Smartphone giant Apple has confirmed plans to invest $1bn in a technology fund set up by the Japanese telecom major Softbank Group (SBG).
In October last year, Softbank announced that it would create the $100bn Vision Fund to invest in the technology sector globally.
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: “We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple.”
The fund could also see participation from Foxconn Technology and the family office of Oracle chairman Larry Ellison.
Softbank announced that it would invest at least $25bn in the fund over the next five years.
On 12 October 2016, the company also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF) for the fund.
Under the MoU, PIF considered investing in the fund and becoming the lead investment partner.
PIF is expected to invest up to $45bn over the next five years.
Softbank said: “The objective of SBG to establish the Fund is to accelerate SBG’s global growth strategy through the investments via the Fund and alliances with portfolio companies of the Fund.
“The Fund will make investments drawing upon SBG’s investment proficiency, operational expertise and breadth of experience in the technology sector.”
The fund will be managed by a subsidiary of Softbank in the UK.
The Japanese firm said that it would use its deep operational expertise and network of portfolio companies in order to add value to the fund’s investments.
SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said: ““With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally.
“Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector. We will further accelerate the Information Revolution by contributing to its development.”