The top 50: Rajeev Misra, CEO, SoftBank Investment Advisers
Japan-based telecommunications and internet conglomerate SoftBank’s first Vision Fund, the $98.6bn technology investment fund run by Rajeev Misra, was launched in 2017 and counted backing from SoftBank, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds Mubadala and Public Investment Fund, and corporate investors Apple, Foxconn, Sharp and Qualcomm.
Over the past three years, SoftBank has invested its own capital in the second Vision Fund, which is pursuing a more streamlined approach: the vehicle’s size now stands at $51bn.
The Vision Fund’s broad strategy has involved making long-term investments in the foundational platform businesses that will enable the next age of innovation by being active across a wide range of technology sectors from artificial intelligence to robotics and cloud technologies.
Data published in late 2021 showed that Vision Fund II had invested $33.5 billion in 157 startups, eight of which had already gained stock-market listings. Over the course the year, Softbank participated in 14 $100m-plus rounds. These included an investment of $400m in return for a 10% stake in US activewear brand Vuori in November 2021 as well as a role as lead investor in a $140m series A round for artificial intelligence startup Vianai Systems.
Misra, who grew up in India before moving to the US to study at University of Pennsylvania, joined SoftBank as head of strategic finance in 2014. His previous role was at global investment management firm Fortress Investments Group, where he had worked for less than a year. He now effectively owns his former employer as, in March 2018, SoftBank agreed to buy Fortress for $3.3bn.
His career has spanned derivatives, global markets, technology investments and dealmaking: as the New York Times noted, Misra has “the rare ability to reinvent himself”. As CEO of the SoftBank Vision Fund, the company summed up the expectations now on him: “We eagerly await his next success.”