SoftBank Eyes $ 150 mn deal in Indian AI Infrastructure Boost By Elets News Network - 15 May 2024

SoftBank

SoftBank, the Japanese technology conglomerate, is considering significant investments in Indian data centres and industrial robotics companies to capitalise on the infrastructure supporting Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to a Moneycontrol report, SoftBank is evaluating potential deals in these sectors, with investments likely to range between $75 million and $150 million per deal once negotiations are finalised.

The conglomerate’s renewed interest in AI-related infrastructure in India highlights its focus on sectors with substantial market potential. Data centres and industrial robotics are currently the primary themes under scrutiny.

This move would mark the end of SoftBank’s two-year hiatus from making new investments in India. From late 2018 to mid-2022, SoftBank invested approximately $11 billion in Indian startups, achieving exits worth around $6.5 billion from these ventures. The company’s exploration of AI infrastructure investments in India reflects a global trend of recognizing the country as a vast market and a significant technology exporter.

SoftBank’s interest in India’s AI infrastructure is in line with its global pivot towards AI and semiconductor investments. This shift comes as the conglomerate divests from Vision Fund holdings in sectors such as e-commerce and fintech. In fiscal year 2024, SoftBank allocated about $9 billion toward high-growth industries, including logistics, robotics, and autonomous driving.

In October 2023, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son expressed a bold vision for the future of AI. He predicted that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), possessing intelligence ten times greater than human capabilities, would emerge within the next decade. Furthermore, he introduced the concept of Artificial superintelligence, which he believes could be 10,000 times more powerful than human intelligence and become a reality within the next 20 years.

As SoftBank continues to assess potential deals in the Indian data centre and industrial robotics sectors, the country’s technology landscape is poised for significant growth and innovation, driven by the accelerating adoption of AI.

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