SoftBank’s $100 billion tech fund opens HQ in London’s Mayfair
The SoftBank Vision Fund has opened offices in West London’s Mayfair, at 69 Grosvenor Street. Surrounded on all sides by luxury art galleries in one of the English capital’s most upmarket areas, it’s just a short walk to the city’s flagship designer fashion stores, or a brief stroll to Buckingham Palace.
The giant tech fund, revealed by Tokyo-based SoftBank in October, has hired 10 people for its London office and may hire several dozen more, according to a person familiar with the recruitment drive.
SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son also met with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday, and promised a $50 billion investment in American startups. Despite the U.S. interest by Son, London is set to be the global hub for the Vision Fund, the person familiar with the fund said. SoftBank already has an office in San Francisco.
Jonathan Bullock, chief operations officer of SoftBank International, and Alok Sama, SoftBank’s chief financial officer, have also been appointed senior advisers to the fund, and will predominately be based in London.
Rajeev Misra, head of strategic finance at SoftBank, has already been announced as leading the fund. Ex-Deutsche Bank AG banker Nizar Al-Bassam and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Dalinc Ariburnu are on board as advisers.
SoftBank’s new location in Mayfair is home to a swathe of luxury brands, but also hedge funds and private family offices, far removed from London’s main technology hub — known as Silicon Roundabout — in the East of the city.
The company is renting the space from an unnamed private investor, who took out a 125-year lease on 69 Grosvenor Street for 35 million pounds ($44.3 million) in March this year.
The investment vehicle — a joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — is currently in talks to raise the remaining $30 billion to meet its $100 billion target, according to a recent statement by Son.