SoftBank's Billion-Dollar Bet: Switching From Startups To Semiconductors, AI

Zinger Key Points
  • SoftBank's Vision Fund reduces U.S. portfolio by $29 billion, shifts focus from venture capital to AI and semiconductors.
  • Masayoshi Son eyes $100 billion chip venture, exploring AI tech development and competing with Nvidia.

SoftBank Group Corp’s SFTBF SFTBY founder Masayoshi Son is pivoting from venture capital to investments in semiconductors and artificial intelligence (AI).

Since the end of 2021, the firm’s flagship Vision Fund has been divesting or marking down billions of dollars in publicly listed holdings. It has reportedly reduced its U.S.-listed portfolio by nearly $29 billion.

The fund, once a major force in technology, has also cut back on staff and slowed its investment rate, Bloomberg reports.

Also Read: Nvidia Chips To Power Softbank’s Near $1B AI Investment: Report

Masayoshi Son’s liquidating assets from the fund’s portfolio comes on the heels of a successful initial public offering of Arm Holdings Plc ARM.

Since then, Arm’s market value skyrocketed to about $106 billion. This makes SoftBank’s 90% stake exceedingly valuable. 

Analysts flagged British chip designer Arm as a formidable Qualcomm Inc QCOMIntel Corp INTCAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc AMD rival as a key AI beneficiary after its recent quarterly print.

Meanwhile, Son is considering launching a $100 billion chip venture to compete with companies like Nvidia Corp NVDA and support the development of AI technologies.

SoftBank is now directly investing, and sometimes taking controlling stakes, in major semiconductor companies. It is currently in discussions to acquire British semiconductor startup Graphcore Ltd and recently led a $1.05 billion funding round for UK-based self-driving startup Wayve Technologies Ltd.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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