SoftBank earns $3 billion in 5 months and pushes new investments towards an AI rush


SoftBank has made roughly $3 billion in profit from investments through its five-month- old, $100-billion Vision Fund, CEO Masayoshi Son said Wednesday while onstage at The Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.

Since raising a staggering $100 billion earlier this year, the tech conglomerate has made roughly 15 investments in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, and silicon. SoftBank has also used the massive fund to pour $4.4 billion into WeWork and is close to acquiring a roughly 20% stake in Uber. So far, the aggressive investing strategy appears to be working. The Vision Fund has seen a 22% return in the last five months to the tune of roughly $3 billion in profit, according to Son.

A SoftBank spokesperson declined to elabourate on the comments or say which investments generated the profit. The Japanese billionaire recently revealed plans to eventually invest nearly $900 billion in tech companies through future Vision Funds. He said on Wednesday that the first fund would take fewer than five years to finish.  People say it’s too much he said of the $100 billion war chest, which is unprecedented in size. I say it’s too little. Son is a firm believer in the concept of the singularity, which says that artificial intelligence will eventually give way to machines that are smarter than the collective intelligence of all humans.

He predicted on Wednesday that 10 billion robots with super intelligence will exist in the world by 2040, a number he said includes autonomous vehicles being worked on by the likes of Uber and Tesla. He compared the rise of AI and robotics to the immense wealth created by the first internet companies of the early 2000s and said that the coming singularity would create an even bigger gold rush.


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