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SoftBank zeroes in on Southeast Asia in search of next Grab

Tech group aims to replicate success of investment in Singapore ride-hailer

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group, is stepping up investment in artificial intelligence-related startups.

SINGAPORE -- SoftBank Group is stepping up investment in startups in Southeast Asia again. Many of these startups are unicorns -- a company valued at over $1 billion -- or soon-to-be unicorns. SBG aims to repeat the success it made with Grab, a Singapore-based ride-hailer, whose corporate value shot up after it invested in the company at an early stage. Given that the risk of investing in Chinese internet companies is increasing with Beijing's tightening of restrictions, the ratio of investment that goes into Southeast Asia, which has huge growth potential, may increase further.

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