SoftBank forms JV to build AI-powered warehouses with Symbotic
SOFTBANK-GROUP-SYMBOTIC-VENTURE: SoftBank forms JV to build AI-powered warehouses with Symbotic
SoftBank Group is forming a joint venture with supply-chain services provider Symbotic to build AI-powered warehouses that will be majority owned by the Japanese technology investor, the companies said on Monday.
The firms are investing a total of $100 million in the venture, which will be called GreenBox Systems. The unit has also signed a contract to buy AI-powered systems worth $7.5 billion for its warehouses from Symbotic.
The deal will give SoftBank, already an investor in Symbotic, warrants representing about 2% of the U.S. company's outstanding shares. The Japanese firm said it had also bought 17.8 million shares of Symbotic from CEO Rick Cohen.
Shares of Symbotic rose 1.3% on Monday, while SoftBank closed 1.2% higher on the Tokyo bourse before the news.
The move comes at a time when SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has said his conglomerate plans to shift its stance to "offence mode" amid excitement over advances in artificial intelligence.
The rise of ChatGPT this year has led to a flurry of investments in all things AI, even as wider funding dries up in an uncertain economy.
"GreenBox taps into the powerful potential of A.I. and other enabling technologies in supply chains," said Vikas Parekh, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
The Japanese company will have a 65% stake in GreenBox, with Symbotic owning the rest. Greenbox will order Symbotic's systems over a six-year period starting in fiscal 2024.
Symbotic said it expects more than $500 million in annual recurring revenue from the sale of software, parts and services to the JV.