9984.T - SoftBank Group Corp.

Tokyo - Tokyo Delayed price. Currency in JPY
5,091.00
+144.00 (+2.91%)
At close: 3:15PM JST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close4,947.00
Open4,990.00
Bid5,085.00 x 0
Ask5,091.00 x 0
Day's range4,990.00 - 5,115.00
52-week range3,401.50 - 6,045.00
Volume7,974,600
Avg. volume10,414,130
Market cap4.984T
Beta (3Y monthly)N/A
PE ratio (TTM)5.60
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings date7 Aug 2019
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est13,753.00
  • Oyo founder to buy back $2 billion worth stake in SoftBank-backed Indian co
    Reuters2 days ago

    Oyo founder to buy back $2 billion worth stake in SoftBank-backed Indian co

    Indian hospitality startup Oyo Founder Ritesh Agarwal raised his stake in the company with a $2 billion buyback, in a move that will bring his ownership closer to biggest investor SoftBank Corp. The fresh investment round will take Agarwal's stake to around 30% from 10%, a source familiar with the development said. Japan's SoftBank owns around 45% in the company.

  • Son Shines a Spotlight on His Vision Fund Proteges
    Bloomberg3 days ago

    Son Shines a Spotlight on His Vision Fund Proteges

    (Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son likes to sketch out a grand vision for the future of artificial intelligence to justify his seemingly scattershot approach to investing. On Thursday, he let his proteges and startups speak for themselves.SoftBank Group Corp.’s $100 billion Vision Fund has 82 companies in its portfolio who delve into areas from satellites and autonomous driving to chips and cancer detection. The founders of Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, indoor farming startup Plenty, Indian hotel chain OYO Rooms and payments service Paytm took the stage at an annual SoftBank conference to explain how AI helps them stay on top in their respective fields.Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo’s 25-year-old founder, said the company is using data to evaluate properties in under five days, a process that might take traditional hotels months. That allows the startup to add about 90,000 new rooms every 90 days, for a total of 1.1 million. Oyo also uses algorithms to predict what kind of interior design can boost demand -- pictures of Marilyn Monroe help, apparently -- and to adjust prices more than 43,000 times a minute.Grab’s Anthony Tan said the company captures 40 terabytes of data daily through its “superapp,” which has been downloaded 155 million times by customers who use it to call a ride, order lunch and pay for purchases. Crunching those numbers allows Grab to make sure a car can be hailed within three minutes and offer food recommendations. The data can also help reduce congestion in Southeast Asia’s crowded cities, reduce food wastage and improve access to credit.Each of Paytm’s 700 billion mobile payment transactions runs a gauntlet of more than 1,000 checks in a thousandth of a second, to root out fraud, founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said at the event. The rules can be as simple as comparing the phone’s location to that of a merchant receiving payment, and declining those that don’t match. The data could also be used by sellers to determine in real time whether to extend a particular customer credit.Finally, Plenty says its high-tech approach to growing crops indoors results in plants that yield more without pesticides, use a fraction of water of their counterparts in the field and taste better, to boot. Founder Matt Barnard said the company used AI to developed 64 billion produce recipes that allow farmers to adapt production within days to take advantage of a sudden shortage of kale or iceberg lettuce.SoftBank’s Vision Fund poured $3 billion into Grab and took part in a $1 billion round for Oyo last year. In 2017, it led a $200 million investment in Plenty. Last year’s event included presentations from machine learning platform Pettum Inc., Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, ZhongAn Insurance and General Motors Co.’s self-driving unit, Cruise.“The crystal ball that tells the future doesn’t exist, but something close to that is being created now,” Son said at SoftBank World in Tokyo. “The AI revolution can make people happier. That’s the opportunity in front of us.”(Corrects the number of produce recipes in the sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Wirecard deal with AUTO1 first fruit of SoftBank alliance
    Reuters3 days ago

    Wirecard deal with AUTO1 first fruit of SoftBank alliance

    German payments company Wirecard AG said on Thursday it was teaming up with car-dealing platform AUTO1 Group to offer digital financial services to consumers, in its first alliance with a company backed by Japan's SoftBank Group. Wirecard struck an alliance in April with SoftBank, whose Vision Fund is behind ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Didi Chuxing, Grab and Ola. As part of the pact, SoftBank is also buying $1 billion in convertible bonds from Wirecard.

