9984.T - SoftBank Group Corp.

Tokyo - Tokyo Delayed Price. Currency in JPY
6,443.00
-89.00 (-1.36%)
At close: 3:15PM JST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close6,532.00
Open6,414.00
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's Range6,374.00 - 6,470.00
52 Week Range2,609.50 - 6,532.00
Volume28,066,300
Avg. Volume26,502,864
Market Cap12.541T
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.53
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-488.70
Earnings DateAug. 11, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield44.00 (0.70%)
Ex-Dividend DateMar. 30, 2020
1y Target Est13,753.00
  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of 9984.T earnings conference call or presentation 18-May-20 7:30am GMT

    Full Year 2020 SoftBank Group Corp Earnings Presentation

  • Reuters

    Tokyo shares dip on profit-taking, semiconductor stocks drop sharply

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei fell on Tuesday as investors booked profits after a sharp gain in the previous session, while semiconductor stocks and other high-tech firms took a hit from a weak Nasdaq performance overnight. The benchmark Nikkei share average fell 0.84% to 22,593.27 during the midday break, after hitting a one-month high in the previous session. In the broader market, Topix lost 0.48% to 1,565.49 by the recess, with all but eight of the 33 industry subindexes in the Tokyo Stock Exchange trading in the red.

  • SoftBank Explores a Sale or IPO of Chip Company Arm
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank Explores a Sale or IPO of Chip Company Arm

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank is exploring options for selling part or all of its stake in Arm Holdings Inc., either through a private deal or a public stock listing, according to people with knowledge of the matter.If it pursues a listing, the chip-design company could go public as soon as next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. That would accelerate a timeline SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son laid out in 2018, estimating an initial share sale for Arm some time around 2023, a goal repeated in October by Arm Chief Executive Officer Simon Segars.No decision has been made, and SoftBank could ultimately choose to hang onto the company, which is wholly owned by SoftBank Group and its Vision Fund. Son and his deputies began considering options in part because of the improving market for semiconductor companies, said two of the people. A deal would also fit into SoftBank’s current strategy to unload many of its holdings and boost the stock price through buybacks.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is advising on a potential deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the news earlier Monday. Representatives for Arm, Goldman Sachs and SoftBank declined to comment.Arm was the U.K.’s largest listed technology company, receiving royalties from companies such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. for chip designs used in the world’s most popular mobile phones and tablets. When Son bought it for $32 billion in 2016, change came fast. The company added about 2,000 employees and made plans for a new 48 million pound ($60 million) U.K. office building.The chip designer is still currently valued by SoftBank at its acquisition price, according to the Japanese company’s latest quarterly filings. But semiconductor stocks have been on a tear. Nvidia Corp.’s market value topped Intel Corp.’s last week for the first time, powered by soaring demand for graphics chips in data centers and other fast-growing technology fields.Arm would need ample time to make preparations for a listing if it goes that route. Marcelo Claure, the chief operating officer at SoftBank, said in an interview with the Financial Times published Monday that he doesn’t expect Arm to be public in the next 12 months.If it pursues a listing, it’s unclear whether Arm would go public in the U.K. or the U.S., where it has been slowly shifting many of its key executives in recent years. If it does so in the U.K., the 25% free-float needed would make it one of the biggest tech IPOs in years.SoftBank’s shares have more than doubled from a low in March, taking the Tokyo-based company’s market value to $127 billion, with record equity buybacks and a series of wins helping the stock recover from setbacks in 2019 led by its investment in WeWork. SoftBank sold part of its stake in T-Mobile US Inc. last month, part of a broader $42 billion push to unload assets to finance stock buybacks and pay down debt.Arm, which is owned by SoftBank and its $100 billion Vision Fund, is looking to cut costs and improve earnings, said one of the people familiar with the matter. The company lost 42.8 billion yen ($400 million) in the fiscal year that ended in March. It’s also planning to transfer its data and device-management business to parent SoftBank to focus on its main semiconductor operations. The Internet of Things Services Group was billed by Arm as a key initiative to expand into managing information from millions of new devices being connected to the internet.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • WeWork's chairman says it expects to have positive cash flow in 2021
    TechCrunch

