SoftBank Group reported a near-total wipe out in quarterly profit on Wednesday, after the Japanese technology investor was whiplashed for a second consecutive quarter by losses at its $100 billion Vision Fund.
The dire result is likely to deepen concern about founder Masayoshi Son's ability to secure funding for a second Vision Fund, and give more ammunition to activist investor Elliott Management, which has recently emerged as a prominent shareholder.
The numbers are also the latest reminder of the inherent risk in Son's strategy of betting big on untested startups. The Vision Fund posted an operating loss of 225 billion yen ($2.05 billion) for October-December compared to 176 billion yen profit in the same period a year earlier. But Son, who is known for his ebullience and charisma said his company was already turning the corner.