Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., speaks during the Milken Institute Japan Symposium in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, March 25, 2019. Son, famous for his early investment in Chinas top e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., also had the chance to own a big stake in Amazon.com Inc. Son said he was close to striking a deal to acquire 30 percent of the U.S. e-commerce pioneer with Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos in its early years. Son offered $100 million, but Bezos insisted on $130 million. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesKiyoshi Ota—Bloomberg via Getty Images
Son has become a tech kingmaker. He upended venture capitalism in 2016 by launching the $100 billion Vision Fund, and his backing often proves pivotal in battles between rival startups. Son personally vets CEOs of potential portfolio companies and spurs them to scale up dramatically, even if profit is elusive. Ride sharing as we know it might not exist without his avid backing of Uber, Grab, and Didi Chuxing.