    WeWork's chairman says it expects to have positive cash flow in 2021

    After aggressive cost-cutting measures, including mass layoffs and selling several of its businesses, WeWork’s chairman expects the company to have positive cash flow in 2021. Marcelo Claure, who became WeWork’s chairman after co-founder Adam Neumann resigned as chief executive officer last fall, told the Financial Times that the co-working space startup is on target to meet its goal, set in February, of reaching operating profitability by the end of next year. Claure is also chief operating officer of SoftBank Group, which invested $18.5 billion in the co-working space, according to leaked comments made by Claure during an October all-hands meeting.

  • Reuters

    WeWork expects to have positive cash flow in 2021 - FT

    WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure said the office-sharing company was on course to have positive cash flow in 2021, a year earlier than a target the company set in February, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Claure, in an interview with the newspaper, said WeWork has seen strong demand for its office spaces since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. "Everybody thought WeWork was mission impossible," Claure, who is also a SoftBank executive, was quoted as saying by the FT.

  • With SoftBank Rally, Masa Son Adds $12 Billion to Fortune
    Bloomberg

    With SoftBank Rally, Masa Son Adds $12 Billion to Fortune

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son has enjoyed a $12 billion renaissance the past three months, easing the pressure on his intricately engineered personal finances.With SoftBank Group’s shares surging to their highest price in two decades on Thursday, Son’s net worth hit $20 billion, more than doubling from $8.4 billion in March, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It is the first time the 62-year-old’s fortune has topped $20 billion since January 2013, when the ranking first started tracking his wealth.The calculation excludes about $13.3 billion of his SoftBank Group shares pledged as collateral, representing some 40% of his stake, according to regulatory filings. A further 26% of his holding is lent out for a fee to different entities, mostly brokerages, likely to add liquidity to the market. Those shares are included in Son’s net worth calculation because he retains control over them.“For those lending shares, it’s about creating incremental revenue,” said Andrew Dyson, chief executive officer of the International Securities Lending Association. He noted such transactions ease the execution of trades, while enabling hedging and shorting strategies. “Lending out securities generates hundreds of millions of dollars in fees a quarter.”SoftBank Group shares have surged 133% from a low in March, taking the Tokyo-based company’s market value to $123 billion. While its Vision Fund lost almost $18 billion in the latest fiscal year as it wrote down the value of investments in WeWork, Uber Technologies Inc. and others, record equity buybacks and a series of wins have helped the stock recover. SoftBank Group sold part of its stake in T-Mobile US Inc. last month, and an online home-insurance provider that it’s backing more than doubled on its U.S. debut earlier in July.While Son’s strategies are common among the wealthy, market volatility earlier this year showed that personal stock pledges, coupled with a heavy debt load, can bring risks. The pandemic-induced turmoil that sank equities resulted in some margin calls. Some individuals had to stump up collateral to avoid defaulting, and others had to liquidate at depressed prices. Chinese mogul Lu Zhengyao and Markus Braun of German fintech company Wirecard AG offer extreme examples of the risks of pledging shares.Even stock lending worries some. Japan’s largest pension fund said in December it would stop the practice because it creates a vacuum in ownership when equities change hands.SoftBank Group’s buoyant share price means such risks are remote for now. Son’s pledged stock is valued at almost triple the loan amount he said in a May earnings presentation he has received, according to calculations by Bloomberg.SoftBank Group declined to comment on Son’s personal finances.(Updates stock move and market cap in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • SoftBank’s $2.7 Billion June Buyback Pushes Stock to Highest in Two Decades
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank’s $2.7 Billion June Buyback Pushes Stock to Highest in Two Decades

