The Japanese Conglomerate Softbank It is one of the most dedicated in the world to encouraging technological innovation. About three years ago, the group announced the Vision Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting start-ups and technology initiatives in the area of about $ 100 billion raised, Apple has contributed an excellent $ 1 billion. Now one more such initiative is beginning.
SoftBank announced today (PDF) the release of Vision Fund 2, his new fund for technology initiatives this time, focused on the development of artificial intelligence techniques. The group claimed to have raised about $ 108 billion for the initiative, and several tech giants are participating in the included Apple business, again.
It is still unclear how much Ma contributed to the fund, but the Cupertino giant is very well matched in the initiative: besides her, other technological giants like Microsoft and the Foxconn are among the signatories of Vision Fund 2. We also have several Japanese and Asian companies from various sectors, such as Dai-ichi (insurance), the bank Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, O National Bank of Kazakhstan and several others. The SoftBank itself comes in with $ 38 billion.
An important difference from Vision Fund 2 over its predecessor is the almost complete absence of Saudi Arabia: Several members of the country's government, such as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, contributed to the previous fund. However, because of suspicions of government-related crimes, such as the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, SoftBank decided to sever ties with the Saudi government in this edition of the initiative. In this way, polemics with companies or human rights groups are avoided.
According to SoftBank, talks with investor companies are still going on and the total amount raised is yet to increase. Once we know exactly what Apple contributed, we'll tell you here.