SoftBank raises US$93b for Vi­sion Fund

New Straits Times - - Business -

TOKYO: Ja­pan’s SoftBank said, with Saudi part­ners, it has raised nearly US$100 bil­lion (RM432 bil­lion) in pledges to launch a ma­jor global fund for long-term, high-tech in­vest­ments.

The SoftBank Vi­sion Fund had re­ceived par­tic­i­pa­tion from in­dus­try ti­tans and the likes of Ap­ple, Qual­comm and Tai­wan’s Fox­conn, and col­lected pledges to­talling more than US$93 bil­lion so far, said the fund in a state­ment on Satur­day.

“The fund is targeting US$100 bil­lion of com­mit­ted cap­i­tal, with a fi­nal close within six months,” it said in the state­ment.

SoftBank an­nounced its part­ner­ship with Saudi Ara­bia in Oc­to­ber, with its founder Masayoshi Son declar­ing that he was fo­cused on the “In­ter­net of Things”, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ro­bot­ics.

Son was among the first busi­ness peo­ple to meet United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump af­ter his Novem­ber elec­tion vic­tory and pledged to in­vest US$50 bil­lion in the US.

The an­nounce­ment comes as Trump vis­its Saudi Ara­bia as a part of his first over­seas tour as pres­i­dent.

“Tech­nol­ogy has the po­ten­tial to ad­dress the big­gest chal­lenges and risks fac­ing hu­man­ity to­day,” said Son.

“The SoftBank Vi­sion Fund... will help build and grow busi­nesses cre­at­ing foun­da­tional plat­forms of the next stage of the in­for­ma­tion rev­o­lu­tion,” he said.

SoftBank said it would put up US$25 bil­lion for the Vi­sion Fund over the next five years, while the Saudi pub­lic in­vest­ment fund’s con­tri­bu­tion could reach US$45 bil­lion. AFP

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