SoftBank is back with another set of Microsoft Paint-level graphics
SoftBank shares startup projections through more of its entertaining charts
Even if SoftBank disappoints its investors with its earnings, it has consistently done entertainingly well on one thing: earnings presentations with early-2000s formatting and Microsoft Paint-level Photoshopping, featuring graphs ending up and to the right.
The company lately decided to explain its projections around startups with more of its (in)famous charts during its earnings report Monday. Portfolio companies including ride-hailing company Uber and space-sharing company WeWork have struggled amid the coronavirus.
Here are a few startups galloping up a hill, fine as can be:
But suddenly, they come across a coronavirus trough:
One of the three survives, not as a unicorn, but as a flying pegasus—with no details on how exactly it plans to achieve that.
The idea isn’t completely out of wack, even if the graphics are atypical of a multibillion corporation. Venture capital investors expect most startups to fail as long as one gold star rises to exceed losses. It’s just that few have gone as far as SoftBank, plowing nearly $100 billion into the space through such a short period of time—nor is it common for a single fund to take a near ETF-like approach to investing in competing companies, such as three competing Latin American food delivery companies.
From inception to March 31, 2020, SoftBank’s losses are exceeding its gains. SoftBank’s Vision Fund portfolio has roughly 88 companies—and made money on 26 investments and marked down 47, according to the company, posting an unrealised loss of nearly $18 billion in the year to March.
The wider SoftBank Group meanwhile is shoring up cash: The telecom giant plans to sell billions of shares in Alibaba and is now reportedly in talks to sell part of its T-Mobile stake to controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom. Under pressure from Elliot Management, SoftBank has said it plans to sell as much as $41 billion in assets.
The new world order: The annual 500 list published today, and leading the FAANGs is Amazon. The e-commerce and cloud titan leapt past Apple and Exxon Mobil in the rankings to reach No.2 on the list—its highest ranking ever after revenues grew by some $48 billion during the year while Apple struggled with profits in China.
But overtaking the leader on the list, Walmart, could take a few years yet if Amazon continues to grow at its pace. Walmart earned $524 billion in 2019 compared to Amazon’s $264.9 billion.
Uber meanwhile joined the list for the first time after debuting in public markets last year, ranking at No. 228.
People are lonely: And new social media players see an in. Gamer-centric chat startup Discord is reportedly seeking a fresh round of funding amid soaring demand that would value the company at above $3 billion, according to Bloomberg. Another red-hot though less-proven company, Clubhouse, is raising $10 million in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz, per Forbes. Both connect communities through spontaneous voice chat—and both are likely seeking to break out of their molds in order to grow in the mainstream. Discord, known for its gamer-centric base, is increasingly being used for dance classes or study groups. And while Clubhouse attracted the tech community early on, it is now apparently seeking celebrities to join.