  • SoftBank's Masayoshi Son says Japan lacks investment opportunities, is AI 'developing country'
    Reuters3 days ago

    SoftBank's Masayoshi Son says Japan lacks investment opportunities, is AI 'developing country'

    SoftBank Group Corp founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said on Thursday that there is a dearth of investment opportunities in Japan, which he said is lagging in the race to develop artificial intelligence (AI). "Until recently Japan was at the technological leading edge. In the most important current technology revolution – artificial intelligence – Japan has become a developing country," Son said at an annual SoftBank event for suppliers and customers.

  • SoftBank's Son says Japan lacks investment opportunities, is AI 'developing country'
    Reuters3 days ago

    SoftBank's Son says Japan lacks investment opportunities, is AI 'developing country'

    SoftBank Group Corp founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said on Thursday that there is a dearth of investment opportunities in Japan, which he said is lagging in the race to develop artificial intelligence (AI). "Until recently Japan was at the technological leading edge. In the most important current technology revolution – artificial intelligence – Japan has become a developing country," Son said at an annual SoftBank event for suppliers and customers.

  • Reuters - UK Focus5 days ago

    Softbank's Arm Holdings eases upfront license costs

    Arm Holdings, the British chip technology firm whose designs underlie mobile phone chips, is changing its licensing model to pursue a bigger customer base as more devices become connected to the internet. Arm, owned by Japan's Softbank Group Corp, licenses its chip designs and technology to firms like Qualcomm Inc , Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , which in turn use that technology in their respective chips for smartphones and other devices. In the past, Arm required customers to pick a specific design and pay an upfront licensing fee that could cost several million dollars before getting access to it, later charging a per-chip royalty after chips went into production.

  • SoftBank-backed Oyo buys shared office startup Innov8 for $30 million
    Reuters5 days ago

    SoftBank-backed Oyo buys shared office startup Innov8 for $30 million

    Indian hotel startup Oyo said on Tuesday it has bought local co-working venture Innov8, as the SoftBank-backed hospitality chain looks to venture into the commercial real estate business under the brand name Oyo Workspaces. Oyo will buy innovate for $30 million in an all-stock deal, a person with knowledge of the development said. Oyo's move comes as fellow SoftBank-backed shared office space manager WeWork, part of The We Company, is gearing up for an IPO.

