Region's sovereign firms to join technology fund

09 February 2017

Fund targeting artificial intelligence and internet-of-things

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company is considering joining the initial or the next round of the $100bn Vision Fund being formed by Japan’s Softbank, according to news agency Bloomberg.

If realised, Mubadala will be the second sovereign investment fund in the Gulf to participate in the fund, which wil focus on investing in both established and startup technology companies.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is understood to be planning a $45bn contribution.

Softbank Group is aiming to close the first round of the fund before end February, according to the report. The first round is expected to raise an estimated $80bn.

Various sources indicate the initial round of the fund could include the following contributions:

  • PIF (Saudi Arabia): $45bn
  • Softbank (Japan): $25bn
  • Apple (US): $1bn
  • Qualcomm (US): $1bn
  • Larry Ellison (Oracle chairman; US): $1bn

According to Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, the Vision Fund aims to become the world’s biggest technology investor over the next decade.

Softbank has already bought US telecoms provider Sprint for $22bn and semiconductor giant ARM Holding for $32bn, and has purchased stakes in hundreds of startups.

Son is believed to be targeting new technologies such as artificial intelligence and internet-of things (IoT) with the Vision Fund.

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