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. bought back about $2.7 billion of its own shares in June, helping push the stock to its highest in two decades.The company bought a total of 54,859,300 shares paying 290 billion yen, SoftBank said in a statement Friday. The acquisitions tapped out the 500 billion yen buyback announced in March and used about 20% of a similarly sized repurchase slated to run through next March.The Tokyo-based company led by founder Masayoshi Son booked a record 1.36 trillion yen operating loss for the year ended March 31. Son’s response was to speed up plans to sell 4.5 trillion yen of assets to reduce debt and bankroll record share buybacks. SoftBank has already lined up a third repurchase package and pledged to spend an additional 1 trillion yen on buying back stock this fiscal year.SoftBank closed little changed at 6,267 yen on Friday. The stock has more than doubled from its coronavirus low in March, adding close to $70 billion in market capitalization.Read more: With SoftBank Rally, Masa Son Adds $12 Billion to Fortune (1)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Nikkei hits 1-week low on COVID-19 concerns, corporate earnings

    Japanese shares closed at a one-week low on Friday as a spike in fresh COVID-19 cases at home and abroad fuelled concerns that the path to economic recovery could be hindered, while the market braced for further corporate earnings pain. More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Thursday, the largest single-day tally record, stoking fears that new lockdowns could take a toll on the economic recovery. Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, said investors also awaited earnings report from Yaskawa Electric Corp due later in the day.

  • Reuters

    Japanese shares fall on virus concerns, corporate earnings

    Japanese shares fell on Friday as a spike in fresh coronavirus cases at home and abroad fuelled concerns that the path to economic recovery could be hindered, while the market braced for corporate earnings pain. More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Thursday, the largest single-day tally record, stoking fears that new lockdowns could take a toll on the economic recovery.

  • Reuters

    INSIGHT-A space odyssey: Britain rockets into unknown with OneWeb

    Britain is betting that satellite operator OneWeb will help it boldly go into a post-Brexit era. The British government and Indian telecoms conglomerate Bharti Enterprises said last week they would together put up $1 billion to buy OneWeb, which filed for bankruptcy after its biggest backer, SoftBank Group, declined to provide fresh funding. The deal offers a new lease of life for the venture, which was founded by U.S. entrepreneur Greg Wyler with the vision of providing "internet everywhere for everyone" via 648 low Earth orbit satellites.

  • SoftBank-Backed Coupang Buys Hooq Assets to Take on Netflix
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank-Backed Coupang Buys Hooq Assets to Take on Netflix

    (Bloomberg) -- South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp. is buying the software of Hooq Digital Ltd., the Southeast Asian video streaming service owned by Singtel, Sony and Warner Bros that’s filed for liquidation, according to people familiar with the deal.Coupang has already struck a deal to acquire the assets, the people said, asking not to be named because the information hasn’t been announced.The deal ushers SoftBank-backed Coupang into a competitive but fragmented video streaming arena and pits it against the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. U.S. giants have emerged as frontrunners, squeezing out a number of domestic players with splashier local programming and fuller Hollywood slates. In a sign of accelerating consolidation, Tencent Holdings Ltd. recently agreed to buy the assets of Malaysian streaming platform iFlix Ltd. And last month, ride-hailing giant Gojek won funding from Golden Gate Ventures and other backers for its own video foray.Coupang, backed also by BlackRock Inc. and Sequoia Capital, has designs too on its own home market. Korea in recent years birthed blockbusters that captivated global audiences from “Parasite” to “Train to Busan,” yet Netflix and Alphabet Inc.’s Youtube remain dominant local players. South Korea’s government announced a plan last month to nurture five homegrown over-the-top or streaming service providers into global companies, and support their growth by expediting deals and investment in content.A Coupang representative declined to comment.Read more: Tencent Buys Assets of Struggling Streaming Platform IFlixHooq, a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Sony Pictures Television Inc. and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc., filed for liquidation in March and discontinued service at the end of April. Set up in 2015, it offered movies and drama series across Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and India, but ran into trouble during the pandemic.Coupang, widely regarded as South Korea’s Amazon, has been aggressively expanding into new businesses such as food delivery and digital payments, mirroring the U.S. giant by broadening its services. The Seoul-based company, founded in 2010 by Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim, was said to be valued at $9 billion in late 2018 and has been eyeing a public listing as early as next year, Bloomberg News reported in January.Buoyed by the growth in subscribers to its delivery service, sales at the startup rose to a record 7.15 trillion won ($5.9 billion) in 2019.Read more: Coupang Grew Revenue 64% in Boost For SoftBank’s Startup Cred(Updates with details on Asian market from the third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • A space odyssey: Britain rockets into unknown with OneWeb
    Reuters