  • Tall Fences Make Bad Neighbors Out of Japan and Korea
    Bloomberg8 days ago

    Tall Fences Make Bad Neighbors Out of Japan and Korea

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- To outsiders, it may seem like the deepening rift between Japan and South Korea has blown up out of a clear blue sky.For all the wrangling over the legacy of Japan’s 35-year colonization of the Korean peninsula, which ended in 1945, there’s far more on paper to join than to separate them. Both are northeast Asian democracies that have close military and economic ties to the U.S.; potent exports of electronics, cars and cultural products; and a love of seafood and beef.After decades when post-war growth gave Japan the far wealthier population, its stagnation in recent decades has even put the two countries at roughly equivalent levels of gross domestic product per capita: $40,479 for South Korea versus $43,349 in Japan.For all that, though, there’s no strong web of ties binding these two nations. Disputes over restitution for Korean women forced into prostitution under Japanese occupation are now hurting South Korean sales of Fast Retailing Co. clothing. In turn, the government in Tokyo has moved to curb exports of specialty materials to Korea’s technology giants.Compare the Japan-Korea relationship to those between European countries, or the members of the North American Free Trade Association, or even stereotypically unfriendly neighbors like Argentina and Brazil, and you could be mistaken for thinking the two countries were locked in a cold war already.Just 7.5% of South Korea’s $1.07 trillion in bilateral trade is with Japan, making the European Union, the U.S. and China more important partners. The picture is even more dramatic in the other direction. Japan’s $80 billion in bilateral trade with South Korea amounts to just 5.8% of its $1.38 trillion total. That would seem to go against economic theory. The gravity model of trade predicts that commerce between two countries is largely a result of their respective outputs and the physical distance between them. Two large and adjacent economies ought to be quite closely integrated. That’s not what’s happened: Japan’s exports to Korea are far less than the gravity model would predict, and the same is true in the opposite direction.Foreign direct investment statistics paint a similar picture. The stock of South Korean assets in Japan in 2012(1) was about 1.8% of its outbound stock and a smaller sum than could be found in Canada, Vietnam, India, or Germany – not to mention the U.S., China and Hong Kong, which together account for almost half the total. Japanese investments in South Korea, similarly, come to about 2.5% of its total, well behind Brazil, Thailand, Singapore or Australia.The cold war even shows up in foreign-exchange markets. Trading between the Korean won and the Japanese yen is so slight that the Bank for International Settlements doesn’t even list turnover on the currency pair, although it does have data for the yen against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, the Turkish lira, the South African rand and the Brazilian real.Human factors underline the chilly relationship. More Japanese migrate to the U.K., Australia and Brunei than to South Korea. While Koreans represent the largest migrant group in Japan (Softbank Group Corp. founder Masoyoshi Son is of Korean-Japanese heritage, as is Lotte Shopping Co. Chairman Shin Dong-bin and former Korean President Lee Myung-bak), they face prejudice even after generations of residency.Tokyo’s long-time governor Shintaro Ishihara was re-elected multiple times after making notorious derogatory remarks against people hailing from Japan’s former colonies in a 2000 speech. A 2011 protest by right-wing groups against Korean pop culture in the city reportedly attracted more than 2,000 demonstrators. For its part, South Korea banned Japanese cultural products outright until 1998.Ties aren’t improving much. More Japanese vacationed in South Korea in 2009 than in 2018; Japanese have fallen from about two-fifths of total visitors there a decade ago to around a fifth last year, despite a modest recovery in the past couple of years.In one sense, such links shouldn’t matter. The Golden Arches doctrine – that globalization inevitably begets peace, and no two countries with a McDonald’s have ever gone to war – has never really held true.Nonetheless, a more limited version of that view has merit. Close links in finance, migration, and culture may not prevent war, but they can at least provide a countervailing force when tensions flare – something that seems to have kept relations between Singapore and Malaysia, China and Taiwan, and even the U.S. and China far more stable than one might have predicted.The alternative of cold peace pursued by India and Pakistan offers a more fraught path, as my colleague Nisid Hajari has written. Japan and Korea, both dwarfed in their neighborhood by an increasingly confident China, ought to work harder to deepen their mutual ties. It’s better to stand together than to fall apart.(1) The last year for which figures from the UN Conference on Trade and Development are available.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at dfickling@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tiger Global Fuels India Startup Boom With Dealmaking Spree
    Bloomberg10 days ago

