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Jumping into Wall Street’s SPAC boom, this firm plans to lead a robotics and AI revolution.
SoftBank is the latest conglomerate to jump into the SPAC game as it aims to raise nearly $600 million to acquire groundbreaking tech companies. It recently launched its special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to meet this goal. But you can invest in SoftBank directly, through shares of companies it owns or through shares of the newly created SPAC called SVF Investment Corp.
What is SoftBank
SoftBank is a Japanese conglomerate currently valued at more than $200 billion. Its subsidiaries include major companies in broadband, finance and e-commerce. On December 21, 2020, SoftBank announced plans to raise millions through an IPO of its SPAC called SVF Investment Corp. According to an S-1 Filing with the SEC, this SPAC will aim to acquire leading companies in sectors like artificial intelligence, robotics and cloud-based technology.
Per its IPO, each SVF unit has an offering price of $10. SVF is sponsored by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which manages the Vision Fund. This investment vehicle is responsible for many of SoftBank’s major recent investments in the tech sector.
SoftBank was founded in 1981 as a Tokyo-based computer software company. Because software is known as “soft” in Japanese, the firm’s name translates to “bank of software.” Today, it’s led by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son. In recent years, SoftBank has been buying up numerous smaller companies and investing millions in others. Many of these focus on the tech sector.
For instance, SoftBank invested $780 million in Sinch, a Swedish cloud-based services provider, in December 2020.
How can I invest in SoftBank?
You can purchase SoftBank stock, which trades on the over-the-counter market under the ticker symbol “SFTBF.” You can also buy stock in some of the companies they’ve acquired or have a significant stake in. Here are some examples:
- ITMedia Inc.
- Vector Inc.
- Yahoo Japan
- Z Holdings
- ValueCommerce Co., Ltd.
- Alibaba Group Holding Limited
All you need to start buying stocks of these companies is a brokerage account. Because some of these companies are foreign, you may need an international brokerage account, which many major brokerages offer.
You can also invest in companies expected to launch an IPO through SoftBank’s newly created SPAC.
SoftBank has not yet acquired any companies through its SPAC, but we will update this page as news becomes available.
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SoftBank is an established conglomerate with several major companies already under its belt. But it expects to expand its portfolio by acquiring new high-performing firms through its newly minted SPAC. Like many SPACs, it plans to get these companies to go public quicker and more efficiently than traditional means. Once it does, you can use your brokerage account to buy shares of these companies.
Frequently asked questions
What companies has the SoftBank SPAC acquired?
As of January 2021, SVF has not acquired any companies. But it plans to acquire companies in:
- mobile communications technology
- artificial intelligence
- cloud technologies
- computational biology and other data-driven business models
- semiconductors and other hardware
- transportation technologies
- consumer internet
- financial technology
Can I invest directly in SoftBank?
Yes. SoftBank is a publicly traded company on the over-the-counter markets under the ticker symbol SFTBY. You can use a brokerage account and look up that symbol to purchase American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of softbank. ADRs are US-bank issued certificates that represent shares of a foreign stock.
Will SoftBank’s SPAC pay dividends?
As of January 2021, the newly launched SVF Investment Corp. has not paid any dividends. But the firm notes, “The payment of cash dividends in the future will be dependent upon our revenues and earnings, if any, capital requirements and general financial condition subsequent to completion of our initial business combination.”
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