SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is reportedly seeking $100B to build a new AI chip venture

Key Points:

  • Masayoshi Son seeking $100 billion for new AI chip venture
  • New venture to collaborate with Arm, owned 90% by SoftBank
  • SoftBank transitioning focus to AI from Alibaba, citing offensive and defensive reasons


SoftBank Group’s founder, Masayoshi Son, is aiming high in the AI industry with a new $100 billion venture codenamed Izanagi. This ambitious project would compete in the AI chip market dominated by Nvidia. Collaborating with Arm, the chip design company SoftBank spun out recently, the venture seeks substantial funding, with $70 billion intended to be raised from Middle Eastern investors and the remaining $30 billion to be invested by SoftBank itself.


Meanwhile, OpenAI’s Sam Altman is reportedly in discussions with UAE investors to raise $5 trillion to $7 trillion for a separate AI chip initiative. OpenAI has been a significant player in generative AI development, further highlighting the surging demand for AI processors.


SoftBank’s renewed focus on AI marks a strategic shift from its previous Alibaba-centric investments, with Son expressing readiness to capitalize on the AI revolution since early 2023. This move comes after SoftBank faced setbacks, including a substantial loss in its Vision Fund, emphasizing the company’s shift towards AI as both an offensive and defensive strategy.


The details of SoftBank’s new AI chip project remain undisclosed, such as technology partners and timelines. However, with Arm’s stock soaring and high demand for AI chips, the project has generated positive market reactions. Arm’s influence in the AI sector, serving tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, positions it well for future growth, contributing to SoftBank’s recent financial recovery.


SoftBank’s successful IPO of Arm in 2023 and its strategic stake in the company have set the stage for its AI-focused endeavors. Following its first quarterly profit in nearly three years, SoftBank’s announcement of the AI chip project has been well-received in the market, reflected in the positive movement of its shares post the news release.


In this dynamic landscape of AI chip development, intense competition and collaboration are driving innovation, with companies like SoftBank and OpenAI spearheading large-scale initiatives to capture a significant share of this rapidly evolving market.



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