While Uber has hit its toughest regulatory road block yet in Seoul, last-mile delivery service Naldo pushes forward with its plan to upend South Korea’s logistics industry. The company last week received an undisclosed series A round from Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. Tech in Asia soon after caught up with founder Ludolf Ebner to get the lowdown on his startup.
VMware and SoftBank Commerce and Service (a SoftBank Telecom subsidiary) have brought VMware’s vCloud Hybrid service to Japan, the first Asian market for the Palo Alto, California, company’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering. For its part , VMware will build, manage, operate and support the vCloud service and provide the primary sales route to market through its ecosystem of partners. SoftBank will contribute its data centers, network and a dedicated sales force, including more than 7,000 re-sellers in Japan.
Masayoshi Son always has another trick up his sleeve. Despite discussing seemingly everything about the future of his company during the firm’s two-day festival “Softbank World” earlier this week, Son put out a stunning announcement Friday morning. Nikesh Arora, a 10-year Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) veteran who most recently served as its Chief Business Officer, will leave Mountain View and join the ranks of Softbank (TYO:9984), Japan’s most aggressive telco.
As part of its agreement with SoftBank VMware will build, manage, operate and support the vCloud Hybrid Service, and provide the primary sales route to market through VMware’s ecosystem of partners. SoftBank will provide datacentres and network capacity for the service, as well as a dedicated salesforce. VMware said its hybrid cloud service, which enables users to extend their VMware-based on premise kit to the cloud, is already available to clients in Japan as a private beta and will become generally available in Q4 of this year.
TOKYO, JAPAN: VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, SoftBank Telecom Corp. and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp. (SoftBank C&S) today announced the expansion of VMware vCloudHybrid Service in Japan – the first Asian market and third in the world to deploy this Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) public cloud solution.
SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son took the stage at SoftBank World 2014 this morning to share his revolutionary ideas for reversing Japan’s declining economy. If you’ve been following SoftBank recently, it should come as no shock that one of Son’s proposed remedies is the implementation of a robotic workforce. He also stressed the importance of utilizing existing technology – smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing – to gain an edge over the competition.
Japanese telco Softbank (TYO:9984) will invest over $20 million in startups in the Philippines with the creation of a new fund, Tech in Asia has learned. The Softbank venture fund in the Philippines is set up with the help of its regional partner, IP Ventures (IPVI). SoftBank China and India’s Bodhi Fund invested in IPVI in 2011. It will be led by IPVI’s CEO Enrique Gonzalez and also Softbank’s very own Kabir Misra, Katsumasa Niki, Teddy Himler, and Yen Theng Tan.
TOKYO: SoftBank Corp, Japan’s No 3 mobile carrier, will cut its smartphone charges in Japan with a flat rate for unlimited voice calling and cheaper data plans, in a sign that price competition may be starting to pick up in Japan’s mobile market. The lower rates, to take effect next month, are similar to reductions this month by rival NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan’s largest wireless provider. Regulators have grown increasingly critical of the three dominant carriers, blaming them for high smartphone fees and oligopolistic practices.
TOKYO: A chatty humanoid robot whose makers claim it can understand people’s emotions made its first friends Friday as it struck up conversations with shoppers in Tokyo. And the device — named Pepper by its designers — proved an effective marketing tool for mobile carrier SoftBank, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions.
URAYASU: Japan’s SoftBank on Thursday unveiled what it billed as an “emotional” humanoid robot that will entertain customers at the mobile carrier’s phone outlets — and maybe become a member of their family. Company president Masayashi Son joked around with the talking, dancing and singing humanoid named Pepper at an event just outside Tokyo.
There’s no shortage of peer-to-peer lending sites in China, but neither has a distinct market leader emerged. Sina Tech reports Softbank China is getting in on the action with an estimated US$10 million investment into financial services company Edai. In addition to the P2P lending service that it launched this year, Edai offers traditional loans and free loan consultation. The Chengdu-based company was founded in 2006 and now exists both online and has brick-and-mortar offices in China.
Indonesian telco Indosat has announced that it has joined forces with Japanese telco SoftBank to launch SB ISAT, a $50 million venture capital fund targeting Indonesian growth-stage startups. “The SB ISAT investment fund will allow Indosat to stay ahead of the fundamental changes in the telecommunication and internet industry and drive growth,” says Alexander Rusli, Indosat’s CEO and President Director.
Given the rapid-fire pace at which SoftBank President Masayoshi Son has funded hundreds of tech startups over the past two decades, his company’s $20 million investment 14 years ago in a tiny Chinese e-commerce operator called Alibaba.com was easy to miss. Son’s dealmaking synapses have been in overdrive since the dawn of the Internet age in the mid-1990s, and he has bet billions on unproven startups in search of tomorrow’s most promising technologies and online business models. “On the Net, everything moves so quickly,” Son said in an interview in 2000. “So you have to do things differently.”
TAIPEI — Shares of Asia Pacific Telecom Co. (亞太電信) got a boost Thursday morning after Taiwan Star Cellular Corp. (台灣之星) formally announced a bid a day earlier to acquire the company, dealers said. Shares of Asia Pacific Telecom rose 7 percent, the maximum daily increase, to close at NT$17.90 (US$0.59) with 102.95 million shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 0.42 percent at 8,930.90 points.
TAIPEI — Taiwan Star Cellular Corp. (台灣之星), a telecom arm of conglomerate Ting Hsin International Group (頂新), said it is seeking to acquire Asia Pacific Telecom Co. (亞太電) in a bid to consolidate the resources of the two companies. Cliff Lai, president of Taiwan Star, said his company is sitting on huge funds and has a 4G license, a broad distribution network and plenty of talent for business expansion.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Reports emerged yesterday suggesting that Hon Hai Precision Industry (鴻海精密) and Japan’s SoftBank are among the list of likely candidates vying to acquire languishing Asia Pacific Telecom (APT, 亞太電信). According to local reports, Hon Hai intends to expend as much as NT$10 billion to acquire a 22-percent stake in APT from state-run companies and affiliates
One of Thailand’s main online game operators Ini3 Digital announced today that SoftBank Ventures Korea, a venture capital arm of SoftBank Group, has invested an undisclosed amount that accounts for 23 percent of the company’s equity. A SoftBank partner will join the company’s board. Daniel Kang, COO and partner of SoftBank commented on why the company chose to invest in the Thailand-based game company:
TOKYO (Reuters) – Line Corp, a Japan-based mobile messaging service operator, has not received an offer for a stake purchase from SoftBank Corp, the company’s chief operating officer said on Wednesday. Shares in SoftBank and in Line’s South Korean parent company, Naver Corp, surged on Tuesday after a Bloomberg News report that SoftBank and Line had held talks on a stake sale. Line and Naver both denied that talks had taken place.
The messaging app landgrab is on. Less than a week after Facebook bought out WhatsApp, and shortly after Rakuten acquired Viber, a report in Bloomberg suggests that Softbank (TYO:9984) is seeking a stake in Line. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report says that Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder, has held talks with Line about a purchase. The overtures from Japan’s third biggest telco have even caused Line and its parent company, Naver (KRX:035420) to slow its preparations for a spin-off IPO for the messaging app.
With help from KT Corp, Korea’s biggest fixed-line operator, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank established an internet data center in Namhae, a city located in the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, in 2012, KT said. SoftBank could not be reached for comment. Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, is also said to be considering building a data center in Korea. This was made known when its Vice President Tom Furlong in-charge of data center operations, met Korean technology officials in December.