service Uber in 2018, making SoftBank the biggest shareholder of the company. However, a lot has happened and the value of the stocks has fallen by a third – of course, the losing team here is the investment firm.
SoftBank is facing at least a $600-million loss from Uber and another $4 billion from WeWork, which was once regarded as one of the most valuable companies.