SoftBank's Huge Bet on Sports and Entertainment

    • SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 has been investing heavily in sports.
    • The fund backs some of the most influential companies in the industry.

Today's Action

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Japanese investment firm SoftBank launched its second Vision Fund in 2019, and since its inception, CEO Masayoshi Son and his team have invested heavily in sports and entertainment.

Vision Fund 2 — an encore to the $100 billion technology-focused Vision Fund 1 — raised an initial $40 billion of capital the year it debuted.

Funding rounds in the sports and entertainment space led by the newer fund total $2.6 billion so far in 2021. Here are some of the standouts:

  • SoftBank participated in a $100 million funding round for Fanatics-owned Candy Digital — the developer of Major League Baseball’s NFT marketplace.
  • It was the sole investor in a $400 million Vuori deal that valued the activewear company at $4 billion.
  • In August, it joined a $325 million round for Fanatics that valued the company at $18 billion.
  • Also on the list: a $680 million round for NFT soccer platform Sorare, a $300 million round for fitness wearables maker Whoop, and a $220 million round for at-home fitness company Tempo — all led by SoftBank.

Vision Fund 1 saw several high-profile tech companies — DoorDash, Slack, and Uber — go public. Vision Fund 2 could produce similar results for its sports-related businesses.

Want to learn more? Check out Front Office Sports Insights for the full analysis.