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Brief: Sharp commits $1b to SoftBank’s $90b-plus fund in IoT push



Sharp’s corporate headquarters in Osaka, Japan. Photo credit: Otsu4.


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The news:

nnSharp has committed US$1 billion over a five-year period to SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the massive tech investment fund that was announced in October, with a fundraising target of close to US$100 billion.nThe Osaka-based company said that it sees the investment as “an opportunity to learn about the internet of things space, which will in turn enable Sharp to accelerate its business expansion as an IoT company.”nSharp joins the fund’s growing list of backers, which include Apple, Qualcomm, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and Sharp parent Foxconn – which have all pledged US$1 billion apiece. Saudi Arabian sovereign fund PIF has committed US$45 billion. nn

Why it matters:

nnSharp’s commitment takes the Vision Fund closer to its target. Reports last week said that SoftBank had raised US$95 billion and was likely to close the fund soon.nAfter years of substantial losses and mounting debts, Sharp – one of the pioneers of LCD display technology – accepted a takeover bid from Foxconn worth US$3.5 billion in March last year, with the Taiwanese company promising to improve its fortunes. New areas of tech development such as IoT are seen as central to this turnaround strategy. nn

Source: The Financial Times