SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son to raise $100 billion for AI chip venture

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FILE PHOTO: SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son speaks at the SoftBank World 2023 corporate conference, in Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 4, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Tang/File Photo

According to Bloomberg News, SoftBank Group’s CEO, Masayoshi Son, is seeking to raise up to $100 billion for a chip venture aimed at competing with Nvidia Corp.

The project, known as Izanagi, is intended to provide essential semiconductors for artificial intelligence applications. The report suggests that SoftBank would inject $30 billion into the venture, with an additional $70 billion potentially sourced from institutions in the Middle East.

This project represents Son’s latest major undertaking since SoftBank scaled back its investments in startups. While SoftBank is renowned for its sizeable tech investments, the company shifted to a more defensive strategy following pandemic-induced market volatility. However, it returned to profitability earlier this month, buoyed by improvements in portfolio companies.

The vision is to establish a company that can complement the chip design capabilities of Arm Holdings Plc, allowing Son to create a formidable force in the AI chip sector.

SoftBank has yet to respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The company already holds approximately a 90% stake in British chip designer Arm. SoftBank’s CFO, Yoshimitsu Goto, recently emphasized that Arm would soon become indispensable to AI, previously referring to the chip designer as “the core of the core” within SoftBank’s group of companies.

Arm executives have noted strong demand for their central processors, particularly in conjunction with Nvidia’s chips for AI operations in data centres.


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