What is Masayoshi Son’s net worth?
Masayoshi Son is a multi-billion dollar Japanese tech entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist with a net worth of $ 30 billion. Masayoshi Son is the founder and CEO of the multinational holding company SoftBank. Masayoshi Son owns around 25% of SoftBank, which is invested in around a thousand internet companies.
Son has pledged 94 million shares as collateral for loans. He is also the chairman of Arm Holdings, a UK company that bought his company in 2016. Despite losing the most money of any human in history to the dotcom crash in 2000, Son remains one of the richest people in the world.
Early life and career entry
Masayoshi Son was born on August 11, 1957 in Tosu, Saga, Japan. He is a third generation Zainichi Korean, which means that he is an ethnic Korean and a naturalized Japanese citizen. He has three brothers including Taizo Son, who also became a serial investor and entrepreneur. Son wasn’t always so rich; he grew up in a poor farming family and lived between sheep and pigs. After working at McDonald’s in Japan, he went to complete his education in California. There he finished high school at Serramonte High while staying with family and friends in San Francisco. Son went on to majoring in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
Son began his first business ventures while still a student at Berkeley. With the help of some of the school’s professors, he developed an electronic translator that he was able to sell to Sharp Corporation for $ 1.7 million. He made just as much money importing used video game machines from Japan and installing them in restaurants and on college campuses. After graduating from Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1980, Son founded Unison in Oakland. Upon returning to Japan, Son decided to permanently use his Korean surname in place of the family-adopted surname Yasumoto in order to be a role model for other ethnically Korean children in Japan.
At the age of 24, Son founded Tokyo-based SoftBank in 1981, which began as a software distributor. The next year, with the introduction of Oh! MZ and Oh! PC magazines covering Sharp and NEC computers, respectively. The company went public in 1994 with a value of $ 3 billion. SoftBank continued to expand exponentially in the years that followed. In 1995 it bought the media company Ziff Davis for 2.1 billion US dollars and the computer fair COMDEX for 800 million US dollars. Son invested his money in early Internet services, including Yahoo !, with which he formed a joint venture in 1996. A few years later, he invested $ 20 million in Chinese technology company Alibaba, which increased to a $ 60 billion stake when Alibaba went public in 2014.
In October 1999, SoftBank became a holding company. It invests primarily in the energy, technology and financial sectors and operates the Vision Fund, the largest technology-driven venture capital fund in the world. SoftBank’s specific areas of activity include fixed line telecommunications, e-commerce, marketing and information technology. The group is the second largest listed company in Japan after Toyota.
In 2016, SoftBank acquired British semiconductor and software design company Arm Holdings for $ 34 billion, the largest acquisition by a European technology company ever. Arm’s main business is the design of CPUs and other chips, software development tools, and systems and platforms. Its processor designs are used in computers, smartphones, and security systems. The company also makes AI accelerator chips for neural network processing. In addition to these activities, Arm also acts as a holding company. In September 2020, it was announced that the US chipmaker Nvidia Arm would buy from SoftBank for $ 40 billion, with SoftBank acquiring a 10% stake in Nvidia.
SoftBank operates the $ 100 billion venture capital vision fund, which invests in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robots, and the Internet of Things. It also invests in companies that want to revolutionize transportation, real estate, and retail. Son plans to raise $ 100 billion for a new fund every few years with the goal of investing around $ 50 billion annually in startups. Companies the Vision Fund has invested in include Didi, Grab, Paytm, Uber, Doordash, Coupang, and WeWork.
Other purchases and investments
Among Son’s many other investments, he owns a 76% stake in Sprint, which has grown to around 84% through the further accumulated shares of SoftBank. Son is also heavily involved in solar energy and has invested in the largest solar project ever after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The 200 GW project is planned for Saudi Arabia as part of the country’s Vision 2030 plan.
Through SoftBank, Son owns the Japanese professional baseball team, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, formerly Nankai Hawks and Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. The franchise has won multiple championships in the Japanese series and titles in the Pacific League.
Personal life and philanthropy
While studying at Berkeley, Son met his wife Masami Ohno. The couple have two daughters and live in a $ 50 million three-story Tokyo mansion that features a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled golf course. Son also owns a home in Woodside, California, which he bought for $ 117 million.
Son bought the Tiffany building in Ginza for $ 326 million.