SoftBank and Saudi Arabia settled their differences to create world’s biggest tech fund; $100 billion fund has won Apple’s commitment

“Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. is poised to launch the world’s biggest technology fund as early as Saturday, capping months of arduous negotiations in which the tech giant haggled with the fund’s main Saudi investor over control of the money, investment strategy and questions about its commitment,” Mayumi Negishi and Nicolas Parasie report for The Wall Street Journal. “The birth of the Vision Fund, which is expected to start with just under $100 billion in investments and a 12-year term, ushers a huge, new force into a tech-investment world long dominated by Western bankers and Silicon Valley financiers.”

“The deal combines the deep pockets of a Saudi prince with one of the world’s most ambitious tech investors, a pairing that has drawn commitments from corporate giants such as Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.,” Negishi and Parasie report.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son in December 2016
U.S. President Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son in December 2016
“The fund also has won SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son access to President Donald Trump, with Mr. Son’s promise to invest $50 billion to create 50,000 new U.S. jobs. The two are scheduled to meet in Riyadh this weekend during the president’s two-day trip to Saudi Arabia.”

Negishi and Parasie report, “But getting to this point took far longer than many people involved in the deal expected, with the process exposing the divergent objectives and outlooks of the two principal partners and how challenging it sometimes was for them to communicate, according to interviews with about a dozen people close to the talks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s get this show on the road!

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Apple in talks to invest $1 billion in SoftBank tech fund – December 13, 2016
Softbank to invest $50 billion in the U.S., create 50,000 new tech jobs after meeting with President-elect Trump – and Apple supplier Foxconn is in on the deal – December 6, 2016
President-elect Trump invites tech leaders to roundtable in Manhattan next week – December 6, 2016
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President-elect Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook called him after election victory – November 22, 2016
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  1. Isn’t it wonderful that the world’s biggest promoter of extreme Islam will have MASSIVE investment in the world’s biggest tech fund?
    What next? Putin?

  2. I don’t understand how this generates new jobs? The $100 billion is just another investment pool, honestly no different from any huge tech-focused mutual fund (except, perhaps, in size.

    I can’t read the article because I don’t subscribe to the WSJ (not since Murdoch took over), but it seems this fund won’t increase consumer demand for technology, won’t fund basic research, it’ll just invest in start-ups and buy and sell existing companies — just like every other Silicon Valley VC group. Yes, it’s significant that the House of Saud and a Japanese bank have found a way to make money together, but as a tech consumer, I don’t get the big deal. Can someone please enlighten me?

      1. Actually, there was no bias intended. I honestly don’t understand the claim that ANY investment fund directly creates jobs. Additional sources of capital are fine, but it’s not as though there isn’t plenty of capital already out there. I was looking for an answer involving economics, but politics.

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