    A space odyssey: Britain rockets into unknown with OneWeb

    Britain is betting that satellite operator OneWeb will help it boldly go into a post-Brexit era. The British government and Indian telecoms conglomerate Bharti Enterprises said last week they would together put up $1 billion to buy OneWeb, which filed for bankruptcy after its biggest backer, SoftBank Group <9984.T>, declined to provide fresh funding. The deal offers a new lease of life for the venture, which was founded by U.S. entrepreneur Greg Wyler with the vision of providing "internet everywhere for everyone" via 648 low Earth orbit satellites.

  • Reuters

    Japanese shares rebound but spike in COVID-19 cases caps gains

    Japanese shares bounced back on Thursday buoyed by technology-related stocks following a rise in U.S. peers overnight, but gains were limited by a surge in domestic coronavirus cases. The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 0.4% to 22,529.29, clawing back from a 0.78% drop in the previous session. On the Nikkei index, there were 63 advancers against 158 decliners.

  • Reuters

    Nikkei rebounds as tech-related shares gain

    Japan's Nikkei share average bounced back on Thursday, powered by technology-related stocks following strong gains in U.S. peers overnight. The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 0.21% to 22,486.01 by the midday break, partially clawing back from a 0.78% drop in the previous session. On the Nikkei index, there were 42 advancers against 178 decliners.

  • Wirecard’s $1 Billion Notes Auctioned Off at Fraction of Value
    Bloomberg

    Wirecard’s $1 Billion Notes Auctioned Off at Fraction of Value

    (Bloomberg) -- Wirecard AG convertible bonds are being sold at a fraction of their original value, unwinding a deal at the heart of the collapsed German payment processor’s brief alliance with SoftBank Group Corp.The securities will be offloaded at 12% of their notional worth after an auction that took place Wednesday, according to a notice sent to bidders seen by Bloomberg. Credit Suisse Group AG, the bank handling the sale, received bids exceeding the 900 million euros ($1 billion) of notes on offer, the document shows.The convertible bonds were collateral for complex securities that helped SoftBank offload risk on its Wirecard investment last year. That deal is now being unwound after the company’s collapse triggered a liquidation of the notes’ underlying collateral.Successful bidders will now be notified of their allocations, according to Wednesday’s notice.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • VC Fund Backing Firms Worth $206 Billion Eyes China Startups
    Bloomberg

