Apple plans investment of $1 billion in SoftBanks new technology fund

Apple Inc plans to invest $1 billion in SoftBank Group Corp's giant new technology fund. With the move, Apple becomes the latest among a growing list of interested parties participating in the fund.

Qualcomm Inc also said it would participate in the fund, but the terms and the amount of its investment were still under discussion. Foxconn Technology Co Ltd and Oracle Corp chairman Larry Ellison also intend to contribute, Bloomberg reported citing a person familiar with the matter.

''We've worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple,'' said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, Bloomberg reported. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the investment.

The $100 billion Vision fund, which Japan's SoftBank aimed to launch this year, would be based in London and make investments in startups around the world. Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook had often been asked questions about when and how he would deploy more of the company's cash hoard on acquisitions to lessen its dependence on the iPhone, which accounted for about two-thirds of revenue. At the end of September Apple had $238 billion in cash.

According to SoftBank it was investing at least $25 billion in the fund and had been in talks with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for an investment that could be around $45 billion.

"We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple," company spokesman Josh Rosenstock told Reuters.

SoftBank had also said that it planned to make future large-scale investments via the tech fund, rather than on its own.

Reuters reported in December, citing sources familiar with the matter, that Apple had held talks with SoftBank about the investment.

Reuters reported Benjamin Spicehandler, an outside public relations representative for Softbank as confirming that Apple had invested. He added that Foxconn, Oracle founder Larry Ellison's family office and chipmaker Qualcomm also had said they intended to invest in the fund.