SoftBank Group Corp (TYO:9984) from Tokyo, Japan, is known for striking huge deals. It ranks as one of the most ambitious technology firms in the world. The group is now aiming to emerge as the biggest tech investor after signing a mega deal in Saudi Arabia.
On Thursday, SoftBank announced the creation of a new investment fund, wherein the firm will invest $100 billion in technology businesses worldwide. The deal was struck in Saudi Arabia. SoftBank is going to invest $25 billion at least over the next few years, while Saudi Arabia will bring in $45 billion. Other partners are going to be invited so that the fund’s size reaches $100 billion.
It has been named the “SoftBank Vision Fund”. With $100 billion in the kitty, it would become one of the world’s largest technology investment funds. The fund is going to be based in London. The fund is surely going to expand SoftBank’s footprint worldwide and the vision of Masayoshi Son, its billionaire founder.
Son said while making the announcement, “With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally”.
The Japanese firm is best known for Sprint in the US, and their telecommunications network in this far-east country. They have made acquisitions in other countries as well. Instead of buying businesses, SoftBank prefers to make investment in companies. For instance, it backed the Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) in its early years, well before they became an internet and e-commerce giant.
In the last few years, SoftBank (TYO:9984) has invested $53 million in start-ups based out of New York City, $20 million in the Yahoo! Japan Fund, $250 million in the PrinceVille Investments, the bioengineering start-up Zymergen, the ride-hailing service in China Didi Chuxing, ARM the chip designer in the UK, and $10 billion dollars in India.
Saudi Arabia Is Investing Big Money Too
Saudi Arabia has taken huge steps as well in investing a lot of money into technology. Last June, the kingdom invested $3.5 billion in Uber, emerging as one of the largest individual investors in the Silicon Valley.
The country is now looking at actively diversifying its portfolio beyond their oil assets, as the world is moving away from carbon-based fuels. The country’s fund is likely to be valued at more than $2 trillion once Aramco, the biggest state-owned oil producer goes public soon.