Softbank fund gets major lift

May 22, 2017, 15:37
Softbank fund gets major lift

The SoftBank Vision Fund has received participation from industry titans and the likes of Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news), Qualcomm (Swiss: QCOM-USD.SW - news), and Taiwan (Taiwan OTC: 6549.TWO - news) 's Foxconn and collected pledges totalling more than $93 billion so far, the fund said in a statement Saturday (Shenzhen: 002291.SZ - news).

A huge tech fund backed by Saudi Arabia and Japan's SoftBank is nearing its target of raising $100 billion.

The investment vehicle christened Vision fund will be headed by Rajeev Misra, a veteran 54-year-old Wall Street finance executive, who joined SoftBank in 2014 after stints with UBS, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.

It gained greater attention, however, when Son met U.S. President Donald Trump and pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. with the goal of creating 50,000 new jobs.

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The new fund made its announcement during the visit of President Donald Trump to Riyadh and the signing of tens of billions of dollars worth of business deals between US and Saudi companies.

Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Corp, said in the statement: "SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs".

"SBG created the SoftBank Vision Fund as a result of its strongly held belief that the next stage of the Information Revolution is underway, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large-scale long-term investment".

"The SoftBank Vision Fund today announced its first major close with over Dollars 93 billion of committed capital", Softbank said in a statement.

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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".

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

Son later told the Wall Street Journal the $50 billion investment would come from the Vision Fund.

The new fund will work on a strategy of backing technology companies at all stages. Softbank is investing $28bn.

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SoftBank invested $5 billion into the Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing last month in the largest-ever venture fundraising. At that size, it would be nearly five-times larger than the current biggest private equity fund, Blackstone Group's Blackstone Capital Partners V. Tokyo-based SoftBank has already agreed to invest at least $25bn.

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