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10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and President Trump met behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss social media ahead of the 2020 election. The meeting was held to discuss "the world of social media in general," Trump said in a Twitter post. Trump tweeted on the same day that Twitter is "very discriminatory," and said the social media company removes his followers. Trump has previously accused social media companies of anti-conservati...
Tags: Apple, Twitter, Elon Musk, Cook, Softbank, Trends, Tesla, Fbi, Tim Cook, Nintendo, Warren Buffett, Jack Dorsey, Costco, Justice Department, Alexa, Joe


SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son Lost $130 Million on Bitcoin

Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder of SoftBank Group, made a huge personal bet on bitcoin just as prices for the digital currency peaked, losing more than $130 million when he sold out, WSJ (paywalled) reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report (alternative source): Mr. Son, who launched the world's biggest venture-capital fund on the strength of his long-term investing acumen, made the investment at the recommendation of a well-known bitcoin booster, whose inv...
Tags: Softbank, Tech, Son, Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group, Mr Son


A bitcoin bet gone wrong reportedly cost SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son $130 million after he failed to heed Warren Buffett's advice

SoftBank's founder, Masayoshi Son, might have saved $130 million if he paid attention to Warren Buffett. The famed tech investor lost that amount on a bitcoin bet gone wrong, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Watch bitcoin trade live. "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful," said the legendary investor Warren Buffett in 2004. In other words, buy low and sell high — and don't follow the herd. If SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son had listened t...
Tags: Softbank, Trends, Fbi, Alibaba, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, Son, Wall Street Journal, Journal, Buffett, Trump, Masayoshi Son, Sarah Sanders, Wall Street Journal Son


SoftBank's Masayoshi Son Has a $7.7 Billion Uber Ticket to Ride

Investors in the Vision Fund, and in Masayoshi Son’s listed SoftBank Group Corp., are rightly expecting a windfall. Son opened his checkbook very late in Uber’s life, taking a stake less than 18 months ago and in the final rounds of equity financing.
Tags: Science, Softbank, SoftBank Group Corp, Masayoshi Son


Inside SoftBank's push to rule the road

SoftBank Group Corp leader Masayoshi Son has much bigger ambitions for transportation than simply seeing his investment in Uber Technologies Inc turn into more than $13 billion when the company goes public next month.
Tags: Money, Softbank, businessNews, SoftBank Group Corp, Uber Technologies Inc, Masayoshi Son


Why One Startup Founder Turned Down a $1.1 Billion SoftBank Deal

The Indian ride-hailing service Ola is a bit unusual: It just completed its Series J fundraising and is marching toward Series K, a letter almost unheard of by researchers that track such things. Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal is fighting to maintain his independence against SoftBank Group Corp. The Japanese conglomerate, led by Masayoshi Son, was an early backer of Ola, but Aggarwal has grown concerned about its influence as SoftBank took a stake in his archrival, Uber Technologies Inc., and ...
Tags: Science, Softbank, Ola, SoftBank Group Corp, Uber Technologies Inc, Masayoshi Son, Bhavish Aggarwal, Aggarwal


Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Always be raisin’. That appears to be the motto of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing companies Grab and Go-Jek. Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle with Go-Jek, which recently raised $1 billion of an ongoing Series F round. A spokesperson for Grab told TechCrunch that the $6.5 billion will include additional money into that Ser...
Tags: Food, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Asia, Business, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Softbank, Funding, Economy, Paypal, Companies, Philippines, President, Ant Financial, Carsharing


These 3 millennial founders just raised $50 million from a SoftBank spinoff fund for their AI startup

British AI startup Onfido has raised $50 million from SBI Holdings, an early spinoff from SoftBank. Onfido uses artificial intelligence to scan official documents such as drivers' licences and passports to confirm people's identities. The company will use the money for product development, boosting its presence in the US, and expansion into southeast Asia. The three Oxford graduates behind Onfido have an average age of 29 and have raised $100 million to date. British AI startup Onfido has r...
Tags: Asia, Europe, Usa, UK, London, Singapore, Softbank, US, Trends, Oxford, Boston Dynamics, Salesforce Ventures, Zipcar, Business Insider, Samsung Galaxy, Onfido


SoftBank’s Son finds more love for early-stage investing, new fund planned: Reuters

