SoftBank-Saudi fund raises world's biggest tech pot at $93bn

AI, robotics fund definitely won't trigger the singularity *twitch*

The world's biggest tech fund backed by Japan's SoftBank Group has raised $93bn (£71bn) which it intends to plough into AI and robotics.

The SoftBank Vision Fund was first announced last year and its backers now include the Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates, Apple, Foxconn, Qualcomm and Sharp.

Telecommunications and tech investment group SoftBank, which acquired UK chip designer ARM for £24bn last year, holds a maximum of $28bn in the fund.

It said the fund was established because SoftBank believes the next stage of the Information Revolution is under way, "building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large scale long-term investment".

The fund will seek to acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging technology businesses to established, multibillion-dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding.

Its main investment focus will be on Internet of Things, AI, robotics, mobile applications and computing, communications infrastructure and telecoms, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.

The fund was established by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, and aims to accrue $100bn of committed capital. It expects to complete fund-raising in six months. ®


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