(This July 6 story was rebroadcast to clarify that CloudMinds Technology Inc is a US subsidiary of CloudMinds Inc in paragraphs 5-6)
OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Four tech startups backed by SoftBank Group Corp’s $ 100 billion Vision Fund were among small businesses approved for a U.S. pandemic assistance program, according to data released Monday by the department of the Treasury.
Carsharing start-up Getaround Inc., which raised $ 300 million in a 2018 SoftBank-led funding round, has been listed as approved for a loan of $ 5 million to $ 10 million. The Treasury Department only provided ranges for loan amounts and did not identify by name the recipients seeking loans less than $ 150,000.
On-board surveillance technology company Nauto Inc has been approved for $ 2-5 million. It raised around $ 150 million in July 2017 in a round led by SoftBank.
Energy technology company Energy Vault, headquartered in Switzerland, has been approved for a loan of $ 150,000 to $ 300,000. Energy Vault raised $ 110 million in August 2019 from SoftBank.
CloudMinds Technology Inc, a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of CloudMinds Inc whose cloud-based robot systems have most of its workforce in China, has been listed on a loan of $ 1 million to $ 2 million. .
CloudMinds Inc raised $ 186 million in May 2019 in a round that included SoftBank, although SoftBank does not sit on the company’s board of directors. CloudMinds Inc was added to a U.S. commerce blacklist this year and has downsized around the world, including the United States, Reuters previously reported.
Funding data came primarily from data company PitchBook.
A person close to SoftBank Vision Fund said the fund has recommended its portfolio companies with strong liquidity or able to raise private capital not to take out government loans. The Vision Fund has investments in 91 companies.
Getaround said its business was “significantly affected” by virus lockdowns and the loan “helped reduce the otherwise severe impact on the health of our organization.” None of the other companies responded to requests for comment.
The paycheck protection program, well over $ 500 billion in size, was intended to support employment by providing low-interest loans to businesses that have 500 or fewer employees and would certify that they needed money to cover basic needs such as wages and rent.
When the program was announced, venture capitalists were divided over whether the startups they were supporting should apply.
Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Sonya Hepinstall