Silicon Valley hedge fund founder Glen Kacher is bullish on Japan’s SoftBank and it’s in large part because of its founder and CEO, Masayoshi Son.
In fact, he said the billionaire “is as close as we get to having a Warren Buffett of technology, ” said Kacher, chief investment officer of Light Street Capital, based in Palo Alto, California.
SoftBank is the largest venture capital firm in the world, with a total net asset value estimated as high as $190 billion. Son’s focus on long-term investments in tech companies helped him lead the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, with stakes in Uber, Nvidia, Flipkart, WeWork, OneWeb and more.
“This is a guy who bet on Bill Gates early in his career, made his first fortune. Then he bet on Jerry Yang in helping him create … Yahoo Japan, ” Kacher said Monday on CNBC’s “Fast Money: Halftime Report. “
“Then he bet on Steve Jobs and this thing called the iPhone before it existed. Then he doubled his fortune again, ” Kacher said. “And then he bet on [Alibaba co-founder] Jack Ma and tripled his fortune. This is the guy you can invest with. “
Earlier this month, Son told CNBC’s David Faber that the conglomerate’s Vision Fund, founded in late 2016, has already invested about $70 billion of its money.
“Our return on the investment is very, very good,” Son said. “So some people may say, ‘Well, Masa, you paid too much.’ But still our company’s value is growing very quickly after our investment,” he said.
SoftBank is Light Street Capital’s largest position. Kacher called it “one of the biggest players in the market.”
“SoftBank is trading at roughly a 50% discount to the market value of its holdings,” he said.
He’s also not concerned that the company gets capital from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
“They have tons of their own capital,” Kacher said, adding that there are “many other sovereign wealth funds” that would be happy to be a part of SoftBank and have Son, “one of the sharpest investors in the world, making investments for them.”
— CNBC’s Michael Sheetz and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.