Japanese-based company SoftBank arguably has the biggest impact on the real estate industry at the moment. It has made numerous investments into companies disrupting the sector through its $100 billion Vision Fund.
Its founder, Masayoshi Son, focuses on investing into companies and technologies that are changing the world. Companies it has invested into in the past include coworking operator WeWork and residential sales platform Opendoor. While not all of these companies are directly connected to real estate, they may still have a big impact on the sector.
SoftBank Vision Fund Investment Director Justin Wilson said that the fund’s real estate investments are due to the sector accounting for about 17-20% of global gross domestic product.
“We like backing entrepreneurs with a big vision for how technology, data and artificial intelligence can be leveraged to radically disrupt the status quo,” said Wilson. “We prefer platform businesses which can aggregate large pools of value and strong margin profiles which give companies an ability to experiment and succeed even with unknown obstacles ahead and less than flawless execution. “
Wilson also said that the fund focuses on companies who are resilient throughout market uncertainty, such as rental housing and storage businesses.
In the case of WeWork losing money, Wilson said that the fund is certain every company it invests into will turn a profit.
Overally, the company is interested in funding into disruptive companies that are in need of large capital investment over a long period of time.