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Japan’s SoftBank Creates Highest Venture Capital Investment In History Of Finance

Andrew Hamilton

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Softbank Group Chairman & CEO Masayoshi Son

Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) has announced its Vision Fund has closed with an initial commitment of $93 Billion from a pool of top tier backers.

Investors range from high profile organisations including the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates, to number of large corporations, such as Apple and Qualcomm. SBG itself is committing $28 Billion to the VC fund.

SoftBank announced the Vision Fund in a statement released last October. ‘The Fund’ as SBG refers to it, is managed in the U.K. but is a global initiative to drive up investment in technology companies worldwide. Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., plans to use investment as the means to this end, according to Asia Times.

Son said last October: “With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally. Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector. We will further accelerate the Information Revolution by contributing to its development.”

Stanley Chao, SoftBank’s  former Executive Vice-President for the Asia-Pacific Region, told Asia Times that Son has 300-year business plan focussing on IoT, artificial intelligence and monopolising data. According to Chao, “It’s a kind of world dominance, but not in a political sense. We never discussed politics. He is strictly business.”

There have already been some indications from SoftBank where the Vision Fund may focus. Earlier in May SBG confirmed its investment in London-based virtual world and simulation company Improbable for $500 Million, or £388 Million. SoftBank also confirmed its investment in Didi Chuxing – nicknamed the ‘Uber of China’ – equivalent to $5.5 Billion, with a view to developing emerging tech in the sector such as artificial intelligence.

Son said in a statement on the $93 Billion closure: “Technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today. The businesses working to solve these problems will require patient long-term capital and visionary strategic investment partners with the resources to nurture their success.

“SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs. The SoftBank Vision Fund is consistent with this strategy and will help build and grow businesses creating the foundational platforms of the next stage of the Information Revolution.”

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton

PR & Content Executive at Hutchinson Networks

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