Science & Technology

SoftBank Plans Its Indian Startup Founders Trip to Silicon Valley

SoftBank Group plans to send its Indian startup founders to Silicon Valley in September, where they will get acquainted with the specifics of the field of artificial intelligence and the features of advanced technology.

SoftBank Plans Its Indian Startup Founders Trip to Silicon Valley

This trip is part of the implementation process of the Japanese corporation’s plan to introduce machine intelligence into its portfolio companies. SoftBank helps portfolio firms integrate AI into their business structure and organizes meetings for them with the largest players in this industry. This was announced by Sumer Juneja, a managing partner who oversees the corporation’s investments in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India in SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

Sumer Juneja says that the corporation plans to send many of the 20 founders of Indian firms on a tour to Silicon Valley, but he did not specify who exactly is meant in this case. SoftBank’s portfolio includes Oyo hotels, Ola travel company, and Swiggy delivery service.

SoftBank, headed by Masayoshi Son, resumed its startup investment activities this summer. Prior to that, there was an actual shutdown of the relevant financial projects. A kind of lull in the investment sector occurred concerning the background of frustration with futile efforts against firms at the initial stage of development, which turned out to be unprofitable.

As of today, the corporation has a cash capital of more than $40 billion. SoftBank is also currently in the process of publicly acquiring chip developer Arm Holdings as part of a deal to raise additional funds.

Sumer Juneja announced the rejection of interaction in the investment sense with companies that are away from the current boom in the field of artificial intelligence and in several years will have a business of zero relevance. According to him, mandatory conditions for financial injections are the presence of a technical team and activity in, as he formulated, the right industry, where the use of AI will have a high level of efficiency in terms of influencing the business model and its improvement.

Currently, investors are interested in interacting with companies operating in the field of machine intelligence. This is a logical aspiration, since such AI-based products, like ChatGPT, demonstrate an explosive growth in popularity. Sumer Juneja is convinced that firms in many sectors, including those offering software as a service to consumers, will be outside the zone of consumer interest if machine intelligence is not integrated into their business.

At the same time, currently, a kind of problem is the choice of the most effective option for the use of a new generation of technology. Sumer Juneja says that anyone who starts using AI too early can form the wrong strategy for integrating digital intelligence into the structure of their activities and ultimately not get economic benefits, and the belated start of the corresponding efforts means endangering the very existence of a business against the background of advanced technological realities.

Masayoshi Son has invested more than $140 billion in startups since the creation of the Vision Fund in 2017. At the same time, many of these investments have lost a significant portion of their value, including office-sharing firm WeWork Inc.

As we have reported earlier, SoftBank Backs Robot Startup.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.