Billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)  

Startup Street: Masayoshi Son Plans Vision Fund 2.0

This week on Startup Street, Masayoshi Son eyes another fund to expand his investments; twenty Indian startups selected for London Mayor’s business programme; one of India’s top management institutes plans to fund startups over the next three to four years; and Elon Musk unveils further plans for his tunneling startup.

Here’s what went on:

Son Planning Sequel To World’s Biggest Tech Fund

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son plans to set up a Vision Fund 2.0, a follow-up to the $100- billion corpus he had formed last year to make investments in technology startups across the globe.

“Vision Fund 2.0 will definitely come, it’s just a matter of when,” Son said at a Wall Street Journal event in Tokyo. He did not specify any timeline for when the new fund would be launched but said it will be “sometime in the near future”.

The second Vision fund is expected to be the same size as the first one, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. SoftBank’s India investment from the first fund includes Flipkart, Ola, Snapdeal, Inmobi and Paytm.

When it comes to investments, Son follows Star Wars’ fictional character Yoda’s advice. “Yoda says use the force,” he said. “Don’t think, just feel it.”

He added that sometimes his feeling about a company in the first few minutes is more meaningful and detailed than the two-three month due diligence that his team does. “You do it so many times, you don’t even need to think,” Son said.

These Indian Startups Made It To The London Mayor’s Annual List

(Source: London & Partners)
(Source: London & Partners)

Twenty Indian start-ups have been chosen to join London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s India Emerging 20 business programme which aims to help selected companies set up or expand their business in the U.K.

Here are the winners of the India Emerging Twenty 2018:

(Source: London & Partners)
(Source: London & Partners)

The winners were selected from more than 300 applications. The firms will now get help from London & Partners in setting up or expanding their businesses in London. Under the IE20 programme they will also get six months of free office membership, support for launching into the market, and consultation for funding, marketing and public relations.

While visiting India to promote trade and strengthen business links in December last year, Khan revealed plans to open a Bengaluru office for L&P to support Indian businesses looking to expand in London. The programme has been running since 2016.

Read the full list of all winners till date here.

IIM-Ahmedabad Plans $25 Million Startup Funding

One of India's top business schools wants to invest up to $25 million in startups working towards financial inclusion, livelihood, education and health.

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has launched the ‘Bharat Inclusion Initiative’ to be implemented over the next three to four years, it said in a statement. Managed by IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre For Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship the initiative will back “game-changing” startups in the country.

The programme has an initial $12.5 million commitment by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Omidyar Network. This includes $5 million for accelerating startups, and providing research, training, workshops and piloting support. It also has seed support from Tata Trusts.

The Bharat Inclusion Initiative aims to provide a continuum of solutions to inclusion focused tech entrepreneurs across the pre-incubation, seed and scale-up stage and help them jump to the next orbit.
Neharika Vohra, Chairperson, CIIE Initiatives, IIM-A

CIEE will also invest in seed and early-stage startups through its Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund, which is expected to have a final corpus worth around $15 million, according to the release.

The Not So ‘Boring’ Plan

Elon Musk wants to allieviate Los Angeles’ “soul-destroying” traffic problem – for $1 per ride.

Earlier this week, the chief executive officer of Tesla and SpaceX unveiled further plans for his startup, The Boring Company, that’s digging tunnels across the city to bypass traffic. The Loop, as Musk has named the transit network, will have all-electric pods that can carry up to 16 passengers at once. He expects that it could cut down travel time from anywhere in downtown LA to the LAX airport to within eight minutes.

His presentation focused on assuring people that the Boring Company's plans would in no way exacerbate the city’s already-stressed highway systems of the city. Funnily enough, the presentation started later than expected as Musk said he was stuck in traffic.

Musk has actively raised funds for his startup using unorthodox methods like selling hats and flamethrowers. According to SEC documents accessed first by CNBC, he had raised almost $113 million by mid-April.