According to Bloomberg, Softbank’s Vision Fund has raised USD 93 billion in first close. SoftBank Group Corp. and Saudi Arabia have formally announced the first round of capital commitments for the largest-ever technology investment fund. This coming as Softbank founder Masayoshi Son plans to accelerate his financing of cutting-edge technologies and startups.
As confirmed by SoftBank in a statement, the funding has been raised by group of investors led by the Japanese company and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Others being Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Foxconn Technology Group and Sharp Corp. SoftBank aims to reach USD100 billion with a final close within six months. Mubadala committed USD15 billion, per another statement.
Son said in a statement:
“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.”
Yasir Alrumayyan, managing director of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, said the fund will help his country’s strategy of developing “a diversified, knowledge-based economy.” Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chief executive officer of Mubadala, said the SoftBank fund “perfectly complements” the company’s strategy to become an investor in high-growth technology companies.
The new fund will work on a strategy of backing technology companies at all stages. Son met President Donald Trump in December and pledged to create 50,000 new jobs by investing USD 50 billion in startups and new companies.
Softbank, even started working on it already and contributed USD 1 billion to a funding round in OneWeb Ltd., a satellite startup based at Exploration Park, Florida near Kennedy Space Center. In March, SoftBank invested USD 300 million in WeWork Cos., a U.S. startup that rents out office space and desks to small businesses and freelancers.
Son at that time had said in a statement:
“Uber is redefining the transportation industry now; Airbnb is doing it to the hotel industry. You can expect that to happen in every single industry,…There is a big bang coming and it’s too good of a chance to pass up. We need to be in a position to face it head on. SoftBank Vision Fund’s role is to get us there.”
The Vision Fund will be based in West London’s Mayfair and advised by SoftBank subsidiaries collectively called SB Investment Advisers. Rajeev Misra, SoftBank’s head of strategic finance, will be chief executive officer of SB Investment Advisers and a member of the fund’s investment committee. Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu, who helped with fundraising, will continue as advisers.