    VC Fund Backing Firms Worth $206 Billion Eyes China Startups

    (Bloomberg) -- David Chao, a venture capitalist who has been on the ground floor of Asian companies worth a combined $206 billion, has raised money for a new fund with a China focus, a sign that rising U.S.-China tensions aren’t turning off foreign investors.DCM Ventures, which has the backing of SoftBank Group Corp. and Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., attracted $880 million from investors including U.S. endowments and pension plans, along with European firms.Chao, the co-founder of DCM, is uniquely placed to bridge the growing divide between the U.S. and China, sparked by trade disputes and tensions in Hong Kong. The Stanford University grad who was once recruited to be a sumo wrestler and understands Mandarin and Japanese, is as much at ease in the U.S. as China and Japan.“They are the three largest markets in the world, and both from an investment and business development perspective, the right markets,” Chao, 53, said in a phone interview. “China is still going to grow faster than the U.S. over the next 10 years. So I think in terms of the capital flow, it won’t stop.”Chao acknowledges some U.S. investors are growing more skittish about China as President Donald Trump ratchets up pressure to block Huawei Technologies Co.’s expansion and retaliates over China’s new security law in Hong Kong.“The tension is there, people did think a little bit harder whether they should invest in China,” said Chao, who regularly travels between Asia and his base in Menlo Park, California. “There are clearly some pension funds that are uncomfortable with China, but is that going to make a dent in the money being raised? I think you’ll end up being a rounding error.”Flows IncreasingMost investors are looking past the tension to see the opportunities in China and Japan, he said. Chao, whose funds have posted annual returns of 50% over the last decade with runaway hits on Bill.com Holdings Inc. in the U.S., 51job Inc. in China and Japan’s Freee KK, is now eying China startups in online drug distribution, video content platforms and cloud-based management software that’s disrupting International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp.“In terms of money flowing into China, I actually think it’s going to increase,” he said.Chao, who grew up in Kobe before moving to Silicon Valley, epitomizes DCM’s approach of tapping the three economies. With $4.2 billion under management, DCM counts Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. as investors, while Chao golfs with tech titans including Rakuten founder Hiroshi Mikitani.“David is a such an unique individual who will not allow anyone to put him in a box and has a fresh way to look at global synergies, especially in the China-Japan-U.S. triangle,” Mikitani said in a text via Viber, Rakuten’s messaging app.Humble BeginningsChao says his out-of-the-box thinking and work ethic were fueled by the discrimination he faced growing up in Japan. Chao’s second-generation Chinese immigrant mother operated a motel business, while his Chinese father traded medical equipment between the two countries. His ethnicity made him an outcast at times, although with his girth -- he weighed 260 pounds (118 kilograms) at age 13 -- he was once approached by a sumo wrestling recruiter.“One of the things my father always said is ‘hey, you gotta either work three times as hard as your fellow Japanese kids, or you gotta think different,’” said Chao. “Otherwise, you’re never going to break the glass ceiling.”Chao went to boarding school in California, hoping to change his fortunes. He obtained a degree in Economics and East Asian studies at Brown University, after opting out of medical school because he couldn’t stop vomiting in front of cadavers.Market CrashHe graduated just as the 1987 Black Monday crash hammered the job market. So he returned to Japan to work for a recruitment firm, going door-to-door in Tokyo selling ads, wearing out leather shoes every two months from all the walking.One of his clients was Apple Inc. -- back then still struggling to expand in Japan -- and the company hired him to sell software. It was there that he first met Masayoshi Son, convincing the SoftBank chairman to buy Apple software.After Stanford business school, he worked as a consultant for Steve Jobs, the Apple founder who helped him realize tech was the future. When Dixon Doll, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, started a new fund Chao joined as co-founder, bringing in 40% of the capital from investors in Japan, before setting his sites on the biggest prize: China.China PlungeChao hopped on a plane to Shanghai in 1999, some 10 years after he first visited China with his father before the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Over breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton, Chao drafted up term-sheets on napkins and brokered a deal with the 51job founders for DCM’s first China investment. 51job is now one of the largest recruitment platforms in China, valued at $4.6 billion on the Nasdaq.“David brought a unique perspective, since 20 years ago very few people understood both west and eastern cultures,” said Kathleen Chien, co-founder of 51job, by phone. DCM sold its 30% stake for a 12-fold gain to Tokyo-based Recruit Holdings Co. in 2006.That same year, Chao convinced his Stanford classmate Hurst Lin to join and build up DCM’s China’s business. The son of Taiwan immigrants, Lin graduated from Dartmouth College and later co-founded Sina.com Inc., China’s first online portal company to go public in the U.S.Some RegretsWith Lin’s help, DCM made bets on Chinese companies including online classified ads startup 58.com Inc. and e-commerce site Vipshop Holdings Ltd., the latter making a $1 billion return on investment. DCM also struck gold with Musical.ly, the lip-syncing and dancing video app that took off in the U.S. and was sold to ByteDance Ltd. for about $800 million.The fund has backed a new batch of companies including online drug distribution platform YaoShiBang and online learning platform VIP Think. Chao is betting another windfall will come from video streaming app Kuaishou, which is already valued at $29 billion and yet to go public.DCM also doesn’t shy away from controversial investments. It backed Blued, the Chinese LGBTQ dating app that many feared could face crackdown by authorities but is now listing in the U.S.“When everyone else thinks that China is not sexy, that’s actually when you start to make real money,” said Lin.To be sure, Chao has some regrets. He passed on search engine Baidu due to a disagreement on valuation and skipped Zoom Video Communications Inc., which has soared during the pandemic.Drinking Kool-AidWith those lessons in hand, DCM requires four general partners to vote and assign points to potential investments. Chao works closely with Beijing-based Lin, Ramon Zeng, and Tokyo-based Osuke Honda, who helped orchestrate two of Japan’s biggest IPOs last year.For DCM, the tri-cultural checks and balances seem to be paying off.“When you’re caught in your own geography you start to drink the Kool-Aid,” said Honda, 45, who owns black belts in Judo and Kyokushin Karate. “This structure urges people to dig in a little bit deeper.”(Updates with story link under the fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China’s Digital Yuan Gets First Big Test Via Tech Giant Didi
    Bloomberg

