Softbank reportedly plans to invest in ChatGPT-maker and other AI firms

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SoftBank is eyeing to invest big in artificial intelligence, with a potential investment in OpenAI being one of the many deals they are considering. Financial Times, citing insiders, reports that Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of the Japanese conglomerate, is planning to invest tens of billions of dollars in AI after the completion of Arm‘s IPO.
Arm’s IPO generated nearly $5 billion in proceeds, and analysts predict that SoftBank’s value could increase up to $65 billion. This amount includes SoftBank’s own cash and the remaining 90% holding in Arm, which it plans to use as collateral for loans.
Son has mentioned that he is a frequent user of ChatGPT. He has reportedly developed a strong bond with Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI. Son regards Altman as one of the most important individuals on the planet and is said to have daily conversations with him.
SoftBank’s mobile unit is already in business with OpenAI, as it offers generative AI technology services to companies in Japan. This includes the development and deployment of chatbots.
Son has shifted to “offensive mode” after being in “defensive mode” during the pandemic and tech downturn in 2022. After concentrating on Arm for several months, its successful listing has freed up Son to resume dealmaking with aspirations to establish his Japanese technology conglomerate as a credible competitor in the field of AI, tells the sources, hinting at a potential investment in AI firms.
SoftBank is considering several options for deals related to artificial intelligence, including Microsoft-backed OpenAI. According to sources, SoftBank is evaluating the possibility of striking a broad strategic partnership with the ChatGPT maker.
In addition to OpenAI, SoftBank is also exploring other alternatives, such as investing significantly in direct competitors of the ChatGPT maker. The company has also made a preliminary approach to acquire Graphcore, a UK-based AI chipmaker.

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