Vision Fund CFO said SoftBank’s $184 billion portfolio is essential to defeating competitors in AI

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Vision Fund CFO said SoftBank's $184 billion portfolio is essential to defeating competitors in AI
Vision Fund CFO said SoftBank's $184 billion portfolio is essential to defeating competitors in AI

According to a top executive, Japanese technology investor Softbank Group believes it has an advantage over smaller rivals because it can use its whole $183.6 billion portfolio to help it develop an ecosystem of businesses that can employ artificial intelligence.

Japanese technology investor Softbank Group (9984.T) feels it has an advantage over smaller competitors because it can utilize its whole $183.6 billion portfolio to help it create an ecosystem of businesses that can use artificial intelligence, according to a top executive on Monday.

Navneet Govil, chief financial officer (CFO) of SoftBank’s Vision Fund investment arm, told us that “we’re able to bring those companies to see how they can utilise generative AI or LLMs (large language models) because of the size of our platform.”

“When you have 477 portfolio companies, you can facilitate synergies, which isn’t possible if you’re a smaller platform,” he stated.

As rising interest rates and political unrest battered growth company valuations in 2022, the Vision Fund—which upended the venture capital industry with strong conviction bets on startups like ridesharing app Uber (UBER.N) and shared office provider WeWork—was severely damaged.

In recent years, SoftBank has made very few further investments in businesses. It was compelled to reduce new investments and implement stricter criteria in 2022 as a result of falling tech values and historic investment losses.

Over the previous two years, the organization and Vision Funds collectively invested around $4 billion.

The Vision Fund’s investments alone had previously topped $20 billion annually.

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