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Report: Softbank lending millions to employees to invest in new VC fund

SoftBank Group Corp. is planning to lend up to $20 billion to employees to invest in its second massive venture capital fund, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Japanese congolomerate's Vision Fund 2 was launched July 26, with investors that include Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Softbank's own investment would amount to $38 billion, excluding the $20 billion it plans to lend to employees.

Executives at the company believe the strategy would give employees more accountability and show outside investors its commitment to the fund. The company had used a similar strategy in its first such fund, worth $100 billion. That fund holds about $8 billion of employee money.

Softbank is also in talks with pensions and insurers in Taiwan and other markets to raise more than $30 billion for Vision Fund 2, some of the sources reportedly said.

Other investors include the National Investment Corp. of National Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, MUFG Bank Ltd. and Standard Chartered PLC.