nsucurrent.com April 25, 2018

Japanese tycoon to launch $100bn-fund during Trump Saudi visit

22 May 2017, 03:37 | Ruby West

U.S. dollar banknotes lie on a table in this

U.S. dollar banknotes lie on a table in this

Investors in the fund include the Mudabala Investment Company of the UAE, Sharp Corporation, and titans like Apple Inc., Foxconn Group, and Qualcomm Incorporated.

The rest of the money will be raised in the next six months.

Key investments in the fund include a previous commitment of up to to $45bn by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and a $15bn commitment announced by Abu Dhabi sovereign vehicle Mubadala Investment Company on Saturday. The fund's creation coincides with U.S. President Donald Trump's two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is.

"Technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today", Son said in the statement.

"The next stage of the information revolution is under way, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large-scale, long-term investment", the Softbank Vision Fund said in a statement.

Japanese telecom group SoftBank announced the first major close of its technology-focused Vision Fund in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with $93bn of committed capital.

The fund will invest in a range of sectors including mobile computing, computational biology, communications infrastructure, consumer internet businesses as well as financial technology.

While startups will be a part of the fund, SoftBank said in the press release that it's going to be investing in "established, multi-billion dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding" as well.

"SoftBank Group will very much continue to do its own investments, as and when the need arises in any geography".

The fund may also serve the interests of Saudi Arabia by helping Riyadh obtain access to foreign technology. The Softbank and Foxconn contribution to the deal would be close to $50 billion as noted in the graphic above of a presentation sheet used in Son's pitch.

The fund, which, according to sources, already has a deal pipeline estimated at $40 billion, is expected to largely invest most of its corpus in the U.S. and Europe, given the greater maturity of their markets, and will also consider buyout opportunities. The fund is the world's biggest private equity fund, which Son describes as essential for preparing his company for a data "gold rush" that is expected to occur as the world's economy becomes more digitised.

The PIF signalled an interest in the tech sector previous year by investing US$3.5 billion in United States ride-hailing firm Uber.

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