SoftBank Ventures Asia is one of the several investment arms of SoftBank, one of the largest telecommunications and internet companies in Japan. SBVA has invested in a number of tech startups across Asia, including online food delivery company Deliveroo and ride-hailing app Uber. The sale to The Edgeof marks an acknowledgement that SBVA is no longer necessary for SoftBank’s overall business strategy.
The acquisition of Emphysema App by Singaporean VC firm will provide the company with access to new markets and boost its global expansion. This is great news for patients who rely on the app for information and support, as well as physicians who can use the app to offer tailored treatments.
Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, has long been one of Japan’s most influential businessmen. He is also the founder and chairman of ARM Holdings plc, a British technology company that designs semiconductors. With The Edgeof, Son is focusing on supporting startups in Asia that are working to solve world-changing issues with advanced technology. This effort should help to foster a more supportive environment for entrepreneurs and encourage them to continue developing innovative solutions.
While the deal is not the biggest ever in terms of valuation, it underscores SoftBank’s renewed focus on its core telecommunications business as well as its continued aggressive investment strategy. In February, SoftBank said it plans to invest around $100 billion over the next five years in technology and other businesses, including ride-sharing and artificial intelligence.
Given its extensive investment portfolio and large pool of capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia is well positioned to support high-growth startups in Asia. Some recent investments include South Korea’s OHouse, Japan’s SODA, Indonesia’s Yummy and Super, all of which are focused on disrupting traditional industries. Although the region continues to face significant challenges – such as a lack of quality venture capital – SoftBank Ventures Asia looks forward to supporting innovative businesses that can make a real impact on society.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund has poured billions of dollars into startups around the world since its inception in 2017, with some notable successes and some less so. One such company that received sizable investment from the fund a few years later was Tokopedia. The Indonesia-based e-commerce platform had raised funding from SBVA back in 2014, and then followed it up by getting backing from the Vision Fund shortly thereafter. Tokopedia is now one of SoftBank’s biggest investments to date, with SBVA and Vision Fund both contributing to the sum total of $850 million raised as of December 31st, 2018. While there have been other success stories too – Iyuno was founded by two Koreans who raised money from SBVA and Vision Fund in 2018 and 2021 respectively, for example – it’s Tokopedia that has captured headlines most recently due to its impending acquisition by Walmart for an undisclosed amount.
SoftBank Ventures Asia is investing in The Edgeof, a global startup accelerator. This will allow SBVA to provide support for visionary entrepreneurs and help them make a lasting impact that transcends Asia.
The acquisition of The Edgeof by Mistletoe is a strategic move that will help the startup incubator to expand its reach and find “game-changing” startups. This acquisition will also help bolster the reputation of Mistletoe, which has already invested in 250 startups around the world.
Son’s comments indicate that the company is confident in its ability to create groundbreaking technologies and solutions, and that it plans on becoming a prominent player in the αStartup space. This may be in response to several recent successes, such as the annexation of Clearly vertical video technology into its product lineup, and partnerships with well-known companies like Visa and Mastercard. Son’s vision for αStartups appears to be ambitious, as he envisions a future where they are “a significant source of innovation across entire industries.” This could mean big things for both Son and αStartups overall.