Apple confirms $1bn investment in SoftBank’s $100bn mega tech fund

5 Jan 2017

Japan yacht SoftBank participates on first day of America’s Cup race in New York harbour. Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

Apple has confirmed that it is investing $1bn in a $100bn fund led by Japan’s SoftBank to support the global tech sector.

SoftBank announced plans in October to create a $100bn fund for “investments in the technology sector globally”.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is understood to have invested $45bn in the new super fund, entitled the SoftBank Vision Fund.

“We’ve worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed [up] the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple,” said Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock in a statement.

According to reports, the fund is already oversubscribed and SoftBank itself has contributed $25bn.

Other investors believed to be involved include the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, the Qatar Investment Authority and Qualcomm.

Apple caught up in Trump controversy

The fund is already not without its share of controversy, however.

The incoming Trump administration has claimed that $50bn of the fund will be invested in US tech businesses, with the objective of generating 50,000 new jobs.

Characteristically, Trump boasted that the deal would not have been possible had he not been elected.

However, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said that such funding will come from a different fund than the one that Apple has invested in.

Japan yacht SoftBank. Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

Updated, 9.49am, 5 January 2017: This article was updated to clarify that Japan’s SoftBank is creating a $100bn fund.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years