SoftBank Group Corporation’s Vision Fund could soon announce a deal with UK-based financing group Greensill Capital, as early as Monday this week. We know that the SoftBank Vision Fund wants to invest $800 million in Greensill, which will channel out supply chain funding to the companies it supports. In all, this investment actually values Greensill at about $3.5 billion—more than double the value from just a year ago—giving Vision Fund a stake of between 15 and 20 percent.
Greensill was founded in 2011 by former banking executive Lex Greensill. The firm is a specialist in financing supply chains, in which businesses raise the funding they need through backing by the payments they make to suppliers. This strategy seems to take traditional banks head-on, as classic funding only offers working capital finance to a handful of large clients. In just its first four years of business, Greensill managed to reach an annual growth rate of more than 100 percent.
SoftBank Group Corporation’s Vision Fund, on the other hand, was only set up a few years ago—in 2017—as a unit of Japan’s SoftBank. Despite its youth, SoftBank quickly reached the pinnacle of technology investment funds in the world. Vision Fund’s investments, so far, include big names like ride-hailing app pioneer Uber, as well as major chip designer ARM and shared workspace leader WeWork. Vision Fund is led by former Deutsche Bank and UBS debt trader, Rajeev Misra. He directly reports to SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son.
Son has been working to reform SoftBank’s focus from mostly telecommunications operation to, specifically, technology investment.
Greensill estimates that the vastly untapped market for working capital finance is around $55 trillion. With that, the Vision Fund’s investment will certainly help to speed up the process of expansion as well as develop new technologies that can make more capital accessible to clients. Also, the money will go towards speeding up the firm’s recent entry into Brazil as it continues to pursue breaking into other markets.