In the early hours of June 19, according tomedia reports, Rajeev Misra, head of SoftBank’s Vision Fund, said SoftBank would invest in 14 start-ups set up by non-white founders. This is part of The SoftBank Emerge Accelerator Project, which provides guidance to underrepresented entrepreneurs. Over the next year, SoftBank will expand the scope of the project to Europe. On Thursday, Mishra spoke at an online event for the Emerge project, where the founder of the start-up introduced his business to investors and SoftBank introduced the first companies to complete the project.
SoftBank Emerge was built before the recent problems of racial injustice in Silicon Valley. In May, a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white police officer who was overlawed by a white police officer, sparking mass protests. Since the incident, many tech companies have expressed support for the black community, and so far they have pledged more than $300 million in donations or investments to minority groups.
A person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified, said SoftBank would invest at least $150,000 per company, depending on the stage at which it was located. These companies will come from industries such as healthcare and driving technology, and many have been financed before they participate in SoftBank’s project. In addition, the $100 million OPPOrtunity Growth Fund, which focuses on investing in founders of colored people, is also likely to invest in these companies.
In addition to the capital injections, SoftBank will introduce the founders involved in the Emerge project to other companies invested by SoftBank, including The Vision Fund, Mr Misla said. “Ninety per cent of all the founders we worked with gave us a great experience,” says Mishra. Of course, there are some exceptions. Adam Neumann, weWork co-founder, has caused a lot of trouble for SoftBank, which tried to get WeWork to go public, but failed last year. (Wing)