SoftBank's Masa seeks $100b for chips

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Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank Group Corp., is seeking to raise up to $100 billion to create a chip venture aimed at competing with Nvidia Corp. and to supply semiconductors that are essential for artificial intelligence (AI). This new venture is code-named Izanagi, named after the Japanese god of creation. Son's vision is to establish a company that can complement SoftBank's chip design unit, Arm Holdings Plc, and position SoftBank as a powerhouse in the AI chip industry15. SoftBank is considering investing $30 billion of its own funds into the project, with the possibility of securing an additional $70 billion from Middle Eastern institutions. The company already holds a significant stake in Arm, which is considered central to AI development and has been referred to as "the core of the core" of SoftBank's group of companies. Arm executives have noted strong demand for their central processors to complement Nvidia's chips for AI work in data centers15. This move comes as SoftBank has shifted its investment strategy, becoming more defensive after the pandemic when higher interest rates reduced investor appetite for risk. However, SoftBank has recently returned to profit for the first time in five quarters, buoyed by an upturn in its portfolio companies5.
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