SoftBank Capital closes USD250m PrinceVille Investment Fund
SoftBank Capital, a venture group affiliated with Japan’s SoftBank Corp, has closed its USD250m SoftBank PrinceVille Investments fund.
Due to its long-standing strategic relationship with SoftBank, which specialises in internet, mobile communications, broadband services and fixed-line telecommunications, the fund is uniquely positioned to help growth stage technology companies achieve success in their international expansion plans.
Alibaba Group, the worldwide e-commerce leader based in China, and MediaTek, a fabless semiconductor company based in Taiwan, through affiliates are limited partners and members of the advisory committee of the PrinceVille Fund and provide additional strategic value and local experience in Asia.
Over the past few years, SoftBank Capital has had a number of successful exits from its portfolio including Buddy Media acquired by Salesforce.com, Hyperpublic acquired by Groupon, Huffington Post acquired by AOL and OMGPOP acquired by Zynga.
The PrinceVille Fund’s investment focus will continue the themes of previous SoftBank Capital investments around sector leading companies in social media, mobile applications, e-commerce, online advertising, gaming and cloud computing.
The PrinceVille Fund is designed to help growth stage entrepreneurs and their businesses compete and expand globally in challenging markets like Japan and China, which are attractive to western companies, but often difficult for foreign companies who might otherwise lack the necessary experience to compete there. Asia offers a mature mobile market that represents a massive opportunity to monetize millions of new customers who are seeing rising incomes, and where consumer spending is growing at much faster rates than in other parts of the world.
“Our long-term ties and active working relationship with SoftBank allow us to have an unmatched ability to guide companies as they strategically approach their Asian expansion plans. SoftBank related companies like Softbank Mobile, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba are often the perfect partners for companies looking to accelerate their market presence in the region and we are the only fund investing in these sectors with deep connections to all of those companies,” says Steve Murray, partner at SoftBank Capital.
In connection with the launch, SoftBank Capital has hired three executives to join the investment team. New executives include Kabir Misra, managing partner at SoftBank Capital and president/CEO of SB China and India Holdings, which manages Bodhi Investments; Scarlett O’Sullivan, principal and lead for US investments for Bodhi Investments; and Matt Krna, principal, who joins from Investor Growth Capital.
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