14 August 2017 – SoftBank/Flipkart Investment Following Acquisition Breakdown


Flipkart’s prospective acquisition of SoftBank portfolio company Snapdeal may have broken down less than two weeks ago but the corporate has wasted no time coming up with an alternative. It has invested an amount sources told LiveMint is at least $2.5bn in Flipkart.

We all marvelled at the size of SoftBank’s Vision Fund but at the rate it’s going you have to wonder how long $93bn can last. The fund led a $1.1bn round for biopharmaceuticals developer Roivant Sciences that will be used to launch Roivant’s first non-drug subsidiary, a data-focused company called Datavant.

Walt Disney paid $1bn for a 33% stake in Major League Baseball’s online video technology spinout BAMTech last year, and now it’s added a further $1.58bn to hike its stake to 75% as it prepares to launch its own streaming service.

SoftBank is reportedly also set to invest $1bn in online sports merchandise retailer Fanbase at a $4.5bn post-money valuation.

Really, what a week it has been for big rounds! Electric truck developer Chanje has emerged from stealth having raised “nearly $1bn” from investors including FTG Electric Vehicles, the electric vehicle and battery producer that provided it with technology.

Reports last month suggested SoftBank was mulling a multi-billion dollar investment in Uber, but now SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has complicated things by telling investors on an earnings call it is open to funding either Uber or its chief US rival Lyft.

WeWork may be ploughing ahead with its funding, especially in China where its newly formed subsidiary just raised $500m, but signs increasingly indicate it may face difficulties in China’s co-working space sector similar to those encountered by Uber in the ride hailing industry.

Essential Products, the smartphone startup founded by Android creator Andy Rubin, has confirmed a $300m funding round that was led by a $100m investment by Access Industries unit Access Technology Ventures.

Future Mobility, a China-based electric car developer backed by Tencent, Foxconn and car dealership group China Harmony New Energy Auto Holding, has agreed a $200m investment from an undisclosed investment fund backed by unnamed LPs.

Gu Sheng Tang, the operator of a franchise of medical clinics in China, has raised $150m in a series D round split almost equally between equity and debt.

PCCW OTT, the over-the-top video spinout of mass media group PCCW, has raised $110m from Foxconn Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of manufacturing services provider Foxconn, as well as Hony Capital and Temasek.

Digital currency wallet and trading platform Coinbase has secured $100m in a series D round led by Institutional Venture Partners that valued it at $1.6bn.

Neuros Medical, a US-based neuromodulation system developer based on research at Case Western Reserve University, secured $20m in series AA funding from investors including spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners on Monday.


China-based internet company Sina announced a corporate venturing fund on Wednesday that plans to raise $500m to invest in online financial technology developers. Charles Chao, Sina’s chief executive, revealed the fund in the firm’s Q2 earnings call, confirming that its board of directors has approved its formation.

Indonesia-based financial services firm Bank Negara Indonesia is looking into establishing a corporate venturing subsidiary to invest in financial technology startups.

This one isn’t really a fund, but it’s an interesting approach to obtaining equity in startups: US-based patent advisory and transaction services provider Aqua Licensing intends to begin helping corporates take equity stakes in startups in return for supplying them with patents.

Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria and an unnamed subsidiary of investment management firm Lansdowne Partners signed an agreement on Monday to establish a technology seed fund called IST Cube.


Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to acquire Novartis-backed immuno-oncology drug startup IFM Therapeutics for $300m up front, with up as much as $2bn more to come in the form of milestone payments.

“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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