SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Softbank has announced it is creating a new global technology investment fund, seeded by a $25 billion investment of its own, with the working title of the ‘Softbank Vision Fund.’ The wing will be based in the United Kingdom, and will be further bolstered by a $45 billion from the public investment fund of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi PIF recently poured $3.5BN into Uber, of course, as part of an economic strategy to reduce its reliance on oil over the next 15 years. Getting involved with a general global tech fund would spread the kingdom’s bets further.
Softbank says it has a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Saudi PIF at this point, under which the latter will “consider investing and becoming the lead investment partner”.
The company further says that “a few large global investors” are also in active dialogue to also participate in the fund, although it’s still capping the overall potential size of the fund at up to $100 billion.
The investment period for the fund has been set for five years, meaning it could be investing up to $20 billion in startups globally each year. A figure that would make Greylock’s newly closed $1 billion fund seem modest.
The company’s chief executive Masayoshi Son said it’s aim is to become “the biggest investor in the technology sector” over the next decade. Early Softbank investments include web services, such as ecommerce giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, and more recently U.S. telco Sprint.
“The Fund will make investments drawing upon [Softbank Group]’s investment proficiency, operational expertise and breadth of experience in the technology sector,” it notes.
According to the FT, the fund will be led by Rajeev Misra, SoftBank’s head of strategic finance.