SoftBank Group Corp has expanded its appetite for early-stage startups, with a venture capital unit set to launch its biggest fund for early investments as it opens new offices in Asia. The global fund from newly rebranded Seoul-based SoftBank Ventures Asia will be worth as much as $500 million and could launch next month, its CEO JP Lee told Reuters in an interview. By contrast, the average size of similar funds raised last year was just over $100 million, according to data provider Preqin. Sof...
Tags: Asia, South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Softbank, Tel Aviv, Trends, Shanghai, Alibaba, Tokyo, Funds, Son, Seoul, Jack Ma, Latin America


A definitive list of the 13 richest tech billionaires in the world

Forbes published its 2019 billionaires list this week. Tech CEOs and founders feature prominently. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos topped the list once again. Forbes has released its latest billionaires list. As ever, tech moguls loom large, with familiar faces laced throughout Forbes' ranking. For some, it was another very good year in the elite club. But the personal wealth of others took a battering, not least Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who fell down the ranking after a disastrous year for his so...
Tags: Amazon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Spacex, India, Softbank, Trends, Tesla, Jeff Bezos, Musk, Forbes, Wipro, Masayoshi Son, Premji, Jamal Khashoggi, Masayoshi Son Net


Huawei sues America as SoftBank spends more money

Today, a bunch of analysis on stories we have been covering the last few weeks. You’re reading the Extra Crunch Daily. Like this newsletter? Subscribe for free to follow all of our discussions and debates. SoftBank wants to spend more billions Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images Three inter-related stories today on SoftBank and its Vision Fund. First, an analysis from my Bangkok-based colleague Jon Russell, who notes that controversies surrounding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi ...
Tags: Transportation, Lyft, Asia, Europe, Japan, New York, Congress, Saudi Arabia, Finance, Government, China, Southeast Asia, India, Softbank, Africa, US


SoftBank launches the Innovation Fund, committing $2B to invest in Latin America

While SoftBank continues to make big bets on startups out of its $100-billion Vision Fund, it has also launched another investment vehicle to invest in tech opportunities specifically in Latin America. Today the group announced the SoftBank Innovation Fund, which is starting out with a $2 billion commitment to invest in tech startups in Central and South America, specifically starting in the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, covering areas like e-commerce, digital fi...
Tags: Health, Amazon, Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Asia, Mexico, China, India, Softbank, Funding, US, Tech, Bloomberg, Healthcare, Venture Capital


The Khashoggi murder isn’t stopping SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Money talks in the startup community, especially when SoftBank comes knocking with the megabucks of its Vision Fund. Despite the public outcry around the firm’s dependence on money from Saudi Arabia in the wake of that country’s assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, deal flow for Softbank’s Vision Fund appears to be back to normal. The $100 billion megafund has done 21 deals over the last two quarters, that’s as more than in the other quarters of the previous year combi...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Lyft, Asia, Europe, Washington Post, Saudi Arabia, Finance, China, Southeast Asia, Singapore, India, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Son, Prince


500 Startups Japan becomes Coral Capital with a new $45M fund

The 500 Startups Japan crew is going independent. The VC firm announced a $30 million fund in 2015, and now the follow up is a new $45 million fund called Coral Capital. Helmed by James Riney and Yohei Sawayama, just like 500 Startups Japan, Coral will essentially continue the work the U.S. firm  made in Japan, where it made more than 40 investments including Kakehashi , satellite startup Infostellar , SmartHR and Pocket Concierge, which was acquired by American Express . “Coral provide...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Asia, Business, Japan, Entrepreneurship, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Ceo, Economy, United States, Venture Capital, Coral, Founder, Dave Mcclure, Startup Ecosystem


Vision Fund startups Fanatics and Coupang unite to sell US sports merch in Korea

SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son has repeatedly described the Vision Fund as a club for the world’s most exciting startups and, while even the fund’s own LP seem to disagree with some of its investment thesis, its portfolio companies do frequently come together. The latest Vision Fund partnership pairs two e-commerce firms in opposite corners of the world: U.S-based sports specialist Fanatics and Coupang, Korea’s largest e-commerce firm. Fanatics got its Vision Fund spurs through a $1 bi...
Tags: Amazon, Startups, Ecommerce, Asia, Hong Kong, Business, Germany, Berlin, India, Softbank, US, NFL, Nike, Walmart, Spain, E-commerce


