$45Billion Dollars In 45 Minutes: The Story of Masayoshi Son

19 January 2024

Masayoshi Son, the charismatic founder of SoftBank Group Corp., has a history of securing substantial investments for his ambitious ventures. In 2016, he famously convinced Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to invest in the Vision Fund, a massive technology-focused venture capital fund. This $45 billion infusion from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) was pivotal, as it constituted nearly half of the initial $100 billion fund, which at the time was unprecedented in scale for a tech-focused private equity fund.

The deal’s genesis can be traced back to Son’s reputation as a visionary entrepreneur with a knack for identifying and investing in high-potential tech companies. His track record includes an early bet on Alibaba, which turned into billions of dollars in profit for SoftBank. Son’s persuasive narrative about the future of technology, where artificial intelligence would play a central role, was compelling to investors seeking to diversify assets and capitalize on emerging technological trends.

Mohammed bin Salman, looking to modernize Saudi Arabia’s economy and reduce its dependence on oil, found alignment with Son’s vision. The Vision Fund, with its focus on cutting-edge technologies, presented an opportunity to foster innovation and potentially yield high returns. The partnership between Son and the Crown Prince was also strategic; it positioned Saudi Arabia as an influential player in global tech investment and provided SoftBank with the substantial capital needed to execute its grand plan.

Son’s ability to raise such a significant amount from Mohammed bin Salman is a testament to his exceptional negotiation skills, his foresight in technology trends, and the alignment of interests between SoftBank’s growth ambitions and Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification goals. The investment underscored the potential of technology to reshape economies and the willingness of traditional investors to embrace this shift under the guidance of a seasoned and future-oriented entrepreneur like Masayoshi Son.

Raising such capital is a near impossible feat and that’s why we celebrate Sustainability with brands like Masayoshis

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