Today we are going to talk about the person who was the richest in the world for a few days in the year 2000. After a few months, his net worth went down -99%. And it was the biggest loss of an individual in the world. Today we are going to talk about the CEO of SoftBank Masayoshi Son.
Early Life: During his college life Mr Masayoshi Son did different kind of businesses. When he was studying at the University of California, with the help of his physics professor he made a pocket translator. He patented it and sold it to SHARP Corporation. After completing graduation he decided to go back to Japan. And after that in the year 1989, he made Soft Bank which was a software distributor company.
Partnership with Yahoo & Google: After becoming successful in Software distributor business he started to invest in other companies also. In the year 1990s when internet companies started to grow and he started to acquire internet companies. Then in the year 1996, he did a partnership with Yahoo and started Yahoo Japan. And soon Yahoo Japan became a very successful company. After that, he also did a partnership with Google and used google’s algorithm and he continued to succeed.
Rise and Fall of SoftBank: During the year 1996-2000 when dot com boom was going on at that time, SoftBank share price was skyrocketing. At that time SoftBank’s market cap gone up to $200Billion. That time he wanted to buy Vodafone K.K. and take entry in Japan’s telecom sector. He wanted to compete with NTT DoCoMo which was a Japanese govt owned telecom company. But SoftBank’s shareholders were not happy with this decision & SoftBank’s share price started to fall.
Dot Com Bubble and SoftBank Crash: In the year 2000-2002 all tech company share started to go down because of dot com bubble burst, at that time SoftBank’s share price started to fall fast. SoftBank’s market cap gone down from $200Billion to $2Billion. During this time Mr Masayoshi Son’s net worth gone down to below $70Billion which was a 99% drop in his net worth.
The Comeback: SoftBank was about to go bankrupt, but Mr Son did fight back. He made a plan to revive SoftBank. He had to struggle a lot during 2004-2005. In the year 2006 even though he was going through a lot of problems still he finally decided to buy Vodafone K.K. He had to take a huge amount of loan from banks to buy Vodafone K.K. because of this SoftBank’s debt increased a lot at that time. In future, this deal helped SoftBank to revive.
In the year 2006 before the launch of the first iPhone, SoftBank made a deal with Apple and they became the only distributor of iPhone in Japan. Then after the launch of the iPhone, it became very popular in Japan and SoftBank made a lot of profit & he started to invest in Tech Companies again. According to him, technology is the future of this world so he always invested in tech companies from the beginning.
Today SoftBank is one of the main investors in the world who invests in StartUps. In the year 2000, he invested $20million in Alibaba and in 2014 when Alibaba became public his $20million investment became $60billion. Right now SoftBank is the biggest shareholder of Alibaba.
SoftBank also invested in some Indian startups like Ola, OYO, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Grofers etc.
In the year 2016 he launched VisionFund and companies like Apple, Foxconn, Sharp Corp invested in his VisionFund. Using this VisionFund Mr Son used to invest in Tech Companies. Last year SoftBank’s vision fund invested $2.5Billion in Flipkart. Till now he has invested more than 1000 tech companies.
Today Mr Masayoshi Son’s net worth is $23Billion. Today he is the 2nd richest man in Japan. He always thinks about long term investments. For SoftBank, he made a plan for the next 300 years. This is why he says during to DotCom bubble his net worth went down but it did not affect him much because he always worked on his long term vision.
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