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Saudi-Backed Vision Fund Invests $1.1 Billion in a Maker of ‘Smart Window’ Glass

SoftBank will unveil its first major investment since Saudi Arabia invited international scorn for the murder of a journalist.

View Inc. glass in an apartment building lobby.

View Inc. glass in an apartment building lobby.

Source: View Inc.

Despite the recent assassination of a journalist by Saudi Arabian agents and an ensuing global controversy, Masayoshi Son and his Saudi-backed SoftBank Vision Fund appear as bold and extravagant as ever. On Friday, the investment firm plans to announce it has sunk $1.1 billion into View Inc., a Silicon Valley-based maker of glass used in internet-connected windowpanes.

View’s technology allows customers to control the level of tinting in so-called smart windows. This sort of “dynamic glass” can help lower cooling costs and remove the need for blinds or other accessories. It took View about a decade to develop this new kind of glass, and its sales to airports, hospitals and office buildings have taken off over the past couple years.