    Tiger Global Fuels India Startup Boom With Dealmaking Spree

    (Bloomberg) -- Tiger Global Management has examined at least a dozen deals with Indian startups in recent months, according to multiple people with knowledge of the talks, illustrating global investors’ fierce interest in the country’s technology ecosystem.The ultra-secretive New York-based hedge fund has closed investments in at least half of these startups -- nearly all of them in fintech or enterprise software segments. Hedge funds, venture capital firms, and the likes of South Africa-headquartered internet group Naspers Ltd. are also chasing India’s rapidly growing consumer internet and enterprise software firms.The rising interest in India occurs as investment in China’s recently booming startup sector faces a steep drop-off. It’s a radical progression from just a few years ago when global investors worried about the prospects for India. Fewer smartphones and expensive wireless-data plans restricted internet access to a tiny user pool in a country of 1.3 billion people, pushing investors to chase the handful of entrepreneurs building consumer internet startups. Now cheap Chinese smartphones and inexpensive data rates offered by the aggressive telecom giant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and its rivals are luring millions of users online every month.There’s buoyancy also because India’s recent decisive election assured political stability, said venture capitalist Vani Kola, managing director at Kalaari Capital Advisors Pvt, prompting international funds to get back in the investment game. “Investors like Tiger Global are enthused that the market is stable and has reached a certain maturity,” she said. “There’s confidence in the depth of the market.”This year is already being dubbed Tiger Global India redux by some. The influential investor is renowned for its early bets on high-profile Indian consumer internet startups like Ola, and its triumphant exit last year from most-valuable Indian startup Flipkart, which netted a $3 billion return. In the first half of 2019, Tiger has already funded 13 Indian companies, according to researcher Tracxn Technologies Pvt, compared with 8 investments in 2018 and 6 the year before.The spigot remains open, according to the people, who didn’t want to be named as the deal signings are ongoing. On Thursday, supply chain software developer Moglix became the latest investment when the startup announced it had closed a $60 million financing round led by Tiger.Tiger’s new focus on enterprise software services coincides with management changes. Lee Fixel, the 39-year-old co-head of private equity for the technology-focused fund, recently departed the firm and Scott Shleifer, a partner, took over the portfolio. Schleifer, 41, best known for turning a $200 million investment in Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com Inc. into a $5 billion return, went on a whirlwind trip to India recently to meet entrepreneurs.The newest bets by the deep-pocketed hedge fund are mostly in the sub-$50 million range. They include logistics-management startup Locus, agritech provider Ninjacart, expense-management software provider Fyle, and Zenoti. All are spearheaded by Schleifer, the people said.India’s historical strength in IT services is also spawning thousands of software-as-a-service and business-to-business companies, a natural evolution given the expertise of the labor pool.“Investors are excited to see India’s transition from an IT services powerhouse to a rising B2B solutions hub,” said Sudheer Koneru, founder and chief executive officer of Zenoti, where Schleifer led a round of funding last month. Services can be virtually served on the cloud to customers anywhere in the world, making it viable to build SaaS startups in low-cost India.“Not just Tiger -- other global investors too are waking up to the exciting surge of B2B startups coming out of India,” said Koneru.Koneru’s Zenoti provides business and customer management and software services to beauty and wellness businesses, including spas, salons and gyms. Its 340 workers in the southern city of Hyderabad engineer the product, generate leads, and offer tech support to customers. After initially serving Indian businesses, nearly two thirds of Zenoti’s customers are in the U.S., and it’s doubling revenues year-on-year.Investments in Indian startups from other global names have also gathered pace in recent months. SoftBank Group Corp. and its Vision Fund, for instance, have invested in logistics provider Delhivery, and in Ola earlier this year, converting both into unicorns. India’s leading fintech startups are also in fund-raising mode.“Investors are finally seeing numbers, and the market is looking very very viable,” said Neha Singh, co-founder of researcher Tracxn.(Updates with latest deal announced in the sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, ;Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Fintech in Latin America continues to draw big dollars as SoftBank invests $231 million in Creditas
    TechCrunch11 days ago

    Fintech in Latin America continues to draw big dollars as SoftBank invests $231 million in Creditas

    As investors continue to move more aggressively into Latin America's startupscene, there's one industry that seems to be drawing more attention than anyothers -- financial services

  • Bloomberg11 days ago

    Didi Eyes Global Expansion, Battles Uber Again in Latin America

    (Bloomberg) -- Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing launched new financial services in Brazil and Mexico on Wednesday as it expands in Latin America and again confronts Uber Technologies Inc.The privately-held company, which was last valued at $56 billion and facilitates 30 million rides a day, said it would partner with financial institutions to offer drivers in Mexico and Brazil a bank card allowing them to receive income from daily rides, as well as withdraw cash or make purchases. Riders in Mexico will also be able to top up their Didi balances with cash at Oxxo, the country’s largest convenience store chain.“In Brazil, for instance, there are many people who can drive but they’re not able to become Didi drivers mainly because they’re unbanked. So we went ahead and started to offer banking services to them,” Zheng Bu, head of Didi’s International Business Technology division, said at the RISE tech conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday.Didi’s international expansion comes as its home market of China slows. Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported the company would eliminate about 2,000 jobs or 15% of its workforce. It is still trying to revamp its reputation with added safety measures after a regulatory and consumer backlash over passenger deaths last year hampered growth. This week, Didi said it would raise fares in Beijing to attract more qualified drivers and reduce shortages. And despite driving Uber out of China in 2016, the Chinese ride-hailing app has faced greater competition on its own turf from Meituan.Now, Didi will go up against Uber again as it expands in Latin America, Japan and Australia. “Yes we look at competition, but if you ask me what’s the most important, it’s serving our users,” said Zheng.To win over new markets, Zheng said the company was spending a lot of time trying to cater to local needs. In Japan, for instance, a driver told Zheng that if he was going to accept rides on Didi, the company needed to provide him with a special set of white gloves, which are customary for taxi drivers in that country. In lieu of Didi-branded gloves, Zheng said the company instead launched voice-activated controls in the Japanese version of its app.He also said the company was investing in technology and people to overhaul its safety measures in China, and all over the world. Didi is now using facial recognition to verify that the person driving the car is the same who registered with the company. It’s using geo-fencing and mapping software to flag rides that deviate from predicted routes or make unusual stops, and links with emergency responders who show up if cars stop mid-route for an extended period of time.For its part, Uber called the renewed competition with Didi a healthy thing for the industry, despite their complicated relationship. Didi and Uber are investors in each other and share a major shareholder in Softbank Group Corp.’s Masayoshi Son.“If you don’t have competition then you can become complacent because there’s no competition to challenge,” Uber CTO Thuan Pham said during an interview at RISE on Tuesday. “This competition is definitely a very healthy thing.”To contact the reporter on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Deutsche Bank in partnership talks with SoftBank-backed OakNorth - source
    Reuters12 days ago

