Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group has invested in two U.S. companies, a map software startup and an artificial intelligence startup, the two American companies said on Tuesday.
Mapbox, based in San Francisco, said it has received an investment worth $164 million from a group of investors, including SoftBank Vision Fund, set up jointly with the government of Saudi Arabia among others, and several venture capitals. The investment will be used in three areas: autonomous driving, augmented reality, and virtual reality technologies for games and expansion into China, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Pittsburgh-based Petuum, which specializes in machine learning, said it has received $93 million from SoftBank and others. The startup hopes to spread machine learning technology, currently employed by only a handful of big information technology companies, to other businesses.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has come to occupy a prominent role as one of Silicon Valley's savviest political operators -- a behind-the-scenes Trump whisperer who's been able to shape some of the administration's economic policies in ways that benefit Apple and some of its tech peers.