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Talent matching startup Eightfold AI's logo is seen outside its office building in Mountain View, California, U.S. in this undated handout photo. Eightfold AI/Handout via REUTERSEightfold AI, a talent matching platform, said on Thursday it raised $220 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp's (9984.T) Vision Fund 2 that doubled the company's valuation since the previous funding round to over $2 billion. The profile will help employees find other suitable jobs within the company or help managers identify them for promotions or new jobs. He said over 100 companies and some U.S. states are customers, and that Eightfold AI is used in over 110 countries and available in 15 languages. Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said Eightfold AI took a more holistic approach than other companies offering solutions to recruitment and career management.
Persons: , Ashutosh Garg, Garg, siad Organizations: REUTERS, SoftBank Group, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, SoftBank Investment, Thomson Locations: Mountain View , California, U.S
Mexico's Clip hits unicorn status after SoftBank investment
  + stars: | 2021-06-10 | by ( ) + 0.98   time to read: +1 min
A device from Mexican payments startup Clip is seen in this picture illustration taken in Mexico City, Mexico October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Cortes/IllustrationMexican payments startup Clip on Thursday said its valuation has jumped to nearly $2 billion after a recent investment led by SoftBank Latin America Fund and Viking Global Investors LP, putting it in a small but growing club of Mexican "unicorns." The company was the first in Mexico to receive funding from SoftBank's Latin America fund in 2019. The resources will help Clip "grow aggressively" in Mexico, Chief Executive Adolfo Babatz said in a statement. Late last year, another SoftBank-backed company, used-car platform Kavak, became Mexico's first known unicorn - lingo for tech startups valued at more than $1 billion.
Persons: Luis Cortes, Adolfo Babatz Organizations: REUTERS, SoftBank, America Fund, Viking Global, Thomson Locations: Mexico City, Mexico
SoFi indicated its intention to begin underwriting public offerings in May. Palihapitiya is launching Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I, II, III, and IV through his venture fund, Social Capital, in partnership with Suvretta Capital Management, a biotech-focused hedge fund. SoFi customers need a minimum account balance of only $3,000 to participate. SoFi is also conducting conversations with other companies around underwriting IPOs and direct listings as well as more SPAC deals, the source added.
Persons: SoFi, Chamath Palihapitiya, bookrunner Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley, Bill Ackman's, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Jeffrey Housenbold, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, brokerages, Robinhood, Anthony Noto, Goldman Sachs, Palihapitiya Organizations: SoFi Securities, Securities and Exchange Commission, Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp, Social, Suvretta Capital Management, SEC, Wall, Social Capital, Pershing, Tontine Holdings, Citigroup, LTV Capital Partners, Softbank Investment Advisors, Retail, Goldman
SoftBank and IonQ in Strategic Pact on Quantum Computing
  + stars: | 2021-06-08 | by ( Sara Castellanos | ) + 0.00   time to read: +5 min
IonQ is SoftBank’s first investment in quantum computing, said Kirthiga Reddy, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. PREVIEW“There’s an exponential increase in the need for computational power, and quantum computing uniquely helps enable that,” said Ms. Reddy, who led the IonQ investment. SoftBank Investment Advisers bought into IonQ through its Vision Fund 2. Eventually, SoftBank wants to use quantum computing to speed up calculations on machine-learning and materials science for some of its portfolio companies, Ms. Reddy said. Quantum computing can also be used for so-called optimization problems, which involve quickly finding the right answer to a problem with many variables.
Persons: Peter Chapman, Kirthiga Reddy, , Reddy, SoftBank, IonQ, Chapman, Chirag Dekate, IonQ’s, Sara Castellanos Organizations: IonQ Inc, SoftBank Group, SoftBank Investment Advisers, SoftBank Investment, Technology, Inc, Data Inc, IonQ, SoftBank, Karius Inc, Formlabs Inc, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp, Chirag, Gartner Inc, Inc Locations: Md, Korean, Malaysian, sara.castellanos
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 leads $775 million investment in Perch
  + stars: | 2021-05-26 | by ( ) + 1.00   time to read: +1 min
SoftBank Corp's logo is pictured at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonSoftBank Group Corp's (9984.T) Vision Fund 2 has led a $775 million investment in Perch, a technology firm that buys and operates third-party brands that sell their products on Inc (AMZN.O). The Series A funding will make Perch a so-called "unicorn" - implying a valuation of $1 billion or more and brings the company's total funding to date to over $900 million, it said on Wednesday. The funding is the largest ever Series A raised by a consumer goods company, nearly quadrupling the previous record, according to Crunchbase data. The round adds to a growing list of sizeable investments by Vision Fund 2, including in banking technology startup Zeta and 3D printing company Formlabs.
