SoftBank Announces Vision Fund 2 with Apple, Microsoft Contributing

SoftBank is a Japanese Multinational Conglomerate holding company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. SoftBank holds major stakes in various firms such as Boston Dynamics, Alibaba, Uber and Ola. SoftBank is very well known for its Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology-focused capital fund, with over $100 billion in capital. The Vision Fund is positively shaping the future by backing today's boldest, most transformative and optimistic ideas with large-scale, long-term investments. They believe that the AI revolution is here and their portfolio of companies are leading the revolution.

SoftBank announced today that it will launch its second mega Vision Fund with investments from some of the biggest tech companies such as Apple( an American global technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, software, and online services), Foxconn and Microsoft. Vision Fund 2, as named by SoftBank will focus on AI-based technology. It has promises of $108 billion in capital with over $38 billion coming from SoftBank itself. Goldman Sachs said it was in discussion with SoftBank about joining the fund. The full list of partners who have invested in the Vision Fund 2 are : “Apple,Foxconn Technology Group, Microsoft Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd., The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc., National Investment Corporation of National Bank of Kazakhstan, Standard Chartered Bank, and major participants from Taiwan.”

This comes as a huge victory for their Chief Executive Masayoshi Son whose earlier Fund was criticized over its viability in the long term prospect. The second Vision Fund plans to invest in artificial intelligence, which Mr. Son has said will benefit from the rising amount of real-world data gathered by sensors, cameras, and other machines. That data would allow companies to predict what people will do, he said.

The power to predict the future is about to emerge
— Mr. Son said last week at a Tokyo Conference SoftBank held for its corporate clients.

The Vision Fund rewrote the rule book my making minimum investments of $100 million dollars and was the largest private equity fund in the world and made investments in dozens of high-profile growing companies including India based Flipkart, Paytm and Ola the ride-sharing app. Only time can tell whether the Vision Fund 2 could help SoftBank extend its position as the most influential investor globally

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Indraneel Dulange