SoftBank Corp has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 51% stake in Irish software company Cubic Telecom for about €473m ($510m).
Cubic Telecom is engaged in providing software-defined connected vehicle solutions to automotive, transportation and agriculture original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
A software-defined connected vehicle has its features and operations mostly enabled by software that is connected to the internet.
Through the acquisition, SoftBank Corp, the telecommunications and IT unit of Japanese investment company SoftBank Group, aims to capture the rapidly growing connected vehicle market.
McKinsey & Company estimates that by 2030, 95% of newly sold cars worldwide will be connected.
Together, SoftBank Corp and Cubic Telecom aim for a strategic worldwide alliance to drive the development of software-defined connected cars and other high-value Internet-of-Things (IoT) assets.
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SoftBank Corp noted that OEMs can use Cubic Telecom’s Application & Connectivity Enablement (PACE) solution to track, manage, and update numerous aspects of a vehicle or equipment in real-time, globally, through mobile connectivity.
Following the deal, which values Cubic Telecom over €900m, it will become a consolidated subsidiary of Tokyo-headquartered SoftBank Corp.
Through the deal, SoftBank Corp will get three seats on Cubic Telecom’s board, while the remaining three will be occupied by existing shareholders, Qualcomm and Cariad, software unit of car maker Volkswagen.
Under the terms of the investment, Barry Napier will continue as CEO and board member of Cubic Telecom and SoftBank Corp’s senior vice president Daichi Nozaki will oversee the software company’s worldwide operations.
SoftBank Corp president & CEO Junichi Miyakawa said: “In line with our ‘Beyond Japan’ strategic growth initiative, we are extremely pleased to be teaming up with Cubic Telecom to make a full-fledged entry into the fast-growing market for high-value IoT asset connectivity.
Cubic Telecom CEO Barry Napier said: “The focus on software rather than hardware means manufacturers can increase the value of a vehicle or device by adding new functionality, over-the-air, which will improve safety, comfort and performance.
“This, alongside the opportunity [artificial intelligence] AI presents, will open up new collaborations and business models. The opportunities ahead of us are endless.”
In September 2023, reports emerged that OpenAI was in talks with SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son and LoveFrom to set up a company for developing a consumer device.