Persons: Kim Kyung, Lydia Jett Organizations: REUTERS, Inc, Victory Park, Spark, Twitter Inc, Slack Technologies Inc, Target Corp, Walmart Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp, Kroger, SoftBank Investment, Vision, Zeta, Thomson Locations: Tokyo, Japan, Perch, Boston
(Reuters) -Formlabs, a 3D printing company, said on Wednesday it had doubled its valuation to $2 billion, following a $150 million funding round led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2. The raise comes amid increasing investor interest in 3D printing, a market analysts estimate will grow to $34.8 billion by 2024. It also marks SoftBank’s first bet on 3D printing, according to media reports. The Japanese conglomerate’s Vision Fund 2 has also led funding in product warranty startup Extend and image recognition technology firm Trax in recent months. Nishar will join Formlabs’ board and Kirthiga Reddy, an investment partner at the fund manager, will join as a board observer, the company said.
Persons: SoftBank, Formlabs, , Kirthiga Reddy Organizations: Reuters, Trax, New Enterprise Associates, Foundry Group, SoftBank Investment Advisers, Funds Locations: Somerville , Massachusetts
3-D Printer Formlabs Raises $150 Million in SoftBank-Led Funding
  + stars: | 2021-05-19 | by ( Sara Castellanos | ) + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
Formlabs is one of several 3-D printing companies, including Desktop Metal and 3D Systems Corp. , that have attracted investors in recent months amid renewed buzz. Formlabs’ 3-D printers. In addition, sometimes there are defects in the printed objects, which raises quality-control concerns, Mr. Shanler said. Hospital system Northwell Health, for example, used Formlabs printers as a stopgap measure to fabricate nasal swabs to test for Covid-19. Formlabs typically strikes deals for its 3-D printers with chief information officers and chief technology officers, among others.
Persons: , Max Lobovsky, Lobovsky, Tasha Keeney, Michael Shanler, Mr, Shanler, Formlabs, Mike Selberis, Ashley, Nishar, Sara Castellanos Organizations: Formlabs Inc, SoftBank Group, ARK Investment Management, Systems Corp, Gartner Inc, Formlabs, U.S, Northwell, Printers, Mayo Clinic, Ashley Furniture, Companies, SoftBank Investment Locations: Somerville, Mass, Glidewell, Newport Beach, Calif, sara.castellanos
Product warranty startup Extend raises $260 mln, SoftBank leads funding
  + stars: | 2021-05-18 | by ( Jane Lee | ) sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
If there is a problem with the product, Extend will handle the claim, in most cases through a customer service chatbot, said Levin. Nagraj Kashyap, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said extended warranties and product protection services were ripe for change. Extend, launched in 2019, sold over 300,000 protection plans last year and is on track this year to sell over 3 million plans, Levin said. Merchants that add the Extend button to their online markets also get a cut of the fees, Levin said. Extend estimates that adding the Extend warranty service increases overall product sales by 11%.
Persons: Woodrow Levin, Levin, Nagraj Kashyap Organizations: SoftBank Group, SoftBank Investment, Thomson Locations: San Francisco
The merger, the biggest blank-check company deal ever, underscores the frenzy on Wall Street as shell firms have raised $99 billion in the United States so far this year after a record $83 billion in 2020. Grab said its decision to become a public company was driven by a strong financial performance last year. Grab’s agreed transaction will surpass electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors’ $24 billion deal struck with a SPAC in February. The food delivery segment became its biggest business as more consumers shift to online food delivery after the pandemic. Grab reported adjusted net revenue of $1.6 billion in 2020 and forecasts this to rise to $4.5 billion in 2023.
