SoftBank Vision Fund
Last October, Apple inc. announced a massive telecom fund in the Softbank Vision Fund. This fund was proposed with the aim of collecting 100 billion dollars for the cause of helping new technology surface through financial barriers. Recently, Apple Inc. has positively confirmed a gross investment of $1 billion in the Softbank Vision Fund. While in correspondence with Tech Crunch, Apple positively asserted that it is funding. This confirms former rumors, circulated by Wall Street Journal since December 2016. An Apple spokesperson said to Wall Street Journal
“Apple is planning 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 may be strategically important to Apple.”
A Joint Effort
The fund has been reported to be a joint effort with the Japan-based Softbank, and the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The main purpose of this investment has been announced as the effort to financially support emerging technologies. A specific example, the application of the Internet of Things and further developing Artificial Intelligence. Also, new methods and techniques with a gross amount of $100 billion.
Apple has been focusing on the development of Artificial Intelligence. Last December, Apple gave out details of all of its AI projects and ongoing research. One of these is focusing on a part of the Internet of things. Namely HomeKit, Apple’s framework for developing an artificially intelligent equipped home.
Now with an additional investment of 1 billion to the fund, Apple will be helping to generate an international fund stateside. With this investment, $25 billion has been put in Softbank and another 45 billion dollars are invested by Saudi Arabia’s PIF.
With Apple on board, it has inspired other tech companies such as Oracle and Qualcomm to consider investing. However, their interests in this cause are still being considered rumors as they have made no public statement about their potential investments. However, Softbank confirmed the vision fund is to be backed by and invested in by Foxconn, Larry Ellison, and Qualcomm.
Donald Trump has also become somehow affiliated with the Softbank Vision Fund. He publicly claimed that he should be given credit for the Fund plan. Apparently, Mr. Trump had agreed with SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son concerning his tweets that created a boast about him working to create more job opportunities.
Amongst all this, the Vision Fund investment in the development of new and unique technology is being seen to be a step towards leading this $100 billion to mostly American based tech firms. However, Apple’s investment can be used to generate an international fund to be used stateside.