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SoftBank expects major losses from virus

(Image credit: Image Credit: Flickr / [puamelia])

Softbank is expecting its technology start-up fund to lose billions thanks to the effects of the coronavirus on the global market. The firm anticipates losses of approximately $16.7bn - its first major loss in 15 years.

According to a BBC report, Softbank's $100bn-heavy Vision Fund has experienced a “substantial” valuation drop due to “deteriorating market environment”.

The company’s fund invested in some of the world’s most popular start-ups, including co-working office provider WeWork, ride-sharing giant Uber, satellite operator OneWeb and US telecoms firm Sprint.

Many of the firms Softbank invested in have suffered major losses due to lockdown and quarantine measures imposed across the globe, although a minority have been bolstered by the pandemic.

Softbank also holds a stake in ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, which has experienced a major uptick as people create and consume a greater volume of video content in isolation.

Coronavirus is believed to have originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan. To date, almost two million people have been infected and more than 120,000 have died. More than 450,000 people have recovered.