SoftBank Group chiefs were all smiles this week after Arm Holdings’ share value soared almost 25% above its Nasdaq debut price on Thursday, giving the UK chip company a $65 billion valuation.
There was an investor stampede for the SoftBank-backed chip designer’s stock as the market fever around artificial intelligence firms shows no sign of abating.
The firm had secured a valuation of $54.5 billion on Wednesday after pricing its IPO at the top end of the marketed range, netting $4.87 billion for SoftBank, which still holds a 90.6% stake.
That strong showing for Arm was still a climb-down from the $64 billion it was valued at last month when SoftBank bought the 25% stake of Arm it did not directly own from its Vision Fund unit.
Nevertheless, that has not dampened SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son’s enthusiasm for Arm, the chip designer’s chief financial officer Jason Child said.
“He is quite bullish on the company. The price today or even in the near term isn’t really his focus, the focus is where’s the price gonna be in the future,” he said.
So what other SoftBank firms can we expect to see looking for a public market listing any time soon?
SoftBank first acquired a stake in the Chinese owner of popular short video app TikTok in 2018 at a valuation of $75 billion, according to PitchBook data.
It sold a slice of its holding at a valuation of $220 billion in March 2023, according to PitchBook data.
ByteDance is in no rush to go public amid Beijing’s heightened scrutiny of China’s technology giants, Reuters reported in July.
It has also come under fierce scrutiny in the United States, due to concerns it may be sharing TikTok user data with the Chinese authorities.
TikTok insists it has not shared and would not share US user data with the Chinese government.
SoftBank first acquired a $2.5 billion stake in the Indian e-commerce giant in 2017 but sold its entire stake to US retailer Walmart Inc in 2018.
SoftBank got in again when it took part in a $3.6 billion funding round in July 2021 at a $37.6 billion valuation.
Reuters reported late last year that Flipkart internally raised its IPO valuation target to $60-$70 billion and planned a US listing in 2023, but currently nothing has been announced.
SoftBank’s Latin America Fund bought a small stake in the Mexican used-car platform in 2019 and further raised its stake the following year when its valuation reached $1.15 billion, becoming the country’s first tech “unicorn”.
In 2021, the online platform hit a valuation of $8.7 billion, according to PitchBook data.
Its chief executive said in 2020 the aim was to go public within three years, however its Colombia country manager said earlier this year the company had no plans for further funding rounds.
Reuters reported in July that PayPay, Japan’s largest mobile payments service firm, was considering a US listing on the promise of higher valuations for tech companies there than in Japan.
A SoftBank executive said late last year PayPay was worth around 1 trillion yen ($6.8 billion).
The timing of the listing remains unclear as PayPay has yet to demonstrate a clear path to profitability.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara