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Masayoshi Son, the mind behind SoftBank Group, is diving headfirst into the world of artificial intelligence. With an ambition that matches the heights of his previous ventures, Son is spearheading a fundraising effort aimed at launching a new player in the AI chip industry.

  • Project Izanagi: Code-named Izanagi, this venture is set to rival tech giants like Nvidia, by foraying into the competitive realm of AI chip manufacturing.
  • Arm Collaboration: Izanagi isn’t starting from scratch. It will join forces with Arm, the chip design company that SoftBank recently transformed into a publicly-traded entity, holding an impressive 90% stake.
  • Fundraising Targets: To fuel this venture, SoftBank is courting Middle Eastern investors for a whopping $70B of the $100B needed, with SoftBank itself providing in the remaining $30B.
  • Future of AI Processing: As AI technology evolves, the demand for advanced processors surges. The market’s ripe for innovation, whether it’s next-gen GPUs or entirely new processing methodologies.
  • Competition and Collaboration: Notably, OpenAI’s Sam Altman is also courting investors for a massive new AI chip project, adding a layer of intrigue to the sector’s future.
  • SoftBank’s AI Pivot: SoftBank’s move is a strategic shift from its lucrative investment in Alibaba. Eager to harness the potential of AI, the company is reallocating resources to lead the impending AI revolution.

Despite past setbacks, SoftBank’s strategic stakes in companies like Arm have fueled a financial rebound, highlighted by impressive Vision Fund returns and a successful Arm IPO.

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