For A Tech Investor, SoftBank Has Placed A Ton Of Money Into Real Estate
When Japanese technology firm SoftBank announced it would be raising $90B or more for its Vision fund the emphasis was on making big bets in the technologies that would define the future.
There was little indication that a massive part of its investment strategy would focus on real estate. In the past two years, SoftBank has invested more than $10B in real estate and real estate-related firms, through the Vision fund and its own balance sheet.
Here are its key investments.
SoftBank is one of the largest and most recent investors in flexible workspace giant WeWork. In August it invested $4.4B in WeWork, including $1.4B to fund the company’s expansion in Asia. The investment valued WeWork at $20B.
In January, SoftBank invested $865M in Katerra, the startup looking to shake up the construction sector with processes like factory-led construction and a vertically integrated business structure including design and procurement. The investment valued Katerra at $3B.
In December SoftBank invested $450M in online residential real estate sales and rental platform Compass. The investment valued Compass at $2.2B, making it one of the largest PropTech companies around.
In February 2017, SoftBank bought alternative investment fund manager Fortress for $3.3B. A big slug of Fortresses assets under management are in real estate in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Lendlease telecoms JV
In October, SoftBank and Lendlease ponied up $200M each to invest in cellphone towers across the U.S. That initial investment will buy 8,000 towers, with plans to grow the JV further.
At the smaller end of the scale, SoftBank was one of the investors in a $16M funding round for real estate data analytics firm Reonomy.