Case study: Taking a look at SoftBank’s recent venture investments

The Japanese telecommunications and internet corporation SoftBank makes many of its investments via the SoftBank Vision Fund.

This fund counts several sovereign wealth funds and corporates among its investors. It is USD 93 billion strong, and targets a total volume of USD 100 billion. This makes it one of the, if not the, largest technology investment funds in the world.

We used our innovation analytics platform to identify venture investments in which SoftBank participated in 2017. We then grouped the investments into industry sectors.

In order to illustrate how human and machine capabilities can complement each other, we zoomed in on SoftBank’s cybersecurity investments. We used Sounil Yu’s Cyber Defense Matrix as an organizing principle, and used semantic models for classifying SoftBank’s investments into the matrix. The results of this classification suggest an investment focus on network security, with respect to the number and the respective sizes of investments. This network-focused approach may be a central element of risk mitigation for SoftBank’s other, network-reliant, investments.

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