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SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son skips Riyadh event

Simply optics – nothing will change

Softbank’s Masayoshi Son and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
(Credit: Bloomberg)

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son skipped the major investment summit (AKA Davos in the desert) this week in Riyadh, according to CNN.

Follow the money, not the optics: Son met high-ranking Saudi officials ahead of the conference, but wisely left before it began. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has invested $45 billion in the first Vision Fund, and has committed another $45 billion for Vision Fund II. 

Why it matters: It will be interesting to monitor the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Startups may give pause before accepting investment from Saudi Arabia.

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