HONG KONG — One of the tech world’s deepest-pocketed investors has been scouring the globe to find and fund the technologies that are building the future.
Advanced robotics. Indoor farming. Data-driven drug research.
And now: On-demand dog walking.
The SoftBank Vision Fund, a nearly US$100 billion pot of money managed by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, is investing US$300 million in Wag, a startup in Los Angeles whose app lets you summon someone to walk your dog.
The investment is several times the US$68 million in total funding that Wag has raised since it was founded in 2015.
“We look forward to enhancing our technology and service offerings to enable more people to keep their dogs happy and healthy,” Wag’s newly appointed chief executive, Hilary Schneider, said in a statement announcing the investment.
The fund did not say much about what it sees in Wag. Jeffrey Housenbold, who helps oversee the fund, said only that “Wag is a clear leader in the rapidly growing global market for pet care services.”
Still, other investments by Son, leader of the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, suggest he is not likely investing in Wag solely to bet on the business of keeping Fluffy content.