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SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund had a no good, very bad year in 2019, but was still in the black overall. Here’s why experts are still struggling to make sense of it.

  • SoftBank’s Vision Fund had a terrible year last year, thanks in large part to the collapse of WeWork.
  • To a large degree, though, its overall performance since it was established in 2017 is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Despite last year, the fund was in the black overall at the end of last year, and its performance has improved since then.
  • But its returns to date have been subpar for the venture industry, and the struggles of WeWork and many of its other investments are a worrying sign, venture experts said.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund is the biggest venture capital vehicle ever created. Whether it’s succeeding in its mission, though, is open to interpretation.

The past six months have undoubtedly been awful. WeWork, at one time its crown jewel, nearly went bankrupt after failing to go public and is now worth about a sixth of what it was a year ago. WeWork and numerous other Vision Fund-backed companies have cut staff to try to staunch ongoing losses. Brandless shut down, Zume is a husk of its former self,

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