    Deutsche Bank in partnership talks with SoftBank-backed OakNorth - source

    Deutsche Bank is in talks with SoftBank-backed British fintech firm OakNorth to use the latter's credit analysis and monitoring platform, a source with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters. The troubled German bank is piloting OakNorth's technology with a view to formalising the partnership, the source said. Deutsche is seeking to return to its roots as a lender to companies in its home market as part of a sweeping restructuring.

  • Reuters - UK Focus12 days ago

    Deutsche Bank in partnership talks with SoftBank-backed OakNorth -source

    Deutsche Bank is in talks with SoftBank-backed British fintech firm OakNorth to use the latter's credit analysis and monitoring platform, a source with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters. The troubled German bank is piloting OakNorth's technology with a view to formalising the partnership, the source said. Deutsche is seeking to return to its roots as a lender to companies in its home market as part of a sweeping restructuring.

  • WeWork Is Said to Seek Credit Line of Up to $4 Billion
    Bloomberg13 days ago

    WeWork Is Said to Seek Credit Line of Up to $4 Billion

    (Bloomberg) -- WeWork Cos. is in talks to extend its credit line, helping the company fund costly commercial real estate operations ahead of a planned initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.A debt facility planned for the coming months could be $3 billion to $4 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal isn’t final. The New York company, which rents furnished office space to workers, had previously discussed a $2.75 billion credit line with banks, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg in May.In the next several years, the credit line could increase to $10 billion, the person with knowledge of the discussions said. Talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other banks are still in flux, and a decision is weeks away, one of the people said. Representatives for JPMorgan and WeWork declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the talks Sunday.Adam Neumann, the co-founder and chief executive officer of WeWork, wants to open more locations around the world and invest in a wide array of businesses, including apartments, elementary schools and real estate acquisition. WeWork needs to find new ways to fund these goals after its largest investor, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., backed off a plan late last year to pump $16 billion of equity into the startup for a controlling stake.In addition to the debt talks, WeWork is arranging a $2.9 billion fund called ARK to buy stakes in office buildings. The company said in April that it filed paperwork confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO.(Updates with additional details in the first paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gillian Tan.To contact the reporters on this story: Michelle F. Davis in New York at mdavis194@bloomberg.net;Ellen Huet in San Francisco at ehuet4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, ;Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Daniel Taub, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China's Venture Capital Boom Shows Signs of Turning Into a Bust
    Bloomberg13 days ago

