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Japanese tycoon wants to invest $880 billion in tech

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Meet ‘crazy’ tech tycoon Masayoshi Son

For SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, $100 billion just isn’t enough.

Months after setting up one of the biggest tech funds in the world, the Japanese billionaire says he is keen to launch another one — and soon.

“The Vision Fund was just the first step,” Son told the Nikkei newspaper. “We will briskly expand the scale. Vision Funds 2, 3 and 4 will be established every two to three years,” he said.

Related: Where the huge SoftBank-Saudi tech fund is investing

Son has become the new kingmaker in tech. He unveiled the Vision Fund less than a year ago, backed by Saudi Arabia, SoftBank (SFTBF), Apple (AAPL, Tech30) and other big names. By May, it had raised $93 billion — out of a planned $100 billion — to spend on tech businesses of the future.

The fund is investing fast, pumping huge amounts of money into high-profile startups like WeWork, Slack and Flipkart, among others.

Softbank vision fund 2

Son predicts it “will probably run dry in about two years,” so he’s looking ahead and setting his sights high.

The tycoon is aiming to raise 100 trillion yen (about $880 billion) and invest in “at least” 1,000 companies over the next decade, he told Nikkei.

Related: Meet the new kingmaker in tech

Son, who wants to be known as a “crazy man who bet on the future,” is a famously aggressive investor.

He believes singularity — the moment when computers and artificial intelligence will surpass mankind — is on the horizon.

Related: Why SoftBank is investing in Uber — and its big rivals

Technology’s “gold rush actually starts now,” he said at a news conference in May, likening SoftBank’s big investments to feeding a goose so it can lay golden eggs.

And he has a strong track record of convincing deep pocketed investors to cough up.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Son recounted how he met with Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who was Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince at the time, and convinced him to invest $45 billion in the Vision Fund … in just 45 minutes.

“So $1 billion per minute,” Son said.



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