Softbank Group has held the first significant closing for its global technology investment vehicle Softbank Vision Fund.
The fund will invest in the technology sector globally with the goal of accelerating the "information revolution", the company said in a statement. The investment period is set to end five years from final closing, with a 12-year lifespan overall for the fund.
Softbank has set a target of $100bn and aims to hold a final close no later than six months from the initial closing. It aims to be the largest technology investor in the world over the next decade.
The fund will be managed by SB Investment Advisers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Softbank. Rajeev Misra will serve as CEO and play a key role in all transactions.
Softbank's previous European investment vehicle, Softbank Europe Ventures, was created by the merger of Softbank UK Ventures and Softbank Europe Ventures in 2001 to create a €550m vehicle. Since the winding down of this vehicle, Softbank has been investing in European technology companies on an ad hoc basis. Investments that were announced subsequent to the fund launch in October 2016 and meet the investment criteria may be transferred into the vehicle.
Softbank and its subsidiaries will continue to make investments outside of the fund but not if they are more than €100m in value and fall under the fund's mandate.
The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed up to become the lead investor in October 2016 with a potential commitment of up to $45bn. The Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates, Apple Inc, Foxconn Technology Group, Qualcomm Incorporated and Sharp Corporation have also made capital commitments. Softbank will make a maximum commitment of $28bn including expected in-kind contributions.
The fund will make long-term investments in any company that Softbank sees as contributing to the next age of innovation. It will make majority and minority investments in private and public companies from early-stage investments to growth funding for multi-billion dollar companies. The list of technology sub-sectors includes but is not limited to Internet-of-Things, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile applications, communications infrastructure, telecoms, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.
SB Investment Advisers – Rajeev Misra (CEO).
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