Two yeas after launching its first vision fund, Soft Bank came back with its second vision fund. The key focus of the second investment fund is to bet on technology firms working in the areas of artificial intelligence. The Japanese conglomerate disclosed its plans on Friday, along with its aim to raise around $108 billion with the second one.
The company said that it would itself investment $38 billion in the fund, besides securing investment commitment from biggies such as Microsoft, Apple, Foxconn, Kazakhstan’s investment fund, Standard Chartered Bank, etc.
SoftBank said in its statement, “The objective of the fund is to facilitate the continued acceleration of the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies.”
The company’s founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has expressed his keenness in the past to have a stake in companies leading in AI revolution. That’s why he launched the second fund focusing mainly on startups revolutionising the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The second vision fund features businesses as apart as ride-hailing and self driving automobiles, insurance and healthcare.
The company did not provide elaborate information about the kind of investments it is aiming to acquire. He Findlay announcement was mainly seen as the company’s call to shareholders about its investment plans. The company’s fund financing structure has not been finalised yet.
The company’s first Vision Fund was launched in May 2017, with a total capital of $60 billion. Major chunk of the investment came from the wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, besides investment bank, Goldman Sachs. The two leading investors of Middle East were missing from the list of potential investors of the second fund. It is speculated that after the alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi security personnels the company is avoiding association with them. UAE is assessing the potential investment, while Goldman Sachs has declared interest in the the fund and would be investing. The first fund provided monetary boost to over 80 late-stage tech startups.