SoftBank’s Profits Surge to £1.2bn Amidst AI Pivot

  • SoftBank reports £1.2bn profit for Q1 2024, marking second consecutive profitable quarter.
  • Despite quarterly gains, SoftBank ends fiscal year with third annual loss.
  • Strategic shift towards AI investments highlighted by gains in UK chip designer Arm.
  • CEO Masayoshi Son’s bold investments in tech companies reaffirming SoftBank’s commitment to innovation.
  • Recent funding into Wayve and potential acquisition talks with Graphcore signify continued investment in transformative technologies.

Main AI News:

SoftBank, the renowned Japanese tech investor, continues its remarkable turnaround, marking a second consecutive quarter of profitability as it strategically shifts its focus towards artificial intelligence. According to financial disclosures unveiled on Monday, SoftBank disclosed a net income of 231bn yen (£1.18bn) for the initial quarter of 2024, a substantial leap from the 57.6bn yen loss reported during the corresponding period last year.

While this quarterly success is noteworthy, it falls short of fully compensating for losses incurred throughout the fiscal year. Consequently, SoftBank concludes its financial year with a third consecutive annual loss, tallying up to 227bn yen for the 12-month period ending in March.

Notably, SoftBank reaps substantial gains from its investments, notably its stake in the UK-based chip designer, Arm. Investors anticipate Arm to serve as the linchpin in SoftBank’s revamped AI-centric strategy under the leadership of its CEO, Masayoshi Son. Although these gains from Arm are not directly reflected in SoftBank’s profits due to its subsidiary status, the surge in the share price listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange by 60% in 2024 underscores the optimism surrounding the company’s prospects. Recent reports from Nikkei Asia hint at Arm’s ambitions to pioneer AI chips, with plans to debut its inaugural products as early as 2025.

Masayoshi Son, the visionary architect behind SoftBank’s meteoric rise as a global investment powerhouse, has strategically positioned the firm through bold ventures in internet services, epitomized by its stakes in Alibaba, China’s premier e-commerce platform. Despite navigating through turbulent economic landscapes, Son’s unwavering confidence in rapid technological advancements continues to shape SoftBank’s trajectory.

In recent developments, SoftBank spearheaded a $1bn (£800m) funding round into Wayve, a pioneering British autonomous driving tech firm. Moreover, rumors circulated by Bloomberg suggest negotiations for SoftBank’s potential acquisition of Graphcore, a British AI chipmaker, are underway. These strategic maneuvers reaffirm SoftBank’s commitment to fostering innovation and driving transformative technologies forward.

However, amidst SoftBank’s resurgence, its Saudi-backed Vision Funds encountered setbacks, witnessing a devaluation of 115bn yen primarily attributed to WeWork’s tumultuous journey. WeWork, a once-promising office rental company, faced insolvency, prompting Son to reevaluate his investment strategies.

SoftBank’s sustained profitability not only bolsters its financial standing but also fortifies Son’s rationale for future substantial investments. As SoftBank continues to navigate the ever-evolving tech landscape, its strategic pivot towards AI promises to shape the future of technology and investment landscapes worldwide.


SoftBank’s remarkable profit surge amidst its AI pivot underscores the success of its strategic realignment. Despite enduring annual losses, the sustained profitability in recent quarters indicates a promising trajectory. With investments in AI-focused ventures gaining traction, SoftBank is poised to shape the future of technology and investment landscapes. This resurgence solidifies SoftBank’s position as a formidable player in the global market, driving innovation and fostering transformative technologies.