    China’s Digital Yuan Gets First Big Test Via Tech Giant Didi

    (Bloomberg) -- Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is testing China’s digital cash as a payment method on its platform, in what could be one of the first real-world applications of the electronic version of the yuan.The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup said on Wednesday it’s working with a research wing of the People’s Bank of China on uses for the virtual legal tender dubbed Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP. That includes testing the token on its ride-hailing platform, people familiar with the matter said. Specifics like when the feature will officially roll out aren’t clear yet, they said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private.Shares in Chinese financial software and information security companies including Feitian Technologies Co. and Julong Co. rose by their 10% daily limits on the news. Representatives from the PBOC had no comment when contacted.China’s government began a pilot program for its digital currency, which lives on a mobile wallet application and offers Beijing greater control of the country’s financial system, a few months ago. The initial testing was limited to four cities, with local media reporting that some of the money was distributed via transport subsidies to residents in Suzhou. However, implementation remains a question. China’s $27 trillion payments industry is already dominated by twin internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.Adoption by Didi, which connects half a billion Chinese commuters, would drive acceptance of China’s digital coin and widen Beijing’s global lead in government-sanctioned virtual tokens. Didi currently employs payment tools from Tencent and Alibaba-backed Ant Group, so it would appear to be a good candidate for DCEP. Beyond its core ride-sharing business, Didi is luring grocers and merchants onto its platform -- and they could also become users of the national digital tokens.Why China’s Rushing to Mint Its Own Digital Currency: QuickTakeChina’s central bank has led global peers in development of digital legal tender, with research efforts started in at least 2014. The digital currency is intended to eventually replace coins and banknotes, and could offer an alternative to the dollar-based international payments systems.“DCEP will become a key infrastructure of digital economy,” Didi said in a Chinese statement. It will work with the government to “boost the integration of the digital economy with the real economy.”Read more: China’s Digital Currency Could Challenge Bitcoin and Even the Dollar(Updates with share action in the third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Arm to transfer software businesses to SoftBank, focus on chips
    Reuters

    Arm to transfer software businesses to SoftBank, focus on chips

    The units, under Arm's internet-of-things services group, help chip purchasers manage data generated by all sorts of devices connected on the internet. Arm supplies the chip technology for virtually all mobile devices such as phones and tablets but is expanding into processors for cars, datacenter services and other devices.

