SoftBank's investment damage could top $5B

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son Says'Embarrassed And Flustered By Track Record Report

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son Says'Embarrassed And Flustered By Track Record Report

"The results still have a long way to go and that makes me embarrassed and impatient", Son said in an interview with Nikkei Business.

"No longer too long ago, I've been telling founders to 'know your limit, '" Son said.

Two of SoftBank's flagship investments, Uber and WeWork, have both been disappointing recently.

Workplace rental start-up Wework - which has been handed $10bn by SoftBank - has suffered a shocking change in fortune because it introduced it could go public in August.

Son says he's now warning founders that they can't do everything. Softbank invested almost $US11 billion into the co-working company, which was once privately valued at $US47 billion. "Figuring out your boundaries might well more than seemingly well well lend a hand unleash limitless possibilities". Neumann, the charismatic yet controversial former CEO, helped WeWork score massive investment's like SoftBank's, but has also been a source of scandal for WeWork, and was partially blamed for the cancelled IPO.

Investor scepticism about the path to profitability for Vision Fund's investments in money-losing startups such as Uber Technologies UBER.N and Slack Technologies WORK.N has led to a market sell-off, with SoftBank Group shares on Monday closing down 30% from their July peak. His US$100 billion Vision Fund also holds stakes in some of the world's biggest technology startups, a portfolio that ranges from ride-hailing and genomics to vertical farms and satellites.

At this point, Son taking the reins from spend-happy executives is understandable, given the negative impact their marquee companies have had on SoftBank's own stock trading, which has dropped by 31% since April.

"It only just began and I feel there is tremendous potential there", Son told Nikkei Business. He claims that he has a 30-year plan, but also has ideas looking as far ahead as 300 years in the future. The strategy is to invest in companies that share his vision of a world being reshaped by artificial intelligence, he said.

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