Today, Indonesian jobs information site Qerja announced that after just eight months in operation, the company has secured a series A funding round from the SB ISAT Fund, a collaboration between SoftBank and Indosat. The amount of the round was not disclosed, but Qerja is calling it “one of the highest Series A valuations of any Southeast Asian startup.” The round, it says, puts Qerja at an eight digit valuation. Previously, Qerja was supported by a seed round raised from Mountain Kejora Ventures (formerly known as Mountain SEA Ventures).
India’s startups have been mostly looking West for investment cash, but this is changing. Last year was an inflection point when Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank, visited India and announced plans to pump US$10 billion into India’s “information revolution.” Two-thirds of the first billion from SoftBank went to Snapdeal, to help it compete with ecommerce leaders Flipkart and Amazon. And nearly a quarter of a billion went to taxi app Ola to take on Uber.
Speaking today at his company’s fiscal year 2014 earnings report briefing in Tokyo, SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son revealed that Pepper, the telco’s personal humanoid robot, won’t be sold to consumers until later this summer. When Pepper was unveiled last June, Son stated that the robot would be sold to consumers in February 2015. “We are going to sell Pepper to developers only in February,” Son told the audience. “We haven’t reached a final decision yet but that’s the direction we’re discussing now.
SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (“SIMI”) and GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd (“GrabTaxi”) today announced a definitive agreement under which SoftBank Corp. will invest US$250 million in GrabTaxi, making it the largest investor in GrabTaxi. Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi has grown to become the largest and most widely used mobile taxi booking application provider in Southeast Asia.
FORTALEZA, Brazil — Oct. 31, 2014 — PRZen — Softtek, founder of the nearshore industry and leading global IT services provider dedicated to maximizing the value of applications, announced today the opening of a new Global Delivery Center (GDC) in the city of Fortaleza in the northeast region of Brazil. The facility has been built in partnership with local university Universidade de Fortaleza (Unifor), as well as support from governments of the city of Fortaleza and the state of Ceará.
Japanese telecommunications and Internet company SoftBank is planning to invest US$10 billion in India, the country’s government said after meetings with the company’s chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son. The SoftBank head met with India’s leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister for Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad during a visit this week to the country.
TOKYO: Food giant Nestle said on Wednesday (Oct 29) that its Japan unit would hire 1,000 robots as sales clerks at stores across the country. The first batch of the robots – a chatty humanoid called Pepper – will report to work by the end of this year at outlets that sell coffee capsules and home espresso machines. “From December, they will start selling coffee machines for us at big retail stores,” said Nestle Japan spokeswoman Miki Kano. “We are sure that our customers will enjoy shopping and being entertained by robots.”
Japanese telecom giant SoftBank today invested US$627 million in Indian ecommerce site Snapdeal, and US$210 million in taxi app Ola, formerly Olacabs. The investments into Snapdeal and Ola are part of a whopping US$10 billion earmarked by SoftBank to pump into India’s booming ecommerce, telecom, and aviation industries. Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, shared this investment plan when he met Indian prime minister Narendra Modi as well as IT and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi on Monday.
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.