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Masayoshi Son, SoftBank, and the $100 Billion Blitz on Sand Hill Road

The Japanese dealmaker says he’ll raise a new $100 billion fund every few years. Silicon Valley’s disruptors are struggling to keep up.
Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son

Photographer: Shoko Takayasu for Bloomberg Businessweek

Two years ago, Masayoshi Son, chief executive officer of SoftBank, sat in a Gulfstream jet high above the Arabian Gulf, en route to meet with potential investors in a new fund that would invest in technology startups. He was going through his presentation with Rajeev Misra, a key lieutenant, when something stopped him.

One of the slides included the proposed size of the fund: $30 billion. The figure would make the Vision Fund, as Son had named it, about four times the size of the largest venture capital fund ever created and bigger than any private equity fund in history.