SoftBank Group has probably been the biggest driver of growth in the tech space over the past decade or so. It has backed some of the most interesting startups all over the world and has managed to grow them into behemoths. The company had made investments in companies like Uber and We work among many others, and all of that was eventually pooled into SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund. However, SoftBank is now looking to create a Vision Fund 2 in order to invest even more in tech firms from all over the world. However, unlike in the Vision Fund, in which a large chunk of the money was contributed by Saudi Arabia, Vision Fund 2 is going to attract investment from a wide range of investors.
On Friday, SoftBank announced that the bank had signed a series of MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with a range of companies and the potential value of the fund now stands at $108 billion. Some of the companies who are going to be part of the Vision Fund 2 are Apple, Microsoft, and Foxconn. In this regard, it is important to note that Foxconn and Apple had also been part of the original Vision Fund. It has also emerged that SoftBank itself is going to contribute $28 billion towards Vision Fund 2. Those who had invested in the original Vision Fund have made a profit of 45% so far on their investment, but it is also true that most of their profit is still largely on paper.
While discussing the sort of investment that is going to be made by Vision Fund 2, SoftBank stated in a statement that AI is going to be an area of focus. The company stated,
The objective of the fund is to facilitate the continued acceleration of the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies.
SoftBank is not obligated to contribute the entire $38 billion into the fund at one, but it has also been suggested that some money from the original Vision Fund could be diverted to Vision Fund 2.