SINGAPORE -- SoftBank Group is stepping up investment in startups in Southeast Asia again. Many of these startups are unicorns -- a company valued at over $1 billion -- or soon-to-be unicorns. SBG aims to repeat the success it made with Grab, a Singapore-based ride-hailer, whose corporate value shot up after it invested in the company at an early stage. Given that the risk of investing in Chinese internet companies is increasing with Beijing's tightening of restrictions, the ratio of investment that goes into Southeast Asia, which has huge growth potential, may increase further.
On May 12, SBG held a briefing to explain the financial results for the year ended March 2021 and Chairman and CEO Son Masayoshi talked about the attractiveness of Trax, a Singaporean unicorn and retail analytics company in which the SoftBank Vision Fund 2 had invested a month earlier. "A number of leading U.S. brands are prompted to visit Trax after hearing that the company has helped shorten product stockout time dramatically and push up sales by 20%," he said. "Trax will transform global sales operations."