Persons: Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, , Varun Mittal, Grab, Anthony Tan’s, Tan, Tan Hooi Ling, China’s Didi Chuxing, Anshuman, Brad Gerstner, Greg Moon, ” Tan, Grab’s, Gojek, Evercore, Morgan Stanley Organizations: Holdings, Capital, Temasek Holdings, Fidelity International, Reuters, Harvard Business School, SoftBank Group, Trade, REUTERS, SoftBank Investment, JPMorgan Locations: SINGAPORE, Southeast Asia, U.S, United States, Singapore, BlackRock, Permodalan Nasional, Malaysia, Asia, China, Silicon Valley, INDONESIA, Indonesia
Database startup Redis Labs announced a $110 million Series G round at a valuation over $2 billion. Redis Labs plans to go public within a year, and has hit $100 million in annual recurring revenue. Looking ahead, Bengal now says that Redis Labs has crossed $100 million in annual recurring revenue, reflecting an growth of 54% each year. Redis Labs says it's in it for the long haulMonday's announcement comes less than a year after Redis Labs announced its previous $100 million round of funding in August, at a valuation of over $1 billion. Redis Labs also has a partnership with Microsoft Azure via an integration that became generally available in March.
Persons: , Ofer Bengal, SoFi, it's, Ofer, It's Organizations: Redis Labs, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Tiger Global, Softbank Vision, Redis, SoftBank Investment, Google Cloud, Labs, Amazon Web, Amazon Locations: Bengal, 646.376.6106
(Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2 and private equity firm Tiger Global Management have invested in Redis Labs, a real-time cloud analytics platform provider, in a late-stage funding round valuing the firm at over $2 billion. Founded in 2011 by Ofer Bengal and Yiftach Shoolman in Tel Aviv, Israel, Redis Labs’ platform helps organizations process, analyze and forecast data effectively. The company has an alliance with Microsoft to bring its Redis Enterprise-powered tiers to Azure Cache for Redis. “As workloads increasingly move to the cloud, we believe Redis Labs is a leader who is transforming the database market,” said Vikas Parekh, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. Earlier on Wednesday, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 also led a $640 million funding round for image recognition technology firm Trax along with BlackRock Inc.
Persons: TCV, Goldman Sachs, Ofer Bengal, Yiftach, workloads, , Vikas Parekh, Japan’s SoftBank Organizations: Reuters, Vision, Tiger Global Management, Redis Labs, Bain Capital Ventures, Francisco Partners, Goldman, Viola Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Labs, MasterCard Inc, Dell Technologies Inc, Fiserv Inc, Home Depot Inc, Microsoft Corp, Redis, Microsoft, SoftBank Investment, Invitae Corp, Facebook, BlackRock Inc Locations: Tel Aviv, Israel, View , California
Unlike the boisterous fund leader Masayoshi Son, Nishar's investment style is deliberate, thorough, and curious, founders told Insider. "The noise is not as significant when tech investors are following traditional biotech investors," Karkare said, and indicated that SoftBank was often opting to let the more traditional biotech or life sciences investors lead rounds. Both stints occurred early on in the companies' life cycles, and Nishar got a taste for the fast growth coming out of Silicon Valley. At SoftBank, Nishar leads the investment team's investments in North America, but has a particular focus on enterprise technology, biotechnology, and life sciences. What he can't lose, though, is nearly 20 years of experience in working with technology and life sciences companies and seeing what exactly success at scale looks like.
Persons: Nishar, I'm, Masayoshi Son, Issei Kato, Serge Saxanov, Saxanov, he's, Kedar Karkare, haven't, Karkare, SoftBank, Ranjan Das, Omid Farokhzad, Farokhzad, Serge Saxonov, Omid, Biomaterials, Pat Greenhouse, Travis Murdoch, Elena Viboch, Masayoshi, Seer Organizations: SoftBank's Vision, Google, LinkedIn, SoftBank Investment, Vision, Genomics, SoftBank, Linkedin, 10x Genomics, YouTube, Bloomberg Technology, Nanomedicine, Brigham, Women's Hospital, Boston Globe, Getty, Investment Advisers, Vir Biotechnology Locations: Silicon, San Francisco, Boston, Silicon Valley, SoftBank, North America
SoftBank joins Wall Street's latest craze in hunt for acquisitions
  + stars: | 2020-12-22 | by ( Michelle Toh | Cnn Business | ) sentiment -0.97   time to read: +1 min
Hong Kong (CNN Business) SoftBank wants in on one of Wall Street's hottest trends as it looks to beef up its tech portfolio once again. The newly created firm, SVF Investment Corp., plans to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "SVFAU." It will initially seek to raise $525 million, but that could go up to nearly $605 million if there's strong interest in the shares. SVF is sponsored by a subsidiary of SoftBank Investment Advisers, which oversees the Vision Fund — SoftBank's vehicle for many of the company's splashy tech investments. These so-called "blank check" firms used to be sneered at on Wall Street, but have taken off in a big way this year.
