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2019-11-14 — nytimes.com

Mr. Solankey is one of millions of workers and small-business people who worked with start-ups financed by the biggest venture capital fund in history, the $100 billion Vision Fund run by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The fund was part of a flood of money that has washed over the world in the past decade -- and that has upended people's lives when the start-ups broke their promises.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's chief executive, was hailed as a kingmaker in 2016 when he unveiled the Vision Fund. Using the cash hoard, Mr. Son poured money into fledgling companies across the world, many of which have a business model of hiring contractors who deliver their services. Above all, he urged these start-ups to grow as fast as possible.

Many of the young companies used SoftBank's cash to dangle incentives and other payments to quickly attract as many workers as they could. But when they failed to make a profit and SoftBank changed its tune on growth, the companies often slashed or reneged on those same incentives.

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