The Japanese company on Thursday widened its forecast for a net loss in the year ended in March from 750 billion to 900 billion yen ($7 billion to $8.4 billion). The firm said it expects to lose 700 billion yen ($6.6 billion) on a portion of its investment in the troubled coworking provider WeWork that it holds outside of its $100 billion Vision Fund.
Earlier this month, SoftBank said it would post a record annual operating loss of 1.35 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) — the worst in at least 20 years, according to the data provider Refinitiv — as bets in the Vision Fund turned sour. The company said Thursday that forecast remains unchanged.
The latest disclosure sheds even more light on what is expected to be a particularly dire earnings announcement from SoftBank next month.
With the massive Vision Fund, Son and his company were able to take large stakes in flashy technology startups working on ride-hailing, robotics, agriculture and other areas that he felt were central to shaping the future. By cutting large checks, often totaling in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, the fund could help startups expand rapidly and sometimes boosted their valuations significantly.
But some of those big bets were struggling even before the virus hit.
Still, Son moved forward with plans for a second Vision Fund. But as he said in February, “I think that our next fund size should be a little bit smaller, because we have caused concerns and anxiety to a lot of people.”
— Mark Thompson contributed to this report.