  • Bloomberg

    Arm to Transfer IoT Data Unit to Softbank, Focus on Chips

    (Bloomberg) -- Arm Ltd. plans to transfer its data and device-management business to parent Softbank Group Corp. to focus on its main semiconductor operations and accelerate growth.The Internet of Things Services Group was billed by Arm as a key initiative to expand into managing information from millions of new devices being connected to the internet.The change will put Arm in a stronger position to innovate in its central business “and provide our partners with greater support to capture the expanding opportunities for compute solutions across a range of markets,’ Arm Chief Executive Officer Simon Segars said Tuesday in a statement. The transaction will require board approval, the company said.The Cambridge, England-based company is one of Softbank founder Masayoshi Son’s biggest bets. He bought Arm in 2016 for $32 billion saying that the company’s technology, which was already at the heart of all smartphones, had greater potential to grow as connectivity expands to become part of most electronics.Arm sells chip designs and also licenses the fundamentals of semiconductors that are used by companies such as Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. to create their own chips.Softbank’s founder has come under pressure as some of his other projects have unraveled or fallen well short of his bullish projections. In May, Softbank reported a record operating loss triggered by the writedown of portfolio companies at its Vision Fund arm. Many Vision Fund investments, including Uber Technologies Inc., tumbled in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, which has curtailed demand for ride hailing and other sharing economy services that Son has long favored.Son has said that he planned to cash in on his investment in Arm by returning it to the public markets once it had gone through a heavy period of investment to fuel new growth. The IoT business was part of this plan. Arm’s leadership argued that the difficultly in managing new devices and exploiting related data was holding back the adoption of technology such as building sensors and connected factory equipment.Softbank’s leader has been vague about when he might sell shares in Arm. In 2018, he said it would happen in about five years.(Updates with CEO comment in the third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Investing in VC Funds for Diverse Founders Is Getting Competitive

    (Bloomberg) -- Venture capitalist Sean Mendy started working on a new fund that would back diverse founders about a year and a half ago. It was going well—he and his co-founder had backing from heavyweights like LinkedIn Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner and basketball-star-turned-investor Andre Iguodala. But just as he was raising money and selecting his first startups, a wave of protests around racial justice gripped American cities. The protests touched off a global reckoning with inequality, and moved many in Silicon Valley to try to address tech’s own glaring racial disparities. As the movement picked up momentum, Mendy got several hundred emails from prospective investors, he said. He wound up turning down most of them down. On Tuesday, Mendy’s firm, Concrete Rose Capital, plans to announce its inaugural fund. The amount will total at least $15 million, but could wind up being significantly higher once fundraising is finished. Concrete Rose joins a growing list of organizations looking to put more money behind founders from underrepresented races and backgrounds. Last month, SoftBank Group Corp. announced a $100 million fund to back companies led by people of color. And Base10 Partners, the world’s largest Black-led venture firm, recently raised a $250 million fund, almost double the size of its last one, to invest in startups and back diversity initiatives. Mendy lauded the new influx of investor interest. “Competition is good for the space,” he said. Hundreds of years of American racial inequities stemming from slavery will prove costly to repair, he added. “I want to see as many founders as possible raise money.”Besides focusing on underrepresented founders, Mendy and his co-founder, Jason Norman, will also invest in companies that meet the needs of underrepresented consumers, and in startups that aim to build diverse teams from the start, often a rarity in tech.Racial inequality has long been a problem in Silicon Valley. Black people comprise just 3% of investment partners at venture firms, according to an industry group survey, and Black founders represent fewer than 1% of startup leaders who got venture funding between 1990 and 2016. Mendy said that in selecting which investors to work with, he focused on people who made equality a priority before George Floyd’s killing ignited the issue.“There’s definitely people who didn’t care about this who now care,” Mendy said. But he added: “I’m less interested in whether or not they cared about this a few weeks ago, and more interested in what they want to do now.”Concrete Rose’s backers include Intuit Corp. Executive Chairman Brad Smith, SurveyMonkey Inc. Chief Executive Officer Zander Lurie and Sixth Street Partners’ Alan Waxman. Each investor not only puts in money, but also commits to advising founders directly. That helps the founders expand their networks, Mendy said, “as opposed to being introduced to somebody once.” He learned the value of such relationships through his past work as vice president of development at the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, which is where he met LinkedIn’s Weiner, now a key adviser to his fund and its anchor investor.Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company Brands, an Atlanta-based health and beauty company for people of color, stresses that backing diverse founders is not only morally laudable, but also good business.“Diverse teams lead to more profitable outcomes,” he said, adding that by looking first for pedigree, such as a Stanford University degree, VCs miss opportunities. “You have to leave your Zip code,” he said.(Adds Zander Lurie to list of backers in eighth paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the list of investors.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Watch an army of Spot and Pepper robots cheerlead a baseball game in an empty stadium
    TechCrunch

    Watch an army of Spot and Pepper robots cheerlead a baseball game in an empty stadium

    NPB games are known for engaging antics that extend well beyond the play on the field. For many — including Korea’s KBO League and the upcoming shortened MLB season — cardboard cutouts are an attempt to bring something familiar to the otherwise surreal experience. The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks are getting some cheerleading help from a couple of familiar robots.

