SoftBank Group’s technology investment arm, Arm Holdings, made a resounding entry into the public market on Thursday, with its stock surging nearly 25% above its Nasdaq debut price, propelling its market valuation to an impressive $65 billion.
SoftBank’s astute bet on Arm Holdings has proven to be a lucrative endeavor, as the company’s shares commenced trading on Thursday, catapulting its market capitalization to a remarkable $93 billion. This success adds to SoftBank’s track record of strategic investments in burgeoning tech enterprises.
Among SoftBank’s notable investments is ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant recognized for its viral short video app, TikTok. PitchBook data reveals ByteDance first piqued SoftBank’s interest in 2018, boasting a valuation of $75 billion. In March of this year, SoftBank partially divested its stake at an impressive valuation of $220 billion. Despite heightened scrutiny from Beijing and U.S. concerns regarding data security, ByteDance remains resolute in denying any data sharing with Chinese authorities.
Additionally, SoftBank made significant inroads in the Indian e-commerce landscape by acquiring a $2.5 billion stake in Flipkart in 2017. Subsequently, SoftBank lucratively parceled out a portion of its holdings to American retail giant Walmart. July saw SoftBank’s renewed vigor in Flipkart with an augmented investment of $3.6 billion, elevating Flipkart’s valuation to $37.6 billion. The company is said to be exploring the prospect of a U.S. IPO offering, potentially materializing in 2023, with an anticipated valuation of up to $70 billion, although no official confirmation has been released.
In the realm of Latin American investments, SoftBank’s Latin American Fund secured a modest stake in Mexican used-car platform Kavak in 2019, later augmenting its holdings as Kavak surged past the $1.15 billion threshold, becoming Mexico’s inaugural tech unicorn. Presently, Kavak commands a valuation of $8.7 billion, with aspirations of a public listing within the next three years.
Rounding out SoftBank’s ventures is PayPay, a mobile payments service provider in Japan enjoying SoftBank’s patronage. The company is presently eyeing a valuation of $6.8 billion and considering a U.S. listing, predicated on the higher valuations attainable in that market compared to Japan. The timing, however, remains uncertain, as PayPay has yet to demonstrate a definitive path to profitability.
Overall, SoftBank Group maintains its influential position with a diverse portfolio, where investments, including the Arm Holdings stock surging 25%, stand on the precipice of imminent triumph or patiently await their turn in the spotlight. The remarkable debut of Arm Holdings, alongside ByteDance’s resilient stance against regulatory hurdles, Flipkart’s promising path to a potential IPO, Kavak’s ambitious drive for a public listing, and PayPay’s pursuit of a U.S. presence, collectively signal a bright future for SoftBank-backed ventures, affirming the security, promise, and enduring potential inherent in the conglomerate’s investments.