SoftBank Lost Billions Gambling On WeWork: Now They’re Taking A Handful Of Their Porfolio Companies Public.

People walk by a SoftBank shop in Tokyo, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. said Monday it restored its profitability in the last quarter as its investments improved in value. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Following a couple of tough years and a recent turnaround, SoftBank Group Corp. is apparently hoping to keep its comeback momentum going with speculation that the company is looking to take at least six of its portfolio companies public this year.

According to an article in Bloomberg, the startups heading toward initial public offering could include South Korean e-commerce pioneer Coupang Corp., Indonesian online mall operator PT Tokopedia and China’s mobile transportation giant Didi Chuxing.

Following a rough start to 2020, Masayoshi Son’s technology conglomerate rebounded to its highest value since the dot.com boom in March 2000. SoftBank began the year looking to recover from a disastrous IPO for WeWork, which saw its valuation plummet from the start.

Son has said he felt “foolish” for investing in WeWork. In efforts to revive the struggling company, SoftBank reportedly poured close to $20 billion into WeWork under Son’s leadership. As the coronavirus pandemic began, SoftBank’s turnaround began thanks to successful offerings from DoorDash Inc. and KE Holdings.

A sales blitz of investment assets helped aid the company’s comeback, as SoftBank sold stakes in T-Mobile and Alibaba on its way to raising more than $50 billion, which Son then used to buy back his own company’s shares.

With around 100 startups in SoftBank’s portfolio, the company is poised to continue to improve, especially if demand for IPOs stays strong.

The pandemic-driven 2020 proved to be a roller-coaster ride for SoftBank, as it saw its value cut in half and then rebounded to record profits. Son will look to make 2021 a little less dramatic as he continues to distance himself and his company from the WeWork IPO that did not work.

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