    China's Venture Capital Boom Shows Signs of Turning Into a Bust

    (Bloomberg) -- China went through a five-year surge in venture capital investment that fostered a new generation of startups from ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to TikTok-parent Bytedance Ltd. Now the boom may be over.Venture deals in China plummeted in the second quarter as investors pulled back amid unpredictable trade talks and growing concerns about startup valuations. The value of investments in the country tumbled 77% to $9.4 billion in the second quarter from a year earlier, while the number of deals roughly halved to 692, according to the market research firm Preqin.The second quarter of 2018 marked the peak for China venture deals with a total of $41.3 billion invested. That included a $14 billion round for digital payments giant Ant Financial, $3 billion for e-commerce upstart Pinduoduo Inc. and $1.9 billion for truck-sharing service Manbang Group (known also as Full Truck Alliance Group). By comparison, the largest venture deal in the second quarter of 2019 was a $1 billion investment in JD Health, the health care affiliate of e-commerce provider JD.com Inc.China has never been through a widespread bust like the U.S. did after the dotcom boom, in part because the country’s venture market is so new. Years of steady growth in tech investments resulted in predictable -- and enormous -- profits. Whether the current downturn becomes a painful crash depends in large part on how VCs, entrepreneurs and regulators navigate terrain they’ve never seen before.“We’re seeing real stress in the system for the first time,” said Gary Rieschel, a founding partner at Qiming Venture Partners who has worked in China and the U.S. “We have never seen a downturn in the China market. For 20 years, it’s been pretty much up and to the right.”China’s venture boom began in 2014 when Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. went public in the largest-ever initial public offering, making clear to investors the potential riches in the world’s most populous country. Venture deals tripled that year to more than $17 billion and proceeded to rise every year through 2018 when the total topped $105 billion, almost as much as in the U.S.Along the way, firms like Qiming, Sequoia China, Tiger Global Management and SoftBank Group Corp. fostered some of the most valuable startups in the world. Bytedance, the force behind short-video app TikTok and other addictive services, sports a valuation of $75 billion, the highest anywhere according to CB Insights. Didi, the ride-hailing service that ousted Uber Technologies Inc. from China, was last valued at $56 billion, the second highest.But the rise of China’s tech industry put it squarely in the crossfire of the trade war. The Trump administration has accused China of stealing intellectual property and unfairly subsidizing companies in strategic fields, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. In May, the U.S. blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co., preventing the telecom giant from buying American components, and is considering doing the same to a swath of startups.The trade war gives investors one more reason for caution. Valuations had already grown vertiginous. High-profile startups such as smartphone-maker Xiaomi Corp. and delivery giant Meituan Dianping saw their stocks tumble after they went public, reinforcing the impression that private-market valuations had gotten out of hand.So-called sharing economy startups have also tested the patience of their investors. Companies like Didi, Meituan and bike-sharing provider Ofo blitzed the market with heavy subsidies to grab market share from rivals, making up for their losses with venture money. Now there’s skepticism that many such companies will ever turn a profit.“You’re really reaching the end of the shared economy -- this idea of let’s give away services for free and make up for it in volume,” Rieschel said. “Some companies -- Didi is the classic case -- are just not showing any ability to become profitable.”A Didi representative didn’t respond to a message and email seeking comment.Valuations haven’t declined yet in China though. The country’s startups have resisted so-called down rounds, when they raise money at lower valuations than an earlier round. “China entrepreneurs, more than any on the planet, will do unnatural things to avoid a down round,” Rieschel said.Meanwhile, venture firms are pivoting to alternative business models, like enterprise software. Such startups are not only less capital intensive, they are at a stage of development where they require less money.This also may simply be a time when venture investors opt for caution. Given the volatile negotiations between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, it’s not clear what kind of opportunities China’s tech startups will face in the years ahead or how capital markets will treat the next big IPO filing.“It won’t cost you that much to sit on your hands for a few months,” Rieschel said.\--With assistance from Lulu Yilun Chen.To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Elstrom in Tokyo at pelstrom@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Exclusive: Greensill issued false statement on bonds sold by metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta
    Reuters14 days ago

    Exclusive: Greensill issued false statement on bonds sold by metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta

    The May 2018 statement made to bond market investors and brokers said the Scottish government had approved a guarantee related to a hydro power plant in Kinlochleven owned by Gupta’s GFG Alliance, which the bonds were secured against. The meeting records for the committee that would need to approve such a guarantee, which are available on the committee’s website, do not refer to a 2018 GFG guarantee.

  • Exclusive: Greensill issued false statement on bonds sold by metals tycoon Gupta
    Reuters14 days ago

    Exclusive: Greensill issued false statement on bonds sold by metals tycoon Gupta

    The May 2018 statement made to bond market investors and brokers said the Scottish government had approved a guarantee related to a hydro power plant in Kinlochleven owned by Gupta’s GFG Alliance, which the bonds were secured against. The meeting records for the committee that would need to approve such a guarantee, which are available on the committee’s website, do not refer to a 2018 GFG guarantee.