Persons: SoftBank Organizations: CNN, SVF Investment Corp, Nasdaq, SVF, SoftBank Investment Advisers, Vision Locations: Hong Kong, New York
SoftBank launches blank-check company to raise $525 million
  + stars: | 2020-12-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) + 0.53   time to read: +1 min
(Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp on Monday filed to raise $525 million through a blank-check company as the Vision Fund’s managers join the craze for the listing vehicles. The company, SVF Investment Corp, is sponsored by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which runs the $100 billion fund, and said it could invest in a new or existing portfolio company. The launch of the special purpose acquisition (SPAC) marks an appeal to investors after earlier efforts to raise capital for a second Vision Fund floundered following missteps. “Our SPAC will bridge SoftBank’s private and public investing strategies by enabling us to partner with a fast-growing, IPO-ready technology company,” the company said. A record number of companies are using such vehicles to bypass the traditional IPO, with portfolio company OpenDoor listing on Monday via a SPAC.
Persons: Slack, SoftBank’s SPAC, “ SVFA, SoftBank Organizations: Reuters, SoftBank, Corp, SVF Investment Corp, SoftBank Investment Advisers, Nasdaq, SEC, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, Cantor, underwriters
Dialpad plans to work with SoftBank to expand its cloud-based phone system into the Asia Pacific region, building on their existing partnership. The cloud communications platform Dialpad has ambitious plans to expand into Asia in the coming year. Dialpad just announced in October that it raised a $100 million Series E investment, led by OMERS Growth Equity. Dialpad has a four-year-old partnership with SoftBank, which has seen the company work together particularly from the startup's Tokyo offices. "The exits will take care of themselves and continue to execute and be successful as a company," Walker said.
Persons: Dialpad, SoftBank, Craig Walker, Walker, it's, Andreessen Horowitz, Daichi Nozaki, Walker isn't, " Walker, We're Organizations: Microsoft, Cisco, RingCentral, Avaya, OMERS, SoftBank, Asia, Business, Google, Google Ventures, Equity, GV, Cisco Companies Locations: Asia, Tokyo, Japan, Dialpad's, 646.376.6106
Reuters/Issei KatoSoftBank aims to raise as much as $525 million through the IPO of its blank-check company SVF Investment Corp., according to a regulatory filing published Monday. The special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, will bridge SoftBank's private and public investment businesses and target "a fast-growing, IPO-ready technology company," SoftBank said. The company won't target firms SoftBank has previously invested in, Bloomberg reported Sunday. SoftBank plans to raise up to $525 million with the initial public offering of its own blank-check company, according to a regulatory filing published Monday. The special-purpose acquisition company, named SVF Investment Corp., will be managed by SoftBank Investment Advisors.
Persons: Issei Kato SoftBank, SoftBank, they're, Cantor, Nikola, Barry Norris, he's, Tesla Organizations: SVF Investment Corp, Bloomberg, IPOs, SoftBank Investment Advisors, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Virgin Galactic, Markets, Royce Locations: IPOs
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File PhotoTOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2 has led an $80 million Series D financing round in digital therapeutics startup Pear Therapeutics in its latest healthcare investment. “We saw a tremendous opportunity to work with the SoftBank team closely to really think about and execute upon ex-U.S. geographic expansion,” said Corey McCann, CEO of Pear Therapeutics. Healthcare investments from Vision Fund 2, which has $10 billion in committed capital from SoftBank, include health tracking wearables startup Biofourmis. Pear’s CEO McCann declined to disclose the startup’s valuation after the latest round.
Persons: Issei Kato, , , Corey McCann, Kirthiga Reddy, McCann Organizations: SoftBank, REUTERS, Vision, Therapeutics, Temasek, Novartis, Pear Therapeutics, SoftBank Investment Advisors Locations: Tokyo, Japan, TOKYO, Boston, San Francisco, Singapore, SoftBank
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