SoftBank Group launches AI healthcare joint venture with Tempus AI

By Anton Bridge

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese technology investor SoftBank Group has launched a joint venture with Tempus AI that aims to analyse personal medical data with artificial intelligence (AI) to come up with treatment recommendations, chief executive officer Masayoshi Son told a briefing in Tokyo.

This is the latest in a string of AI investments SoftBank has recently announced as it increases the pace of its investment activity after a muted few years.

SoftBank invested around $200 million in Tempus in its series G funding round in April before Tempus listed on the Nasdaq in June.

Tempus conducts genomic testing services and provides AI-informed treatment and clinical trial recommendations in the U.S., based on a database of millions of patients' clinical records.

The firms hope to bring this service to Japan, which would become the only healthcare market outside the U.S. where such services would be available, Son told the briefing.

"Working with Tempus we'll develop services at pace in Japan," Son said. "With the database of 7.7 million U.S. patients we're at a running start."

The parties are expected to each put 15 billion yen ($93 million) into the venture, which is expected to close in July, subject to closing conditions, SoftBank said in a release.

Tempus' share price had fallen to around $27.50 on June 26 as compared to its initial public offering price of $37 on June 14.

($1 = 160.5400 yen)

(Reporting by Anton Bridge; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Miral Fahmy)