Daily Management Review

SoftBank To Focus On Development Of Firms It Invested In, In The Middle East


Japanese investment firm SoftBank is now focusing on development of the companies that it has invested in the Middle East. There are a number of companies in the region that the firm has invested in through its $100 billion Vision Fund which had been created specifically for the region.
The details of the Vision Fund's spotlight on the Middle East were revealed by SopftBank during a panel discussion at the Fintech Abu Dhabi conference by a top executive from the firm. This is something new for SoftBank.
"We are working... to bring our portfolio of companies, where relevant, to the region so that they can actually set up local and regional businesses here and there are a number of our companies that have globally scalable models," Faisal Rahman, Middle Eastern regional office head at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said.
Money into SoftBank's Vision Fund have also been put into by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the country's sovereign wealth fund, and the Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala. SoftBank will coordinate with the two named agencies of the region for development and expansion of the companies that it is invested in which includes the likes of Uber and WeWorkm, Rahman said. But no specific companies were however named by him.
No major moves in the Middle East have yet been made by SoftBank. Rahman, an ex-Deutsche Bank executive, had been appointed by the firm just a few weeks ago. Typically, SoftBank invests in hundreds of millions of dollars in companies but the Middle East does not have such large companies yet.
SoftBank’s focus would be to first bring in the companies in its existing portfolio in the region, said Rehman when though the chances of the firm making large investments in the Middle East-based technology firms was not ruled out. "Our offices are here to facilitate that transition for those companies and set them up here."