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Softbank Sells Off Its $3.6B Stake in Nvidia, Mulls Raising More Capital

Japanese tech giant Softbank said Wednesday that its Vision Fund has sold off a stake in chipmaker Nvidia worth $3.6 billion. Meanwhile, Softbank is contemplating raising more capital for its $98.6 billion Vision Fund.

Softbank made the announcements while reporting its financial earnings. In the last nine months of 2018, Softbank said revenue rose 5% and its net income increased by 52%. The company also announced it would buy back 600 million yen ($5.5 billion) worth of its shares.

Nvidia’s stock has plummeted from a high of $292 a share in September to $153 a share Wednesday as demand for its crypto-mining chips dried up. In December, Softbank was reportedly considering selling off its $4.9 billion stake in the company. Because Softbank bought Nvidia shares at a lower price, the company said its made a profit on the investment.

Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of Softbank, said that the company’s Vision Fund is investing about $7 billion each quarter and has spent roughly half its $98.6 billion in capital. “We’re going to keep up this pace of investment,” Son said Wednesday, suggesting the company may need to raise more capital soon, the Wall Street Journal said.

In addition to Nvidia, the Vision Fund has invested in companies like Uber, Didi, and Slack. Last month, Softbank was said to be scaling back its plans for investing in shared-office provider WeWork. The investment, valued at around $16 billion in late 2018, will reportedly be closer to $2 billion. The reduced investment will not involve the participation of the Vision Fund, after its financial backers in the Middle East reportedly balked at the proposed deal.