  • Exclusive: U.S. clears SoftBank's $2.25 billion investment in GM-backed Cruise
    Reuters15 days ago

    Exclusive: U.S. clears SoftBank's $2.25 billion investment in GM-backed Cruise

    SoftBank has come under increasing U.S. scrutiny over its ties to Chinese firms in the face of an escalating trade and technology war between Washington and Beijing. It is in the process of raising its second $100 billion investment vehicle, dubbed Vision Fund, after deploying its first one of equal size.

  • Grannies in Running Shoes Are Delivering Ramen for Uber in Japan
    Bloomberg16 days ago

    Grannies in Running Shoes Are Delivering Ramen for Uber in Japan

    (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc.’s strategy for Japan, where ride-sharing is banned, is as unique as the country itself — think grandma in running shoes delivering ramen noodles.Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi was in the country this week to stress the importance of the market, where the San Francisco-based company has built a growing food-delivery business but kept rides limited to black-car hires and taxi dispatches. The archipelago is also home to Uber’s biggest shareholder, SoftBank Group Corp., and where he’s planning to boost staff in the coming year.“The elderly are actually signing up for Eats couriers,” Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg News. “Eats has been a huge success for us in Japan. It is going to be a very effective introduction to the Uber brand.”Building up Uber Eats could be the company’s best chance, for now, to capture revenue in the world’s third-largest economy. More than 10,000 restaurants and 15,000 couriers are part of a delivery network spanning 10 Japanese cities, according to the CEO. That puts the service within reach of about 15% of the population, compared with 70% in the U.S., leaving plenty of room to grow, he said.With an unemployment rate of 2.4%, near quarter-century lows, Japan’s labor market is tight. The population is aging; adult diapers outsell baby diapers. Seniors are tapping into food delivery to find jobs, in addition to getting hot meals delivered to their doors.While most workers deliver using a bicycle or scooter, seniors in search of exercise are doing it on foot, Khosrowshahi said. “This is one area unique to Japan, and we are looking if we can expand to the rest of the world,” the CEO said.To support its Eats business, as well as its nascent efforts to offer dispatch services for taxi companies, Uber is planning to increase full-time staffing in Japan by more than 30% over the next year from about 100 now, in areas such as account management, sales and local operations. Even at that pace, that’s still a tiny proportion of Uber’s global headcount of 22,000.Shares in small-cap food-delivery firms Yume No Machi Souzou Iinkai Co. and Ride on Express Holdings Co. slid more than 3% in Tokyo. “Uber Eats has a cutting-edge, cool image, so concerns could easily develop that young users might switch into Uber Eats,” said Iwai Cosmo Securities equities manager Toshikazu Horiuchi.Given Japan‘s strict regulations against ride-sharing, Uber has chosen to work with regulators. It rolled out a pilot program in 2016 to provide rides to seniors in the small coastal town of Tangocho, where an aging population was left with dwindling public transport services.Last year, Uber pivoted to partnerships with local taxi companies. It now has deals with eight cab companies in as many cities, including popular tourist destinations Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. Sony Corp., startup Japan Taxi and China’s Didi Chuxing are among those that have rolled out competing taxi-hailing apps, seeking to make it easier for consumers to hail rides and get to their destinations. Uber Black, the car-hire service, is currently available only in Tokyo.“It will take time, but we like what we see in terms of the potential of the market,” Khosrowshahi said. “The innovations that we are going to make in taxi here are going to carry around the world.”The CEO also took time during his Tokyo visit to meet with SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, who has built a stake of 13% in Uber, worth about $9.8 billion. The conversation focused on the ride-hailing giant’s blueprint for growth during the meeting.“If I’m in Japan, you can bet that I’m going to see Masa,” Khosrowshahi said. “Masa is really focused on where we are taking our business three years and beyond from now.”Son is in the process of raising money for a second $100 billion Vision Fund; one question is what assets he might seek to sell to finance SoftBank’s portion of another investment fund. Son raised $28 billion for the first fund, in part, by selling down his lucrative stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.While Khosrowshahi declined to detail what he and Son discussed, the take-away is that SoftBank’s commitment to Uber is for the long term. Takeaki Nukii, a spokesman for SoftBank, couldn’t immediately comment on the subject.“Masa and I, we talk about growth,” Khosrowshahi said. “We don’t talk about exit.”(An earlier version of this story corrected the timing of the CEO’s visit.)(Updates with share action in the eighth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, ;Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Reed StevensonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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