The billionaire behind Sprint’s parent company plans to unload some serious investment capital in American startups.
After a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son announced that he plans to invest $50 billion in U.S. startups that will create tens of thousands of jobs in the next four years, according to the Associated Press. SoftBank purchased a majority of Overland Park-based Sprint in 2013 for $22 billion.
“We are going to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and commit to create 50,000 new jobs,” Son said. “We (will) invest into the new startup companies in the United States.”
While Trump appeared to take credit for the announcement, the prospective capital derives from a previously announced $100 billion fund. SoftBank in October announced that it partnered with a Saudi Arabian wealth fund to launch a $100 billion tech fund. The Wall Street Journal reports that SoftBank has poured more than $45 billion into tech investments alongside co-investors over the past two years. SoftBank owns more than 235 companies and more than 100 affiliates.
Son’s meeting with Trump sets the stage for what could be another attempt by SoftBank to acquire T-Mobile and merge it with Sprint. U.S. regulators thwarted that attempt in 2015, however, a Trump administration may be more open to the idea.