SoftBank led 25% of the UK’s fintech investment last year

SoftBank led 25% of the UK’s fintech investment last year

SoftBank’s mega-investments made a splash in markets around the world last year, including in the UK’s burgeoning fintech sector: The Japanese company’s $100 billion Vision Fund led two deals that accounted for a quarter of the capital raised by the country’s financial startups.

SoftBank’s outsize transactions in tech companies have raised questions about valuations and whether some firms in its portfolio have too much money. The Vision Fund invested $800 million in Greensill and $440 million in OakNorth, two London-based business lenders, according to industry group Innovate Finance. Those investments made up 25% of the $4.9 billion raised by financial startups (Quartz member exclusive) in Britain last year.

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SoftBank’s outsize transactions in tech companies have raised questions about valuations and whether some firms in its portfolio have too much money. The Vision Fund invested $800 million in Greensill and $440 million in OakNorth, two London-based business lenders, according to industry group Innovate Finance. Those investments made up 25% of the $4.9 billion raised by financial startups (Quartz member exclusive) in Britain last year. Misra told a conference in Abu Dhabi that a dozen or more of its investments could seek IPOs during the next 18 months.

Greensill and OakNorth, meanwhile, say they can handle their tall stack of SoftBank cash. “Our goal is to continue to be profitable but at extremely high growth rates,” said Joe Hyland, chief marketing officer at working-capital lender Greensill. “Having the money and having all this dry powder in reserves for international expansion, for acquisitions, is really important,” he said at the Innovate Finance event in London this week. “If you’re focused on growth and focused on being a market leader, the more money you have the better.”

Despite the benefits—plenty of capital and lots of connections—has SoftBank’s investment become a distraction? The CFO at OakNorth, which lends to small- and medium-size companies, said it really depends on whether the money is being spent wisely and alters the company’s outlook. “Me, as a CFO, I haven’t changed my mindset,” she said.

Author: John Detrixhe
Source: QUARTZ
URL: https://qz.com/1801554/softbanks-vision-fund-led-25-percent-of-uk-fintech-investment-last-year/




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