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Business News/ Companies / News/  SoftBank seeking to invest or partner with OpenAI: Report
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SoftBank seeking to invest or partner with OpenAI: Report

SoftBank may invest billions in AI companies, including a possible partnership with Open AI and a potential acquisition of Graphcore.

SoftBank plans to tie up with OpenAI for AI upgradation, says report. (Photo: AP)Premium
SoftBank plans to tie up with OpenAI for AI upgradation, says report. (Photo: AP)

After the blockbuster listing of its Arm unit, SoftBank is mulling over to make investment in artificial intelligence (AI). The global investment bank is also looking for a potential investment in OpenAI, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

SoftBank is seeking to invest in artificial intelligence companies and may seek to spend tens of billions in the sector, reported FT citing people familiar with the matter. 

The company also made a preliminary approach to buy Graphcore, a UK-based AI chipmaker. However, Graphcore denied it had received an offer from SoftBank. The bank has declined to respond the queries of FT.

SoftBank partnership with OpenAI and ChatGPT

The Japanese tech investment firm is also planning to strike a deal with ChatGPT maker OpenAI, FT said.

In June, SoftBank founder, Masayoshi Son, saidthat his tech investing conglomerate is planning to shift its stance to "offence mode" amid excitement over advances in AI.

Son has expressed excitement about AI technology, adding he is a "heavy user" of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot from Microsoft-backed startup OpenAI. He has also said that he speaks "almost everyday" to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

The firm is also looking at a range of alternatives to OpenAI, including Graphcore, and other companies. SoftBank secured a $54.5 billion valuation in its US initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday, seven years after SoftBank took the company private for $32 billion.

In August this year, SoftBank posted a surprise loss but said it was dipping its toes back into new investments after its Vision Fund returned to the black for the first time in six quarters.

The Japenese firm has been in “defence mode" since May 2022 after tech valuations crashed due to sharply higher interest rates and jitters that hit the global banking sector.

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Updated: 17 Sep 2023, 11:12 AM IST
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