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SoftBank may cut startup investments by more than half this year

SoftBank may cut its startup investments this year by more than half, chief executive Masayoshi Son said on the earnings call Thursday, the latest high-profile investor to become vocally cautious about opportunities in the private markets amid a global slowdown. 

The move follows a bleak year of performance by the Japanese conglomerate, which reported a loss of about $29 billion on investments at its Vision Fund 1 and Vision Fund 2 for the year ending March 31. 

“It depends on our LTV levels and investment opportunities, and we strike balance, but I will say compared to last year, the amount of new investments will be half or could be as small as a quarter,” said Son, according to a company translator.

SoftBank joins a list of a number of investors including Tiger Global, Coatue and Dragoneer that have slowed down the pace of their investments — as well as the amount of capital they pour — in startups this year.

In the quarter ending March of this year, SoftBank says it invested $2.5 billion, considerably lower than $10.4 billion, $12.8 billion, $20.9 billion and $11.3 billion that it deployed in the quarters before that.

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