SoftBank has just invested in popular robot vacuum company, iRobot. According to Bloomberg, the company has picked up a stake that is less than 5%. The exact percentage was not mentioned, nor was the amount that SoftBank invested mentioned. iRobot has been one of the more popular companies in the robot vacuum space, it's right up there with Neato. iRobot makes Roomba robot vacuums and Braava which is its robot mops. So you are able to mop the floor with a robot instead of having to do it yourself. Which is another product that is really becoming popular as of late.
This isn't the first time that SoftBank has invested in a robotics company. SoftBank just recently purchased Boston Dynamics from Google. The search giant had been shopping the robotics company around to various buyers, many had expected Toyota to pick it up, but it was SoftBank that did it in the end. That purchase was likely to help with its own robot Pepper. This robot has been around for a few years at SoftBank, and it is now being used at physical retail stores to help out customers. Which is saving retailers money by having less employees, but also offering more help than employees could likely offer.
SoftBank may be known for being a large wireless carrier in Japan, but in recent years it has been looking to be a lot more than that. It purchased a controlling stake in Sprint back in 2013 for around $20 billion. Since then it has created the Vision Fund which allows SoftBank to invest in various companies and help them succeed. Just recently, SoftBank was rumored to be looking to buy a rather large stake in Uber, but that likely won't happen anytime soon since Uber is in need of a CEO who would need to sign off on such a deal. SoftBank is also looking to bring a decent number of jobs to the US through Sprint and other companies that it has stakes in. The Vision Fund is said to be worth over $100 billion, which Masayoshi Son is using to reinvest in other companies.