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Greensill blowup shows the limits of technology

Nirgunan Tiruchelvam
Nirgunan Tiruchelvam3/12/2021 07:00 AM GMT+08  • 4 min read
Greensill blowup shows the limits of technology
Greensill Capital, one of the Vision Fund’s investee companies, filed for bankruptcy this week
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A serial killer in Greek mythology has reappeared in the 21st century. Damastes used to hang out in the road between Athens and Eleusis. His victims were lured to spend a night in his house and then chained to an iron bed. If the victims were shorter than the bed, they were stretched by a hammer. The tall ones had their limbs cut to fit the bed.

The same cut-to-size approach to investing has driven Softbank’s Vision Fund. The fund invests in emerging technologies like AI, robotics and e-commerce, and is founded by Masayoshi Son, a driven investor.

It manages US$150 billion ($201 billion). Son, a man of vaulting ambition, plans to raise US$100 billion for a new fund every few years, and it wants to invest about US$50 billion a year in start-ups.

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