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SoftBank Vision Fund hires head of Microsoft Venture Fund

SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund is hiring the head of Microsoft Corp.’s venture capital business as managing partner, the first major addition to the investment arm following a spate of departures. Nagraj Kashyap, the outgoing global head of Microsoft’s M12 fund, will join the Vision Fund in the U.S., according to a statement from SoftBank. Bloomberg reported the move earlier on Monday.

The Vision Fund has seen a number of recent changes among its senior roles after making a flurry of hires following its debut in 2017. Managing partner Colin Fan is leaving his role to become an adviser to SoftBank Investment Advisers and Jeff Housenbold, the managing partner involved in bets on startups including DoorDash Inc. and dog-walking app Wag, is also leaving.

SoftBank Vision Fund Chief Operating Officer Ruwan Weerasekera and Penny Bodle, a partner who headed investor relations, also departed late last year.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Nagraj,” said Rajeev Misra, who heads the Vision Fund. “His vast experience investing in enterprise startups, leading teams, and helping founders leverage corporate networks will be major assets to our firm and broader ecosystem.”

Kashyap was previously head of ventures at Qualcomm Inc. before joining Microsoft in 2016. M12 targets investments in corporate software companies, focusing on sectors such as applied artificial intelligence and infrastructure. Bloomberg


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