SoftBank Corp agreed to invest EUR473 million to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Republic of Ireland-headquartered Cubic Telecom, a provider of software-defined connected vehicle systems and IoT assets, as the operator looks to advance its position in the fields.

The pair signed a definitive agreement to form a strategic partnership and make Cubic Telecom a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp, which will take three board seats.

Cubic Telecom CEO Barry Napier will continue to head the company, with SoftBank’s SVP responsible for its global business Daichi Nozaki and two other appointees to join the board.

A trio of board seats will continue to be held by Cubic Telecom’s existing shareholders, including software company Cariad (a unit of Volkswagen Group) and Qualcomm.

SoftBank president and CEO Junichi Miyakawa said the tie-up would drive its entry “into the fast-growing market for high-value IoT asset connectivity”.

“With its global leadership position, we are convinced Cubic Telecom is the best partner for this opportunity and we look forward to building connectivity platforms for next-generation social infrastructure”.

Napier added the “focus on software rather than hardware means manufacturers can increase the value of a vehicle or device by adding new functionality, over-the-air, which will improve safety, comfort and performance”.

The investment is subject to standard regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

It is expected to close in H1 2024.

Cubic Telecom has agreements with 90 mobile operators, with its platform connecting more than 17 million vehicles across the world.

The platform allows OEMs to monitor, manage and update many aspects of a vehicle or device in real-time through mobile connectivity.

In 2018, SoftBank forged a deal with Toyota Motor to develop transportation services by combining their expertise in connected cars and IoT.