Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has announced plans for raising second Vision Fund as it looks to continue with investment in technology driven startups with major focus on Artificial Intelligence or AI. The second vision fund will be raising nearly $108 Bn, SoftBank’s Chairman Masayoshi Son announced. This makes the second vision fund bigger than the first one that was announced in 2017 with total corpus of $100 Bn.
Similar to the first vision fund, SoftBank will bring be some of the biggest names from the global corporate world as strategic investors on board for the second fund. This includes the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Standard Chartered Bank, Foxconn and several other big companies hailing from across the world.
The major focus of this enormous fund would evidently be on startups and companies that are working to leverage the power of AI to resolve the numerous pain points plaguing the global consumers.
“The objective of the fund is to facilitate the continued acceleration of the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies,” SoftBank said in a statement.
SoftBank all set to take the control of Second Corpus
SoftBank would be pumping $38 Bn in capital and this will technically make it the largest investor in the second vision fund. Interestingly, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which was the largest investor in the first fund, has not been listed as the strategic investor in the second fund.
It is unclear if this is the result of the fallout of diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia following the murder of popular Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year. The U.S. alleged that Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud was directly involved in Khashoggi’s murder. An allegation that Riyadh has categorically refuted.
With SoftBank replacing Saudi Arabia in the second vision fund, the Japanese conglomerate will become the most influential investor in the world.
SoftBank’s First Vision Fund proved to be Lucky for Indian startups
While it is yet to be seen whether SoftBank’s second vision fund will bring good news for the Indian startups, the first one certainly did. The first vision fund invested in several Indian startups hailing from diverse sectors and helped massively in uplifting the investment scenario in the Indian startup ecosystem.
SoftBank’s first vision fund’s Indian portfolio includes companies like Oyo rooms, Paytm, Grofers, Firstcry, Policy Bazaar and Delhivery.
SoftBank is also among the early investors in some of the poineer Indian startups like Flipkart, Ola and Snapdeal.