Softbank acquires two robotics firms from Alphabet

With the purchase SoftBank is positioning itself for the coming data “gold rush”.

On Friday, the SoftBank Group Corp stated it would be acquiring two firms that build robots that could walk from Alphabet Inc. The purchase marks an increase of artificial intelligence companies in the group’s portfolio.

The Japanese conglomerate will be acquiring U.S.-based Boston Dynamics and Tokyo-based Schaft.

SoftBank did not disclose the terms of purchase.

The announcement saw SoftBank’s shares surge up by 7.9% with share prices hitting their 17-year high.

“Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the information revolution, and Marc (Raibert) and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots,” said Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s Group Chairman in a statement.

Raibert is CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics.

SoftBank is backing a $93 billion Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund, which seeks to invest in technological areas that are expected to grow significantly in the near future, including artificial intelligence and robotics.

Son has alluded the Vision Fund as being central for SoftBank. He expects a data “gold rush” to begin once the global economy becomes sufficiently digitized.

“Robotics as a field has great potential, and we’re happy to see Boston Dynamics and Schaft join the SoftBank team to continue contributing to the next generation of robotics,” said a spokesperson from Alphabet.

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