SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son hopes to raise $100 billion so that he can build an AI chip venture that can compete with Nvidia.

Bloomberg reports that project 'Izanagi' could see $30bn invested by SoftBank, and $70bn put in by Middle Eastern investors.

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The effort is envisioned to work alongside chip design business Arm, which SoftBank has a 90 percent stake in. However, how exactly the two businesses will interact is still undecided.

Izanagi - named after the Japanese god of creation and life - is still in an early stage, and Son has a history of making rapid decisions that could change the shape of the venture.

However, he has long predicted the rise of artificial general intelligence (he also chose Izanagi as the last three letters are AGI), and has invested heavily in trying to bring it about.

Back in 2017, Son launched the SoftBank Vision Fund, a $100bn effort backed by Middle Eastern investors to take early stakes in tech startups. It soon became the industry's most prolific investor, pushing up valuations across the industry.

But the company backed a number of high-profile failures, most notably WeWork. In May 2020, SoftBank announced the Vision Fund lost $18bn and was forced to scale back ambitions for its second fund.

Other failures like Katerra, Wirecard, and Zymergen led to criticism of its due diligence process, with Son saying that he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by the fund's performance.

The fund, which lost $32bn in the fiscal year ending March 2023, has significantly scaled back startup investments.

But SoftBank itself has seen more success in recent months thanks to its ownership of Arm (the Vision Fund owned a quarter of the business, but SoftBank acquired it last year).

After buying Arm for $32bn in 2016, and failing to sell it to Nvidia in 2022, SoftBank took the company public last year. Shares remained relatively level until earlier this month, when AI-speculation helped propel the company's valuation to new heights.

In the past week, Arm has added more than $50bn to its valuation, helping strengthen SoftBank's balance sheet.

The Izanagi project is separate to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman's multi-trillion-dollar chip plans, but Altman and Son have previously discussed combining forces to raise money for semiconductor manufacturing.