SoftBank key backer of multibillion-dollar tech fund

22 May 2017

SoftBank Group Corp, led by its chairman, Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, has become a key backer in what is being described as the world’s biggest tech fund, with capital of USD93 billion. The fund, which is also being funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology and Japan’s Sharp Corp, has raised the monies to invest in technology sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics, a joint statement read. ‘The next stage of the Information Revolution is under way, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large-scale, long-term investment,’ the Softbank Vision Fund statement read. Masayoshi Son revealed plans for the fund in October 2016 and since then it has secured commitments from several large investors. It is understood the new fund ‘will seek to buy minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging businesses to established, multi-billion-dollar firms. It expects to obtain preferred access to long term investment opportunities worth USD100 million or more’. Other sectors in which the fund may invest include mobile computing, communications infrastructure, computational biology, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.

Japan, SoftBank Group Corp