SoftBank Group secured commitments of roughly $108 billion for its planned launch of SoftBank Vision Fund 2, the group's second large technology investment fund in less than three years, the Tokyo-based firm said Friday.
SoftBank said in a news release that it will invest $38 billion of its own money in the fund, with memorandums of understandings for the remainder from global technology companies, Japanese financial institutions and a Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund, among others.
SoftBank said its list of co-investors — Apple Inc., Foxconn Technology Group, Microsoft Corp., Mizuho Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd., SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc., National Investment Corp. of National Bank of Kazakhstan, Standard Chartered Bank and “major participants from Taiwan” — could grow, making it likely the size of the fund will increase further.
The news release said the objective of Softbank's next private investment fund is to “facilitate the continued acceleration of the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies.”
The mission of the initial SoftBank Vision Fund announced by Softbank in mid-October 2016, targeting up to $100 billion in commitments, was to make investments “in the technology sector globally.”
For that first fund, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the only partner initially mentioned. At that fund's first closing, announced in May 2017, SoftBank listed Mubadala Investment Co. of the United Arab Emirates, Apple, Foxconn, Qualcomm Inc. and Sharp Corp. as additional investors in the fund.
The long-anticipated launch of SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 further cements the Tokyo conglomerate’s image as a dominating presence in the sphere of technology investing.
In other recent moves, SoftBank announced July 19 the establishment of a Growth Acceleration Fund in Korea with an initial closing of 317.4 billion won ($269 million) to invest in early-stage startups globally, but with a focus on Asia.
In March, SoftBank Group announced the launch of a $5 billion technology growth fund for Latin America.