Interesting read here from WSJ. What this could mean is the future google, facebooks, or amazons of the world never go public because they can always get the funding they need from softbank and their super rich investment clients.
WeWork Cos. co-founder Miguel McKelvey a few years year ago brushed off the idea of an initial public offering, telling a small gathering in Napa Valley that the shared office-space company is “thinking about how to prolong that eventuality to a distant point in the future.”Enter SoftBank Group Corp. , which is increasingly poised to help WeWork and numerous other multibillion-dollar startups in Silicon Valley stave off IPOs.
In what would be by far SoftBank’s most ambitious startup investment, the Japanese company is in discussions to take a majority stake in WeWork with a $15 billion to $20 billion investment, people familiar with the talks said this week. Such a massive investment would represent about a quarter of SoftBank’s $92 billion Vision Fund—if it comes entirely from that pool of money—and would roughly double the largest-ever bet on a private, venture-backed company.The negotiations are continuing and other scenarios are on the table, some of the people said. But if SoftBank were to secure a majority stake through the Vision Fund, the move would almost certainly keep eight-year-old WeWork private for years to come.Ever since it started up its tech-focused Vision Fund last year, SoftBank has shaken up the venture capital industry by rushing hundreds of millions, if not billions, into startups and taking the place of funds typically raised in an IPO. But its potential willingness to take majority stakes would greatly extend the runway for companies to remain private.