Softbank lost 99% when the dotcom bubble burst, now it’s all-in on AI

Softbank Group Corporation’s stock rose 1.5% to reach an all-time-high on Tuesday, July 2. The high mark comes just a few years after the company saw its shares plummet amid the closure of numerous high-profile tech startups, including WeWork, and a tech sector crackdown by the Chinese government.

Analysts have largely attributed the Japanese company’s recent uptick to its pivot toward artificial intelligence and the performance of its computing subsidiary Arm Holdings.

Artificial intelligence enthusiasm

As Cointelegraph recently reported, company founder and chairman Masayoshi Son recently announced that Softbank would pursue greater involvement in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

He told listeners at an annual company meeting in Tokyo that the company would focus on AI because it was Softbank’s purpose and that he was born to create “artificial super intelligence.”

Company shares dropped by 3% on the heels of the comments, but quickly recovered to push the company’s stocks to their record high.

Another bubble?

Analysts have worried that the generative AI market could be another bubble about to burst. Arguably, products such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Co-Pilot have failed to find their killer application with consumers.

And, with Nvidia reaching its all-time-high and showing explosive growth along the way — becoming the fastest company to go from a two trillion-dollar market cap to three, and only the third to do so — many have speculated that there’s nowhere to go but horizontal (or down) for the market.

While nothing’s ever certain in tech or finance, much like predicting the weather, it’s worth noting when circumstances align for a negative pressure system. In Softbank’s case, the sudden investor and shareholder interest at the company’s all-in approach to joining the surge in companies focusing their efforts on generative artificial intelligence, has paid record-breaking dividends.

But about 24 years ago Softbank invested heavily in the dotcom startups, catapulting its stock prices to its previous record highs, and ultimately, losing 99% of its total value when the bubble burst in March of 2000.

Softbank was far from the only company to suffer losses from the dotcom bubble bursting and, unlike many of its contemporaries at the time, it’s still around today to reach new highs. But it does bear mentioning that it took decades for Softbank Group to recover.

Related: OpenAI reportedly seeking trillions for AI chip development

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Written by Tristan Greene on 2024-07-03 20:42:04.

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