Japanese billionaire and SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son didn’t do well in his personal cryptocurrency investing, reportedly losing more than $130 million.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, Son made the investment in bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency back in 2017 just as its price peaked. The executive reportedly made the purchase on the recommendation of a well-known bitcoin advocate. SoftBank bought the person’s investment firm in 2017, noted the report. The newspaper noted that while it’s not clear how much bitcoin Son purchased, he did sell at a loss early in 2018 after the price collapsed. When Son purchased bitcoin it was around $20,000 and now is trading above $5,000.
While Son is respected for his business sense, this isn’t the first time he made a risky investment. According to a CNBC report, Son is known as a person who will make multi-million dollar investments in companies after meeting with the founders or the CEO for a short period of time. SoftBank is currently valued at as much as $190 billion. Son’s investments in technology companies resulted in the launch of the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund.
SoftBank is eyeing technology investments around the globe, and in March it announced the launch of a $2 billion fund that will target technology companies in Latin America. SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure will be in charge of the fund, with SoftBank committing an initial $2 billion and serving as the new fund’s general partner. “There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in the region and I believe the business opportunities have never been stronger,” said Claure in a statement at the time. Claure is the executive chairman of SoftBank’s Sprint Corp. The new fund plans to invest in technology companies across Latin America, going after the same industries and sectors in which SoftBank already invests, including eCommerce, FinTech and healthcare.