Saudi Arabia and Japan’s Softbank announced that they will create a tech fund that could soon grow to around $100 billion- the largest in the world. This new private equity investment fund, called the Softbank Vision Fund, will be managed in Britain by a Softbank subsidiary. Softbank is rumored to invest at least $25 billion, while Saudi Arabia may invest up to $45 billion in the next 5 years- a telling sign of their initiative to move into non-oil industries.
This move is an ambitious one, both for Softbank and Saudi Arabia. Softbank is known for its investments in relatively successful companies, such as its early backing of Alibaba, a giant in the field of Chinese online marketing, and ARM, the chip manufacturer for many brands of smartphones. Saudi Arabia has also been looking to expand its financial portfolio beyond oil; in June, it invested $3.5 billion into Uber, becoming one of Silicon Valley’s most valued investors. According to Prince Mohammed bin Salem, the move will support “the kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy to develop a diversified economy.”