SoftBank plans to launch a new fund of more than $ 55 million for investment in artificial intelligence (AI) within two or three years, told Bloomberg Katsumasa Niki, CEO of Deepcore, a subsidiary specializing in the incubation of start-ups of the Japanese giant. Since February 2018, the Deepcore fund has more specifically supported start-ups specializing in deep learning and AI, thanks to the support of large groups, including Yahoo Japan and Dentsu.
This launch is part of SoftBank’s plan to maintain its position as a major player in the development of AI. If Deepcore’s first fund had $ 55 million, the company aims to exceed that amount for this new fund. SoftBank also appointed Yutaka Matsuo to its board of directors this month, already an advisor at Deepcore and an expert in AI.
Great ambitions for Japanese companies
Mr. Niki does not hide his ambition to see Japanese companies become as powerful as the GAFA. He thus hopes that Japanese entrepreneurs and engineers will multiply. Deepcore, which claims to date nearly 250 employees in Tokyo, wants to recruit more staff in this regard.
If the first Deepcore fund has invested in 18 start-ups in the early stages, SoftBank can still count on Vision Fund, one of the most important financial backers of tech companies in the world, which could soon enter. in stock exchange.