Softbank to invest $100m in AI start-up Behavox

Softbank to invest $100m in AI start-up Behavox

Softbank's second Vision Fund is on the verge of investing $100m in Behavox, a UK startup which uses AI to monitor employees' behaviour at financial services companies.

The Japanese conglomerate could complete and announce its deal with Behavox in the next week, according to Sky News.

Behavox uses AI to detect nefarious activity by employees, such as rogue trading or bribery.

This investment would be deployed from SoftBank's Vision Fund II, after the conclusion of the investment period for the original fund ended in September.

This was comfortably the largest technology investment capital pool at $93bn, but saw high-profile investments Uber and WeWork's valuations subsequently plummet.

This has led to more moderate interest in its successor, with Abu Dhabi's Mubadala and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment fund yet to commit despite being principal investors in the original.

The second fund's investment in Behavox has reportedly been in the works for some time as interest has piqued in compliance-monitoring technologies at financial institutions.

This is a sign that Softbank is taking a different path with Vision Fund II, targeting more modest investments in functional businesses offering vital services to particular industries, and avoiding high-profile and potentially overvalued companies.

Behavox attracted funding from Citi in November 2017 and lists Jeffries and Marshall Wace among its clients.

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