Masayoshi Son Softbank invset in Trump America

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 new jobs after a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump. They addressed the media at Trump Tower in New York. Photo: AP


Masayoshi Son, the brash billionaire who controls Sprint Corp., said Tuesday he would invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 new jobs, following a 45-minute private meeting with President-elect Donald Trump – Wall Street Journal reports.

The telecom mogul, who made his fortune in Japan with SoftBank Group Corp., has planned to “invest into the new startup companies in the United States.” It would be difficult to create 50,000 jobs entirely by investing in startups, which generally employ few workers. Sprint employs about 30,000 people and has cut jobs to combat losses.

Mr. Son’s plan to pour $50 billion is massive compared with the total amount of capital in venture circles. Venture-capital firms had $163 billion available to invest in new deals as of June 2016, according to research firm Preqin.

In addition to startups, Mr. Son also has his sights on acquisitions as large as $30 billion, a person familiar with his thinking said.

In addition to Kansas-based Sprint, which SoftBank acquired in 2013 for $22 billion, the company also led a $1 billion investment round last year in San Francisco-based online lender Social Finance Inc.

With the new $100 billion fund—dubbed the SoftBank Vision Fund—Mr. Son plans to spend heavily in fields including the so-called Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics. He has said he wants to become the Warren Buffett of the tech industry.

SoftBank plans to invest at least $25 billion during the next five years in the fund, while Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may contribute an additional $45 billion over the same period as the fund’s lead partner. Other investors are still being finalized. Investments are expected to be made over the next five years.