Right now, Apple confirmed plans to invest in SoftBank’s huge $ one hundred billion Vision Fund, the international tech fund that the telecom giant announced last October.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple verified its involvement in the fund, a rumor first reported by The Wall Street Journal in mid December:
“Apple is organizing to invest $ 1 billion in SoftBank’s Vision Fund. We’ve worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which might be strategically crucial to Apple.”
The fund, a joint effort amongst SoftBank and the government of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), reportedly seeks to invest in emerging technologies, which includes artificial intelligence and the World wide web of Things. In December, Apple published a paper detailing its AI research, and its interest in IoT by means of HomeKit is ongoing. Beyond’s Apple’s $ 1 billion investment, SoftBank is investing roughly $ 25 billion in the Vision fund, with yet another $ 45 billion to come from Saudi Arabia.
Qualcomm and Oracle are also rumored to be interested. In statements to TechCrunch, each companies declined to comment on their possible interest in the fund.
The Vision Fund recently became entangled with President-elect Donald Trump, when he claimed credit for Vision Fund plans that pre-dated his election win. Trump seems to have coordinated with SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son, tweeting a misleading boast about his part in making new jobs. Provided SoftBank’s enduring want to get T-Mobile, Son’s interest in buttering up the deregulation-friendly incoming president is apparent.
With a whopping $ one hundred billion to point toward hot developments in tech, it is no surprise that a massive chunk of the fund will be aimed at American tech businesses. Now, through Apple, a sliver of the international fund will originate stateside as nicely.
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