Portfolio Companies' Sustainability

Sustainability in the investment business

Taking into account environmental, social, and governance standards in investing activities, we support the sustainable development of society at large while also enhancing the performance of our investments over the medium- to long-term. With this belief, we are undertaking the following initiatives.

Integrating ESG into the investment process

SBG revised its Portfolio Company Governance and Investment Guidelines Policy in May 2021, which originally set forth criteria on the governance of portfolio companies to be considered in the investment process. The revised Policy clearly states that environmental and social factors, in addition to governance, are to be assessed in the selection of investees and in post-investment monitoring. The Policy applies to SBG and its subsidiaries.* Each investment subsidiary decides and implements its own specific investment plans.

  • Includes SoftBank Vision Funds and other investment subsidiaries managed by subsidiaries of SBG but excludes listed subsidiaries and subsidiaries that the Group is restricted from controlling for regulatory reasons and their subsidiaries.

Integrating ESG into SoftBank Vision Funds’ investments

Described below are ways in which SoftBank Vision Funds integrate ESG into their investments.

Pre-Investment: assessing the risks of potential investments

SoftBank Vision Funds recognize four material themes in environmental and social fields that matter to the international community as well as to the Company’s investment business: climate change, human rights (forced labor), discrimination/harassment, and Responsible AI. As part of its due diligence, SoftBank Vision Funds evaluate the potential investment’s status in addressing these material themes in environmental and social fields, as well as governance, to assess the risks, and use the results for investment decision-making.

Post-Investment: monitoring and engagement

SoftBank Vision Funds recognize the importance of continually monitoring the portfolio companies and engaging with them as necessary to prevent risks from materializing. Accordingly, it is exploring a systematic approach for such monitoring and engagement.

Investing in businesses that help address environmental and social challenges

SBG believes that investing in companies with innovative technology and business models can help address global challenges like climate change and economic inequalities, thereby contributing to a more sustainable world. SoftBank Vision Funds and other investment businesses of the Group have already invested in many businesses that contribute to social and environmental sustainability using AI.

Investments that help address
environmental and social challenges
Investments that help address environmental and social challengesInvestments that help address environmental and social challenges

* These are examples of portfolio companies that contribute to solving environmental and social issues (as of December 2023).

Initiatives to resolve environmental and social issues through business

As an organization whose mainstay business is investing, we fulfill our social responsibility by investing in businesses that address environmental and social issues.

Electricity storage solution for renewable energy (Energy Vault Holdings, Inc.)

Energy Vault Holdings, Inc. develops and sells energy storage solutions to address grid resiliency and advance the transition to renewable energy. Its solutions allow utilities, independent power producers, and large energy users to manage their power portfolios and efficiently dispatch power.

Reducing carbon emissions in goods transport (Flock Freight, Inc)

Flock Freight, Inc is a technology company that is creating a smarter, more sustainable supply chain. Its patented technology finds and fills trucks’ empty spaces so shippers can save, carriers can earn more money, and goods can move terminal-free with more reliability and fewer emissions.

Producing a flexible solar cell that converts indoor light into electrical energy (Exeger Operations AB)

The solar cell material and headphones
that use the material

Exeger Operations is the developer of a solar cell technology that can generate electricity with high efficiency in both natural and indoor artificial light. The material can be integrated into electronic devices such as remote controls and headphones, reducing carbon emissions from everyday consumer products.

Building a sustainable food system with cultivated meat (Upside Foods, Inc.)

Upside Foods, Inc. is a U.S.-based, industry-leading cultivated meat company that grows delicious meat from real animal cells, without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. In November 2022, UPSIDE Foods received the world’s first green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a major step toward the company’s vision to build a more delicious, humane, and sustainable food system.

Saving resources with indoor vertical farming (Plenty Unlimited Inc.)

Indoor vertical farming

Plenty Unlimited Inc. is an AgriTech start-up focused on indoor vertical farming. Its unique farming method uses advanced technology, including AI, to reduce water, land, and pesticide usage. Plenty’s space-efficient farms can produce up to 350 times the yield per acre of conventional farms and bring food production to urban and suburban areas, reducing food-mile emissions and waste.

Protecting major brands and consumers against cybercrime and fraud (Arkose Labs, Inc.)

Arkose Labs, Inc. protects major consumer brands and their customers against cyber-attacks that hijack accounts, logins, and other key points of user interaction with sites and apps. The Arkose Bot* Manager solution detects and mitigates high-volume and high-risk attacks, trapping bots while protecting customer trust and business ROI.

  • A type of remotely operated malware

Transforming surgery with next-generation surgical robotics (CMR Surgical Ltd.)

CMR Surgical Ltd. has developed the Versius, a next-generation surgical robot, aiming to make minimal access surgery available to everyone who needs it. It is a small and portable system that can easily be moved between almost any operating room, thereby allowing more people to undergo minimal access surgery.

Charting the future of digital medicine (Big Health Ltd.)

Big Health Ltd. is on a mission to help millions back to good mental health by creating clinical-grade, digital treatments for the most common mental health conditions, including insomnia and anxiety. The company’s products, Sleepio and Daylight, are built on a proprietary formulation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, with comparable results to talk therapy or medication.