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SoftBank’s AI Investment Ambitions Post-Arm IPO


SoftBank’s visionary founder and CEO, Masayoshi Son, is poised for a significant foray into the world of artificial intelligence (AI). He aims to follow the triumphant IPO of its subsidiary, Arm, as reported by the Financial Times (FT).

Son’s AI Investment Vision

Masayoshi Son, the driving force behind SoftBank, is contemplating investments of massive proportions, potentially reaching tens of billions of dollars, within the AI domain. This strategic shift aligns with Son’s declaration earlier in June, expressing the conglomerate’s transition to “offence mode” due to the burgeoning developments in AI technology.

Possible OpenAI Partnership

Reports suggest that SoftBank is exploring the prospect of a comprehensive strategic partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, a cutting-edge AI chatbot. Son has passionately endorsed AI technology and revealed himself as a dedicated “heavy user” of ChatGPT. He has also maintained regular communication with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Exploring AI Alternatives

In addition to OpenAI, SoftBank is actively considering other AI avenues. This includes a preliminary approach to acquire Graphcore, a prominent UK-based AI chipmaker, as per the report. However, Graphcore, in response to inquiries from Reuters, denied any such acquisition attempt or offer from SoftBank.

No Immediate Responses

SoftBank and OpenAI have not issued immediate comments regarding these reports, leaving room for speculation about the extent and nature of their potential collaboration.

Arm’s Valuation Soars Post-IPO

Arm, the renowned chip designer, achieved a remarkable $54.5 billion valuation during its recent IPO in the United States. Notably, SoftBank had taken Arm private seven years ago for $32 billion.

SoftBank’s Reinvestment Stance

Despite an unexpected loss in August, SoftBank has signaled its intention to re-enter the investment arena. This decision comes on the heels of the Vision Fund’s return to profitability after six consecutive quarters in the red.

From Defense to Offense

SoftBank had adopted a defensive investment approach since May 2022, following the turbulence in tech valuations attributed to surging interest rates and concerns affecting the global banking sector.

In summary, SoftBank, under the leadership of Masayoshi Son, is poised for a significant AI investment spree, possibly in partnership with OpenAI, following the successful Arm IPO and a shift from a defensive to an offensive investment strategy.

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Disclaimer: This article serves solely for informational purposes and should not be construe as financial advice. Thus, we strongly advise readers to conduct thorough research and consult with financial professionals before making any investment decisions.


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