Laying to rest, all those rumours concerning Apple’s reported $1Bn investment in Softbank’s larger, $100Bn ‘Vision fund’, the Cupertino giant has today confirmed the investment to WSJ, also giving out a statement on the same.
In a statement issued by company spokesperson Kristin Huguet, Apple says,
We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple.
She further added that Apple has had a long working relationship with Softbank already, and hence the investment.
Coming to Softbank’s ‘Vision Fund’, the fund was announced in October last year, wherein the Japanese conglomerate is projecting to raise a staggering $100Bn to fund and develop futuristic technologies.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund is scheduled to launch this year with seed investment of a massive $25 billion by SoftBank itself. Further, it is also reportedly 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, wherein the Japanese founder promised to invest an amount of $50 billion in U.S. based tech startups, eventually creating 50,000 new jobs.
Apple’s interest in such a venture is of course understandable. While it of course is to utilise new-age tech developed by the ventures this fund invests into, it could well be a strategic investment to do two things — project itself as a more US friendly company amid the coming Trump administration (half of this fund will be invested in the U.S.), and secondly to further advance Apple’s own global appeal.
Financially and historically, it becomes even more interesting, when one looks at how Apple has recently been pushing in billions into various businesses. Most notable of them all was its investment in Chinese ride-hailing giant — and the fiercest competitor to its home nation born ‘Uber’ — Didi Chuxing.