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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SoftBank invests $300 million in shared-office space startup WeWork

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SoftBank Group Corp Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son speaks at SoftBank World 2016 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 21, 2016.

(Reuters) — SoftBank Group Corp has invested $300 million in shared-office space company WeWork, the first installment of a multi-billion-dollar bet, according to a source familiar with the matter.

SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications and internet company, has made bold and wide-ranging bets in the technology industry, including India ride-service company Ola, San Francisco-based financial services startup SoFi and Virginia-based satellite communications startup OneWeb.

The WeWork investment is just the first tranche of a much larger funding round that is expected to total about $3 billion, according to the person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

While this first round of funding comes from SoftBank itself, the remainder of the cash is expected to come from SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, a massive tech-focused investment vehicle led by CEO Masayoshi Son.

WeWork and SoftBank declined to comment.

New York-based WeWork leases office space and divvies it up to rent out to individuals and small companies, namely startups. It encourages people to share offices and common space.

SoftBank’s investment was reported earlier Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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March 21, 2017 at 04:49PM

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from Reuters

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