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Softbank's Vision Fund pumps extra $655 million into Greensill

Softbank's Vision Fund pumps extra $655 million into Greensill
Japan's SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo -
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KIM KYUNG-HOON(Reuters)
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By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp’s <9984.T> technology-focused Vision Fund has invested an extra $655 million in Greensill Capital to bolster the financing group’s global expansion.

The investment follows an initial $800 million in May and comes at a difficult time for Softbank after the recent collapse of plans to list another of its investee companies, shared-office provider The We Company.

Greensill, founded in 2011 by former banking executive Lex Greensill, works with global institutional investors and provides financing to more than eight million customers across 60 countries.

“We believe Greensill is transforming global access to working capital through its innovative business model,” said Colin Fan, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, manager of the SoftBank Vision Fund.

“By unlocking billions of dollars in supply chains around the world, we believe Greensill continues to play a pioneering role in working capital finance.”

The deal means Greensill has raised more than $1.7 billion from leading institutional investors, General Atlantic and SoftBank Vision Fund over the past 14 months.

A source close to Greensill said the new investment was in the form of convertible loan notes, which would be switched into primary and secondary shares over time.

Also on Monday, Greensill said it had agreed to buy London-based financial technology company FreeUp, which aims to let workers access wages they have already earned but which are yet to be paid.

“Essentially, all workers are suppliers – supplying their employers with their time and skills,” Chief Executive Lex Greensill said.

“There is effectively no difference between our firm making an early invoice payment and making an early salary payment.”

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Mark Potter)

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