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SoftBank Ventures Asia, founded in 2000, is a subsidiary of SoftBank Korea and part of the SoftBank Group. It is SoftBank’s early stage venture arm, with a geographical focus in Asia, the US, Europe and Israel. It was previously known as SoftBank Ventures Korea.SoftBank Ventures Asia links early-stage startups with SoftBank’s wider network of partners and businesses, which include Yahoo Japan and Alibaba (both of which SoftBank has stakes in), components manufacturers ARM and nVidia, and Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia, which SoftBank has invested in. Outside of its focus areas of AI, robotics and IoT, SoftBank Ventures has invested in companies like sports analytics company bepro11, telehealth service Alodokter, and property rental management Mamikos.

Founded by the charismatic Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group Corp is a multinational conglomerate with assets totaling about $342bn in 2020. SoftBank is best known in Japan for its mobile phone network and distribution business, and it was the sole distributor of the Apple iPhone in Japan until 2011. SoftBank also has subsidiaries in online gaming, publishing, and energy, and owns stakes in Alibaba Group and Sprint.Outside of Japan, SoftBank is known for its venture capital investments. In October 2016, it teamed up with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to lead a $100bn tech fund, named Vision Fund. Through Vision Fund, SoftBank has made some major high-profile investments into tech companies, such as TikTok developer ByteDance, e-commerce platforms like Coupang, Tokopedia and Flipkart, and coworking operator WeWork.

SoftBank announced its second Vision Fund of about $108bn in July 2019 to invest in technology startups across the world. SoftBank had originally planned to contribute $38bn to the new fund. However, its Vision Fund I was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and losses resulting in lower valuations of its investments in Uber and WeWork.In February 2020, the Japanese conglomerate decided to inject more money into the Vision Fund II before raising new funds from other LPs. With $10bn committed to the second fund by the SoftBank Group, the new fund has now invested in 13 portfolio companies including co-leading the Series C round for XAG in November 2020.

A joint US$50 million venture capital fund by SoftBank and Indonesian telecommunications company Indosat. The fund, founded in 2014, invests in companies based in Indonesia.

Established in 2000 and led by Chauncey Shey (Xue Cunhe), the SoftBank-backed VC/PE firm manages over US$2 billion, focusing on companies in the TMT, cleantech, healthcare, consumer/retail and advanced manufacturing sectors. Notable investments include Alibaba, Focus Media Holding, Wanguo Data, Shenwu Group, GDS, PPLive and Yooli.

TPG-SV China Ventures is a joint investment venture established in September 2018 by SoftBank Ventures Korea and private equity group TPG. With a fund of $300m, the VC is managed by TPG’s China team in the TMT industry and seeks early-stage investment opportunities in internet, technology and media.  

Grand China Capital is a Beijing-based venture capital firm. It invests mainly in media, entertainment, sports, tourism, and smart manufacturing sectors. It provides businesses with services such as financial investment, strategic consulting and data-based marketing. Grand China Capital co-launched a RMB 2 billion fund with Japan's SBI Group (previously known as Softbank Investment Co., Ltd) in September 2018 to drive tech development in the Asia Pacific region.

Joe Zhou graduated from Beijing University of Technology in 1982 and worked five years as a lecturer at his alma mater. In 1987, he went to study in the US and obtained a master’s at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1989. He stayed in New Jersey and worked for five years at AT&T Bell Labs and its spin-off Lepton Inc.In 1995, Zhou returned to work in China as the VP of UTStarcom China until 1999 when he joined Softbank China Venture Capital as the head of its Beijing office. In October 2001, he became a partner at Softbank’s SAIF for five years. In 2007, he became a founding managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China. In April 2008, he co-founded Keytone Ventures as managing partner.

Based in New York City, Lerer Hippeau mainly invests in seed and early-stage startups based in the US. Founded in 2010 by managing partners Kenneth Lerer, Ben Lerer and Eric Hippeau, the VC operates several funds offering initial investments of $1m per startup. Kenneth Lerer is the co-founder of Huffington Post and longtime chairman of BuzzFeed. Hippeau was the CEO of Huffington Post and ex-managing partner of Softbank Capital that invested in Huffington Post.Its 400+ startups also get support for business growth by tapping into tech ecosystems like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Its 80+ exits include Giphy (GIF) that was acquired by Facebook and home-fitness studio Mirror acquired by Lululemon. However, the IPO by portfolio company Bed-in-a-box online retailer Casper was below market expectations. The loss-making e-commerce unicorn went public at $12 a share in February 2020, closing at $13.50 on its first day out, for a market capitalization of less than half the $1.1 billion Casper was valued at in a private funding round in 2019.

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