Softbank-Saudi tech fund becomes world’s biggest with $93 bln of capital

 20 May 2017 - 18:15

Softbank-Saudi tech fund becomes world’s biggest with $93 bln of capital
Man walks past the logo of SoftBank Group Corp at the company's headquarters in Tokyo (Reuters)

Reuters

RIYADH:  The world’s largest private equity fund, backed by Japan’s Softbank Group and Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund, said on Saturday it had raised over $93 billion to invest in technology sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

“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 billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman of Softbank, a telecommunications and tech investment group, revealed plans for the fund last October and since then it has obtained commitments from some of the world’s most deep-pocketed investors.

In addition to Softbank and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the new fund’s investors include Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment, which has committed $15 billion, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology and Japan’s Sharp Corp.

The new fund said it would seek to buy minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging businesses to established, multi-billion-dollar firms. It expects to obtain preferred access to long-term investment opportunities worth $100 million or more.

Other sectors in which the fund may invest include mobile computing, communications infrastructure, computational biology, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.

The fund aims for $100 billion or more of committed capital and expects to complete its money-raising in six months, it added.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Dale Hudson)