Abu Dhabi in talks to invest in $100bn SoftBank fund

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is a major backer of the fund



Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is said to be among the parties in talks to invest in Japanese telecoms group SoftBank’s $100bn technology fund.

The Financial Times cited people briefed about the negotiations as confirming Abu Dhabi’s interest and said the fund could reach its target weeks ahead of schedule thanks to participation from technology firms including Apple.

SoftBank’s billionaire founder and CEO Masayoshi Son announced the launch of the Vision Fund in October after securing an up to $45bn investment over five years from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Since then, Son has vowed to invest up to $50bn in American start-ups following a high profile meeting with US President Elect Donald Trump.

The fund’s main focus will be on technologies focusing on artificial intelligence, robots and the so-called ‘internet of things’ of connected devices, sources told the FT.

US technology giant Apple has confirmed plans to invest $1bn in the fund with a company spokesperson saying it could speed up the development of technologies its considers strategically important.

SoftBank also confirmed that Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Qualcomm and Foxconn planned to invest in the fund.

An investment committee for the Vision Fund, which is being headed by former Deutsche Bank and UBS debt-trader Rajeev Misra, met for the first time on Tuesday, according to the publication.

SoftBank’s recent investments include $1bn in US satellite start-up OneWeb and the $32bn acquisition of British chip designer Arm Holdings.