- Japan’s SoftBank has announced the first closing of its tech-focused Vision Fund with US$93 billion in confirmed backing. The fund is aiming to meet its US$100 billion target within the next six months.
- SoftBank has committed US$28 billion to the fund, including US$8.2 billion from its stake in UK chipmaker ARM.
- Other backers include Apple, Foxconn, Qualcomm, Sharp, and UAE sovereign fund Mubadala. Saudi Arabian sovereign fund PIF is contributing up to US$45 billion.
Why it matters:
- According to The Wall Street Journal, the SoftBank Vision Fund is by far the largest tech-focused investment fund ever raised, dwarfing second-placed Silver Lake Partners’ fifth fund which closed out at US$15 billion in April this year.
- While emerging technologies such as artifical intelligence, genetic engineering, robotics, and smart devices are seen as being the fund’s bread-and-butter, SoftBank’s statement indicated a more diverse investment strategy targeting startups in these areas as well as minority and majority stakes in established multi-billion-dollar companies.
- SoftBank has already negotiated about a dozen deals for the fund, including its US$1.4 billion investment in India’s Paytm. The Wall Street Journal further reports that all SoftBank investments over US$100 million will go to the Vision Fund, with the exception of those in ride-hailing firms.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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