In what appears to be the largest round for an Indonesian startup on public record, online marketplace startup Tokopedia announced its approximate US$100 million financing round, led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Internet and Media Inc (SIMI). Sequoia Capital joined in as a follow on investor. With this round of funding, SoftBank and Sequoia Capital representatives will join the company’s board of directors. The funding also comes as Sequoia Capital’s first investment in Indonesia.
Japan’s Softbank plans to acquire Korean TV show portal DramaFever, according to a press release published on Business Wire . The five-year-old startup has raised US$12 million up to this point, some of that coming from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. The site has a wide range of international TV shows, but is mostly known for its Korean dramas.
Softbank, Japan’s robot-loving telco, today announced a business tie-up with Tokyo-based ad tech startup Geniee . Starting next month, Softbank will launch a supply-side advertising platform (SSP), in collaboration with Geniee, which the wireless carrier hopes will give a boost to its internet advertising business. As part of the deal, Softbank will purchase a minority stake in Geniee that accounts for 32.9 percent of the startup’s outstanding shares.
Softbank is going to Hollywood. After days of rumors about a potential acquisition of DreamWorks , the Japanese telco has invested US$250 million into film studio Legendary Entertainment . That represents a 10 percent stake in the production company but the deal contains an option allowing Softbank to invest a further US$750 million over the next few years, according to 4Traders .
TOKYO–Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank’s failed bid for T-Mobile marked a rare defeat for its brash billionaire founder, but few expect it to sideline a man intent on building “the world’s number-one company.” After years of scooping up companies big and small, Masayoshi Son’s voracious appetite for acquisitions hit a snag amid reports earlier this month that the firm’s U.S. unit had abandoned a US$32 billion offer for T-Mobile in the face of regulatory opposition.
TOKYO: The chief of Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank on Friday brushed aside questions about a plan to buy T-Mobile, in his first public comments since a report said that he had called off the deal. Masayoshi Son, the billionaire head of SoftBank, had never confirmed that he was trying to scoop up the fourth-largest US mobile carrier through its unit Sprint, which SoftBank acquired last year in a monster US$21.6bil (RM69.26bil) deal.
In July, SoftBank (TYO:9984) and Deutsche Telekom agreed in principle on a deal for SoftBank to buyout majority of the German telco’s stake in T-Mobile. American regulators had started to review the terms of the agreement but the future of the acquisition was thrown in serious doubt today after French telco Iliad announced it was making a new bid to buy 56.6 percent of T-Mobile. The price tag for the SoftBank deal was never announced but 4-Traders is reporting that Iliad is willing to pay US$15 billion in cash.
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.”