SoftBank, Saudi Arabia plan $100B tech fund - Mobile World Live

SoftBank, Saudi Arabia plan $100B tech fund

14 OCT 2016

Japan’s SoftBank is joining forces with Saudi Arabia’s largest sovereign wealth fund to create a technology investment fund, which could grow to $100 billion in five years as other partners join.

SoftBank founder and chairman Masayoshi Son (pictured below), said in the statement it will invest at least $25 billion over the next five years, while Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is considering becoming the lead investment partner, with a potential investment of up to $45 billion over the same period.

SoftbankIn addition, Son said SoftBank and PIF are in active talks with additional large global investors to participate in the fund, called the SoftBank Vision Fund, which could reach a potential size of $100 billion.

The private fund will focus on making investments in the technology sector globally. “Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector,” Son said. “We will further accelerate the information revolution by contributing to its development.”

SoftBank said the objective of the fund is to accelerate its global growth strategy through the investments and alliances with portfolio companies of the fund.

The fund will be managed in the UK by a subsidiary of SoftBank.

SoftBank has been aggressive in investing in Asian startups over the past few years, with stakes in China’s largest taxi-hailing platform Didi Kuaidi, Southeast Asia’s Grab and India’s Ola. It also recently acquired ARM for £24 billion and also owns US number four operator Sprint.

PIF departed from Saudi Arabia’s conservative investment strategy in June when it announced it invested $3.5 billion in US ride-hailing firm Uber, Reuters said.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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