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SoftBank unit invested $2 billion in Didi’s record funding round

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-05-2017 Giles Turner

London/Hong Kong: SoftBank Group Capital Ltd, an investment arm of Masayoshi Son’s technology empire, contributed $2 billion to last month’s record fund-raising by Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.

SBGC invested the money in Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., the formal name for Didi, according to a filing with the UK’s Companies House. In the previous month, it invested $150 million in entities connected to investment bank Raine Group LLC, including its parent.

Didi’s $5.5 billion funding last month was the latest to be backed by Son’s company as he seeks to find his next Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, an investment that has delivered a paper profit of about $85 billion. Other investments made by SBGC include $300 million in WeWork Cos., $63.5 million in SB Energy Holdings Ltd and $75 million for Zymergen, a bio-technology company based in California, according to the filing.

Son has been trying to close the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund to spearhead future technology investments. SoftBank Group Corp. has said it will contribute $25 billion to the fund, Saudi Arabia is putting in $45 billion and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co. is said to plan investing as much as $15 billion. Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc. and Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison may invest $1 billion each, people familiar with the matter have said.

SoftBank and representatives for Didi at Brunswick Group didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Companies House filing didn’t specify if other arms of SoftBank contributed funds to the investments, or how they relate to the Vision Fund.

The filing also showed that SBGC recorded a gain of $1.1 billion on the sale of its stake in Supercell Oy. Bloomberg

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