SoftBank’s New Crown Jewel: AI Startup Perplexity Valued at $3 Billion!

  • Editor
  • June 28, 2024

SoftBank, led by CEO Masayoshi Son, is making a significant move in the AI industry by investing in the AI search startup Perplexity AI. This investment values Perplexity at an impressive $3 billion, signaling SoftBank’s commitment to competing with tech giants in the AI race.

Son has long been known for his ambitious investments and bold vision. In a recent shareholder meeting said, “he was put on Earth to create artificial superintelligence that’s 10,000 times smarter than a human—’I am super serious about it.”

Son’s passion for artificial intelligence is deeply personal and not just about technological advancement. He considers every investment he has made throughout his career as preparation for this ultimate goal.

Perplexity AI, an innovative startup focused on AI-driven search technologies, aims to revolutionize how we interact with information online.

By leveraging advanced AI, Perplexity hopes to offer a more intuitive and efficient search experience, positioning itself as a strong competitor in AI.

byu/ihtar_tajar from discussion

Perplexity AI leverages large language models, including OpenAI and Meta’s Llama, and provides instant, accurate, and citation-backed answers to user queries.

The startup has quickly gained traction, handling over 500 million queries in 2023, and stands out for its minimal marketing expenditure.

With significant backing from investors like Nvidia and Amazon, Perplexity AI is poised to challenge major players like Google in the search technology space.

byu/Otterly2024 from discussion

SoftBank’s backing provides Perplexity with the resources and strategic support needed to scale its operations and enhance its technological capabilities. Softbank is set to invest $10-20 million in the larger round of $250 million, but the final deal has not closed yet.

This investment in Perplexity is part of SoftBank’s broader strategy to dominate the AI sector. The company has committed to making multiple large-scale AI investments exceeding $1 billion.

Earlier this year, SoftBank invested $200 million in Tempus AI, a medical-data analysis startup, showcasing its diverse interest in AI applications.

CEO Perplexity AI on the founder’s passion:

Both monumental successes and significant losses mark SoftBank’s investment history. The company’s Vision Fund experienced a $27 billion loss in fiscal year 2021 and a $32 billion loss in fiscal year 2022 due to underperforming investments in tech and high-growth stocks.

Despite these setbacks, Son’s resilience and strategic shifts have led to recent gains, including a $4.6 billion profit in fiscal year 2023, driven by successful investments in companies like Arm, ByteDance, and DoorDash.

Perplexity AI faces criticism as giants like Forbes accused them of “ripping off” its work without sufficient attribution:

Beyond AI, Son has expressed interest in opportunities within autonomous driving, AI robotics, and data centers. His commitment to learning from past mistakes and his determination to realize ASI underscore his belief in the transformative power of AI.

In summary, SoftBank’s investment in Perplexity AI will be a strategic move that aligns with Masayoshi Son’s long-term vision of creating superintelligent AI. This investment positions Perplexity to challenge industry giants and reinforces SoftBank’s dedication to leading the AI revolution.

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Dave Andre


Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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