Why longer term sheets are better

Recently in a conversation, the length of term sheets came as a topic (I assure you, it was a riveting conversation). The complaint was that a term sheet which had recently been received was too long, and therefore the VC who sent it wasn’t being founder friendly. The travails of successfully raising money! Actually though, a longer term sheet is much more founder friendly and good business practice, and founders should be leery of VCs bearing short contracts. Historically (i.e. about 6 years ag...
Tags: Amazon, Asia, Japan, California, Saudi Arabia, Government, China, Ipo, India, Softbank, US, Tech, Intel, Steam, Beijing, Brooklyn


Light is expanding from smartphone cameras to self-driving cars

This year’s MWC has been very much the beginning of a new phase for Light . Until now, the Palo Alto startup has been best know for its 16-lens DSLR competitor, an utterly fascinating, if not particularly practical device. At this week’s show, however, we’re seeing a wholly different side of the company, one focused on partnerships. The event has seen the company announce three big ones — Nokia device maker HMD, Chinese handset company Xiaomi and Sony, whose component manufacturing divis...
Tags: Mobile, Hardware, Softbank, Nokia, Tech, Light, Palo Alto, Xiaomi, Sony, Hmd, Dslr, MWC, Masayoshi Son, GRANNAN, Dave Grannan


With $90 million in funding, the Ginkgo spinoff Motif joins the fight for the future of food

Continuing its quest to become the Amazon Web Services for biomanufacturing, href="http://ginkgobioworks.com/">Ginkgo Bioworks has launched a new spinoff called Motif Ingredients with $90 million in funding to develop proteins that can serve as meat and dairy replacements. It’s the second spinout for Ginkgo since late 2017 when the company partnered with Bayer to launch Joyn Bio, a startup researching and developing bacteria that could improve crop yields. Now, with Motif, Ginkgo is tacklin...
Tags: Meat, Food, TC, Tech, Bill Gates, Web Services, Reid Hoffman, Food And Drink, Monsanto, Richard Branson, Epa, Manufacturing, Jeff Bezos, Pepsico, Michael Bloomberg, Jack Ma


SoftBank's Fortress to Invest $3.6 Billion in Japanese Property

The investment firm will target hotels, onsen spas, office buildings, data centers and condominiums throughout the country, according to Akio Yamashita, Fortress’ representative in Japan. SoftBank bought New York-based Fortress for $3.3 billion in 2017 as billionaire Masayoshi Son began re-positioning his empire as a heavyweight investment house. The Tokyo-based company’s technology will be integrated into the new Japanese properties, including introducing its hotel booking, customer support a...
Tags: Japan, New York, Science, Softbank, Tokyo, Fortress, Masayoshi Son, Yamashita, Akio Yamashita Fortress


Why can’t we build anything?

Last week, California governor Gavin Newsom announced that he was intending to aggressively scale back plans for the state’s high-speed rail system, which in its most ambitious routing would have connected Sacramento to San Diego. The immediate cause was ballooning costs, which have risen from $33 billion to $77 billion and looked likely to exceed 1.6 Zuckerbergs within a couple of years (the local CA currency, otherwise known as $100 billion). Unlike other megaprojects, Newsom — and California ...
Tags: Amazon, New York, California, Washington Post, Saudi Arabia, Government, China, Boston, India, Softbank, New York City, Sacramento, America, San Francisco, Tech, Policy


SoftBank and Mubadala grow closer

The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi state investment company, have a closely intertwined relationship, and it’s one that the two are further cementing. According to the Financial Times, SoftBank has just committed half the capital for a new $400 million fund from Mubadala that aims to back European startups. Industry observers might remember that Mubadala committed $15 billion to SoftBank’s massive Vision Fund as it was first being put together in 2017. Soon after, ...
Tags: TC, London, Saudi Arabia, Softbank, San Francisco, Tech, Bloomberg, Venture Capital, Cia, Son, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Riyadh, Mohammed bin Salman, Masayoshi Son, Shanghai Beijing


Japan's Softbank shares surge on buyback plan

Chief executive Masayoshi Son said the record buyback would prop up the tech giant's share price.
Tags: Business, Japan, Softbank, Masayoshi Son


SoftBank shares soar 13 percent after $5.5 billion share buyback news

SoftBank Group Corp shares jumped 13 percent on Thursday, a day after Chief Executive Masayoshi Son unveiled a $5.5 billion share buyback to prop up its share price, which he sees as undervalued.
Tags: Money, Softbank, businessNews, SoftBank Group Corp, Masayoshi Son


