Saudi Arabia, SoftBank Tech Fund Hits $93 Billion First Closing

The amount of financial commitment from the Saudi fund was not disclosed, but the Vision Fund also will be a vehicle for oil-rich Saudi Arabia to diversify its investments. The fund is targeting a total of $100 billion of committed capital, with a final close in six months. 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 fund is expected to invest in sectors including artificial intelligence, robotics and mobile applications.

"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", said the Softbank Vision Fund. Saturday's (May 20th) statement did not say how much the PIF had committed to the fund, but previously it has said it would invest up to $45 billion over five years.

"Yasir Alrumayyan, managing director of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, said the fund will help his country's strategy of developing "a diversified, knowledge-based economy.' Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chief executive officer of Mubadala, said the SoftBank fund 'perfectly complements" the company's strategy to become an investor in high-growth technology companies". The U.S. will be a focus after Son met with President Donald Trump in December and pledged to create 50,000 new jobs by investing $50 billion in startups and new companies.

Japanese mobile carrier Softbank Group Corp said it has raised almost US$100 billion with Saudi partners in pledges to launch a major global fund for long-term, high-tech investments.

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Son has made tens of billions from investments in companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Yahoo!

The first sign of the PIF's interest in the tech sector was its $3.5 billion investment in ride-hailing major Uber previous year.

Softbank's wholly-owned subsidiary SB Investment Advisers, which is to be headed by Rajev Misra, will advise the company on these investments.

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 United States and Europe, given the greater maturity of their markets, and will also consider buyout opportunities. He was also instrumental in arranging financing for the heavily leveraged Softbank for its $32 billion acquisition of UK-based chip maker ARM Holdings in July past year, also the Japanese investment major's biggest bet till date.


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