The world’s largest technology investment fund is targeting the purchase of a substantial stake in Glovo, a Spanish online delivery start-up which competes with Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Sky News has learnt that SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund is in preliminary talks about acquiring a shareholding in Glovo, which counts international investors including Lakestar among its existing backers.
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder, is understood to have held talks with Glovo chief executive Oscar Pierre about a potential deal.
Discussions between the Vision Fund and Glovo are at an early stage and are not certain to lead to a deal, sources said on Monday.
If SoftBank does proceed with an investment in the delivery platform, it is likely to commit several hundred million dollars to the business, they added.
Glovo, which is based in Barcelona, differs from food delivery rivals in that it also handles orders for items including groceries and pharmaceuticals.
News of its talks with the Vision Fund comes just weeks after it raised $150m in a Series D funding round that took the amount it has received during its four-and-a-half year existence to about $285m.
If it does back Glovo, it would be the latest in a series of delivery start-ups that SoftBank’s giant tech investment vehicle has taken a stake in.
It is already a shareholder in Uber Eats through a multibillion-dollar stake in its New York-listed parent company, Uber.
The Vision Fund also owns stakes in GrabFood via an investment in Grab in southeast Asia, Grofers – an Indian online grocery delivery venture – and ParkJockey, which is targeting the development of “cloud kitchens” in the US.
Since being established two years ago, the Vision Fund – which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s state investment vehicle, Apple and Qualcomm – has taken stakes in dozens of start-ups.
Its activities in the UK have been limited, but include partial ownership of companies including fintech groups Greensill and Oaknorth.
It also owns chunks of WeWork and ride-hailing services such as Ola in India.
To date, about two-thirds of the $100bn fund has been invested.
A spokesman for the Vision Fund declined to comment.