Softbank Soars 17% After Masayoshi Son's Biggest Ever Buyback

Son unveiled SoftBank’s biggest-ever buyback as he tries to close the gap between what he thinks the company is worth and its market value. “This latest buyback changes the equation and puts a floor under SoftBank stock,” Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Group, wrote in a report. Son spent much of his post-earnings presentation Wednesday explaining that SoftBank’s holdings are worth 21 trillion yen net of debt, while the market value is 9 trillion yen.
Tags: Science, Softbank, Son, Jefferies Group, Masayoshi Son, Atul Goyal, Softbank Soars


Masayoshi Son's Biggest-Ever Buyback Sends SoftBank Soaring

Son unveiled SoftBank’s biggest-ever buyback as he tries to close the gap between what he thinks the company is worth and its market value. “This latest buyback changes the equation and puts a floor under SoftBank stock,” Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Group, wrote in a report. Son spent much of his post-earnings presentation Wednesday explaining that SoftBank’s holdings are worth 21 trillion yen net of debt, while the market value is 9 trillion yen.
Tags: Science, Softbank, Son, Jefferies Group, Masayoshi Son, Atul Goyal


SoftBank shares untraded with glut of buy orders

SoftBank Group Corp shares were untraded with a glut of buy orders early on Thursday, a day after Chief Executive Masayoshi Son unveiled a $5.5 billion share buyback to prop up its share price, which he sees as undervalued.
Tags: Money, Softbank, businessNews, SoftBank Group Corp, Masayoshi Son


SoftBank Is Said to Prep Latam Fund Run by COO Claure

The vehicle will focus on venture investments and is separate from SoftBank’s huge Vision Fund, according to one of the people. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son first recruited Claure in 2013 when the Japanese company acquired a majority stake in Brightstar, a phone distribution business Claure led. Son elevated him the next year to run Sprint Corp. where Claure led a turnaround of the wireless operator and ultimately agreed to sell the business to rival T-Mobile US Inc. He was named SoftBank CO...
Tags: Science, Softbank, Masayoshi Son, Sprint Corp, Claure, T Mobile US Inc, Vision Fund


The 13 tech billionaires who donate the biggest percentage of their wealth to charity

Billions are given to charity each year, with some of the biggest donations coming both from large companies and from some of the wealthiest people in the world. Compare the Market, a price comparison website in the UK, has found which billionaires have donated the largest percentages of their wealth to charity. Here are the most charitable billionaires in the tech industry, according to the percentage of their net worths they've given away. Philanthropy has become an important initiative for...
Tags: Facebook, UK, Microsoft, China, Softbank, Trends, United States, Alibaba, Steve Ballmer, Warren Buffett, Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, Ma, University of Oregon, Masayoshi Son, Chronicle of Philanthropy


What We're Reading ~ 1/23/19

Seth Klarman's warning on global division and debt [Dealbook]Why some platforms thrive and others don't [Harvard Business Review]Customer loyalty is overrated [Harvard Business Review]Survival is the ultimate performance measure of a business [Intelligent Fanatics]On Netflix's pricing flex [Stratechery]Interview with Peloton's CEO [strategy + business]A look at Ferrari (RACE) [Intrinsic Investing]Profile of Masayoshi Son, most powerful person in Silicon Valley [FastCompany]Starbucks' worst night...
Tags: Amazon, Finance, China, US, Bloomberg, Netflix, Silicon Valley, Starbucks, Harvard Business Review, Benedict Evans, What We're Reading, English Premier League, Masayoshi Son, Seth Klarman, Peloton, Analytical Links


SoftBank spent $900 million in investment banking fees in 2018. The only entity it lagged — the People's Republic of China.

SoftBank spent $900 million in investment banking fees in 2018, more than any company in at least a decade. The People's Republic of China is the only entity to outspend the Japanese tech conglomerate. SoftBank has primarily paid fees to investment bankers to raise capital, but it also executed many high profile investments in companies like WeWork and Cruise Automation. If you didn't have SoftBank as an investment banking client in 2018, you missed out on one of the most massive and lucrativ...
Tags: China, Softbank, Trends, Alibaba, Gm, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Silicon Valley, Goldman Sachs, WeWork, Goldman, Coupang, Bayer, Nomura, Republic of China, Masayoshi Son