Buzz It Up News

Saudi-SoftBank tech fund nears $100 billion target


Part of the reason that I made a decision to cover this news for CleanTechnica was to draw attention to the enormous amounts of money that are swirling around in the investment sectors - money that could potentially be used to fund the deployment of renewable energy, electric vehicle tech, self-driving vehicle tech, etc.

The SoftBank Vision Fund has received participation from industry titans and the likes of Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news), Qualcomm (Swiss: QCOM-USD.SW - news), and Taiwan (Taiwan OTC: 6549.TWO - news) 's Foxconn and collected pledges totalling more than $93 billion so far, the fund said in a statement Saturday (Shenzhen: 002291.SZ - news).

This fund will help spearhead innovation in the new digital technologies including Internet of Things, cloud technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile applications, computing, data-driven business models and financial technology among others.

For instance, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which is the largest backer of the Vision Fund, also invested $3.5 billion in Uber a year ago. After his meeting in December with the chairman of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, Son pledged $50 billion of investment to the United States that would then lead to an estimated 50,000 jobs. Mubadala committed USD15 billion, per another statement.

The Vision Fund will allow the billionaire Son to cut even more ambitious deals than he's been able to do with his highly leveraged company.

Yasir Al Rumayyan, managing director of the Saudi public fund said: "We are building a portfolio that is diversified across sectors, asset classes and geographies, and expect the Vision Fund to act as a platform to access a range of exciting, emerging opportunities in the technology sector".




The deal was announced during US President Donald Trump's maiden visit to Saudi Arabia.

Besides, it will also have the right to acquire certain investments already acquired, or agreed to be acquired, by the SoftBank Group, including 24.99 per cent of its holding in electronic chipset technology firm ARM and investments in Guardant Health, Intelsat, Nvidia, OneWeb and SoFi.

The Public Investment Fund signalled an interest in the technology sector in 2016 by investing $3.5bn in Uber.

Softbank's wholly-owned subsidiary SB Investment Advisers, which is to be headed by Rajev Misra, will advise the company on these investments.

Shares of SoftBank are up about 25 percent since the fund was announced in October, buoyed by the prospects it would ease the strain on the Japanese company's balance sheet.

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