  • Reuters

    Nikkei falls on record slump in household spending; SoftBank Group jumps

    Japanese stocks ended lower on Tuesday after domestic household spending dropped at the fastest pace on record in May due to the coronavirus lockdown, although heavyweight SoftBank Group's sharp gains helped stem the benchmark's losses. Japan's household spending slumped 16.2% in May, data showed, with the pandemic driving large cuts in spending on hotels, transportation and eating out. "Some factors behind China's recent rally were that China quickly contained the virus and headed towards economic recovery," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo.

  • SoftBank Hits 20-Year High With $68 Billion Climb Out of Nadir
    Bloomberg

    SoftBank Hits 20-Year High With $68 Billion Climb Out of Nadir

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. shares touched their highest level in two decades as a series of buybacks helped the stock recoup losses suffered during the coronavirus market rout.The stock rose 4.6% to 6,190 yen ($58) on Tuesday, the highest since March 2000. That’s more than double the level in mid-March, which marked the virus-impacted low point for the company, whose market value has since surged by roughly $68 billion. The benchmark Topix index was little changed on the day.SoftBank’s recovery is something of a vindication for founder Masayoshi Son, who unveiled plans to sell 4.5 trillion yen of assets to reduce debt and bankroll record share buybacks. Son has frequently complained that SoftBank’s shares, even at their peak, have traded at less than the value of its portfolio of investments. Even after the recent gains, the stock still trades at a discount of about 50%, according to company’s own calculations.“It’s safe to assume part of today’s strong move was a result of buyback activity,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “A more positive global sentiment around tech also helped.”SoftBank has also had a series of wins over the same period, including merging its Sprint Corp. with T-Mobile US Inc. and seeing some bets pay off. Online home-insurance provider Lemonade Inc. surged as much as 86% in its U.S. initial public offering Thursday.SoftBank’s Vision Fund, with close to 90 companies in its portfolio, lost almost $18 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, as it wrote down the value of investments in WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc., among others. Son himself has said he expects about 15 of the fund’s startups to go bankrupt while predicting another 15 will thrive.“SoftBank’s business model has evolved over the past 20 years to match the times, from software to wireless service and now to an investment fund,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. “The way the coronavirus is reshaping our society, the winners will be communications infrastructure, networks and AI -- all businesses that SoftBank invests in.”(Updates with closing shares in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Japanese shares fall as household spending slumps; SoftBank Group soars

    Japanese shares edged lower on Tuesday after data showed that domestic household spending had dropped at the fastest pace on record in May during the coronavirus-led lockdown, pushing the world's third-largest economy deeper into decline. U.S. stocks saw sharp overnight gains, with Nasdaq hitting an all-time high on strong services industry activity in June along with investor optimism about a revival in China's economy. Closer home, Japan's household spending had slumped 16.2% in May at the quickest pace on record, with the coronavirus outbreak leading to large cuts in spending on hotels, transportation and eating out.

  • SoftBank's shares return to dot-com bubble era highs
    Reuters

    SoftBank's shares return to dot-com bubble era highs

    Shares of SoftBank Group Corp <9984.T> rose 3% on Tuesday to reach highs last seen during the dot-com bubble, as massive buybacks help shrink the group's persistent discount. Shares were priced at 6,100 yen in morning Tokyo trading, hitting levels last seen in early 2000, when speculation on internet stocks saw prices surge before crashing and wiping out most of SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son's wealth. The rebound comes after Son in March pledged to spend up to 2.5 trillion yen (£18.40 billion) on buybacks, helping lift the stock 130% from March lows.