I don’t’ think Softbank made a mistake by investing in WeWork1, If you are sitting on top of a $100 billion VC Fund, and you want to shop for startups., suddenly you would realize, that all of the ‘tech-startups niches’ are either too much saturated or dominated by very big players, leaving a little room for any disruption.
So where would you invest then., you have to look for startups, that are still looking promising and going through hyper-growth, so it made a perfect sense (as a late stage VC). And I guess it’s the very reason Softbank bought them out, It’s a great idea with too much growth.
However it ended up being a way more expensive deal for the Softbank than they would have anticipated and nearly lost $4.6 Billion as shown in their recent quarterly results, that reported a total loss of $6.5 Billion (Wework + Uber) www.bloomberg.com for the first time in 14 years, that’s a major setback to their aggressive investing strategy., and raising the successor to their first mega VisionFund.
Edited following the quarterly results posted by the SoftBank.
1. The only mistake Son made was, he invested in the startup not its founder. Always invest in founders first then their startup. This would serve as a great lesson for the VC community.