The SoftBank Group Corp announced its fresh investment initiative SoftBank Vision Fund to spur investments in the information technology domain. The SoftBank Vision Fund aims to invest about a whopping $1 billion in China’s SenseTime Group Ltd. , earning a stake in what is touted to be the world’s most valuable AI (Artificial Intelligence) startup. At the outset, this is quite an impressive step for SoftBank Group as it joins hands with SenseTime, which has reached ‘the forefront of global AI industry development’ with its advanced AI Technologies, as stated on the official website of SoftBank.
As of now, the terms and conditions of the recently launched fund by SoftBank Group Corp., and SenseTime are still in the nascent stage and are subject to change. If reports are to be believed, the company seeks to take its investment drive ahead, and after having raised more than $1.2 billion, has announced two more finance rounds in the near future.
The 4-year-old company SenseTime is all set to etch China as the world leader in AI by 2030, has inspired a host of local startups as per its objective. It creates systems that analyze faces and images on a large scale, contributing to China’s vast surveillance system.
Anticipating the thrust of China’s role in the future of technology, SoftBank has made it one of the central destinations for the Vision Fund raking in about a huge $100 billion pool of money, leading it to become the world’s largest technology investor. The spectrum of investment offered is quite diverse and expansive, including sectors as distinct as robotics, eCommerce ride-hailing, semiconductors and so on which is in line with the broad vision of SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son’s vision, which is to invest in an AI and data-oriented future. To this end, SoftBank gave away $32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings Plc, the chip designer company that will have a key role in the development of artificial intelligence in the future, as per Son.
We believe that AI will unlock another era of China-lead global development, and that the R&D and deployment of computer vision and deep learning technologies will redefine human life as we know it and establish a new connection between us and the world at large. Not only will this transform society as a whole, but it will push mankind forward as well. – SenseTime
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If the deal goes well, as planned, SoftBank will join some of the biggest names in technology and investment, which is taking things to the next level towards a bright future for the global technology, to say the least.
SenseTime is diversifying itself into exploring driving and augmented reality, and working on a service code-named “Viper” to parse data from thousands of live camera feeds, which it believes will improve mass surveillance like never before.
With this investment drive, SoftBank materializes its objective as stated on the page of SoftBank Investment advisors, which goes: We focus on growing businesses run by disruptive innovators that are seeking to be the foundational platforms of the information revolution.