Venture investors still aren’t sure what to make of SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund. Depending on who you ask, they’re either rooting for it, or gleeful that it’s struggling with WeWork and Uber.

  • The venture capital industry still isn’t sure what to think of SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, even as it suffered setbacks on its investments in WeWork and Uber.
  • Some in the industry blame the fund for inflating startup values and funding rounds; encouraging founders to focus on growth and ignore costs and losses, no matter how big; and setting off an unhealthy arms race in the venture capital world as firms raise ever larger funds.
  • Others think SoftBank has distorted the technology market and the startup ecosystem, inflating values, enabling poor financial discipline, and empowering companies with little inherent or sustainable competitive advantage.
  • It would be a good thing if the setbacks at those companies spurred SoftBank’s limited partners in the Vision Fund to scrutinize its investments more closely or forced it to scuttle its planned follow-on Vision Fund, said Greg Bohlen, a cofounder of Union Grove Venture Partners.
  • Despite the huge size of the Vision Fund, it’s not dominating the venture capital market or determining the overall trends, said Bullish’s Duda.
  • Generally, public market investors are looking for returns on a much shorter time scale than new startups can deliver, Libin said.

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