Back in October, SoftBank announced about its ‘Vision Fund’ based out of London dedicated for tech investments. It is now possible that Apple may emerge as an investing partner for the same fund in near future. Recently, Apple held talks to invest upto $1 billion in $100 billion fund being raised by SoftBank Group Corp. Though the deal between the two industry giants has not been finalized yet.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund is scheduled to be launched next year with seed investment of $25 billion by SoftBank. Further, it is currently engaged in talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) for seeking an investment of upto $45 billion. Apart from it, a meeting was held between President-elect Donald Trump and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son last week. The Japanese founder has also promised to invest an amount of $50 billion in U.S. based tech startups which would eventually create 50,000 new jobs.
Though the amount is relatively small, Apple seeks to gain insight on emerging technologies through the deal. Previously, Apple had invested a sum of $1 billion (same as expected investment) in Didi Chuxing Technology Co., China. Didi which is said to be competitor of Uber, a ride hailing app. Though Apple’s earnings count to $237.6 billion cash and cash equivalents as per reports but the company usually invests small amounts in young tech companies. If this deal confirms, this would be the second rare investment move for Apple this year.
Talking about the Vision Fund, one of the biggest technology investment funds will target artificial intelligence, robotics,and Internet of things. SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son previously stated,
Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector.
SoftBank has ties with Apple since 2008, after the duo collaborated for release of the iPhone in Japan. The deal made SoftBank the exclusive seller of iPhones in Japan and third-largest cellular carrier by 2011. The talks recently held may strengthen the bond between the two in coming times.