|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||21.25 - 22.19|
|52 Week Range||15.54 - 28.04|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.98|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||2.98|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.10 (0.45%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Corp.’s brokerage unit plans to do something that may be a first in capital markets. It will allow individuals in Japan to participate in initial public offerings with as little as a 1,000-yen note (worth a bit less than a 10-dollar bill).One Tap BUY Co., controlled by the wireless unit of investment giant SoftBank Group Corp., is preparing to start offering such sales as early as March 2020 after obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. This will mark the first time that investors will be able to subscribe to an IPO by investment amount rather than specified number of shares, said One Tap BUY Chief Executive Officer Masaaki Uchiyama."When you buy food or fuel your car, it’s easier to specify the amount of money you want to spend rather than the volume," Uchiyama said in an interview. "The only thing investors want to know is how much they can gain from $10."SoftBank is going up against competition from Line Corp. and Rakuten Inc. in the race to tap individuals through financial services. Line started an online brokerage with Japan’s biggest bank, Nomura Holdings Inc., this week, while Rakuten last month announced it will start lending and issuing credit cards in the United States. All three are aiming to create and expand new markets, targeting younger and less well-off investors.SoftBank owns 46% of One Tap BUY, while Mizuho Securities Co. holds 13%. Uchiyama, who joined the smartphone-based brokerage in 2016 after stints at the predecessors of SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. and Accenture Plc., became the CEO in July.One Tap BUY will seek an IPO of its own in the next three to five years, the CEO said. Ahead of that, the company plans to raise as much as 3 billion yen ($28 million) from investors by March 2020 to expand its brokerage operation, he added.”As long as we are a unit of SoftBank, we are supposed to seek to become a unicorn,” Uchiyama said.To contact the reporter on this story: Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Takashi Amano at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- John Pipilis, the former head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank AG, is in talks to join SoftBank Group Corp.’s giant investment fund in a senior position.Pipilis’s potential role would be head of financing at SoftBank Investment Advisers, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the talks are private. SBIA manages the $100 billion Vision Fund, the world’s biggest pool of technology investments, which holds stakes in WeWork, Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc.The talks may not result in Pipilis being hired, the people said. Still, the discussions not only highlight how former traders from Deutsche Bank are reconvening at SoftBank, but also how the Japanese conglomerate is increasingly using financial structuring to help manage its growing tech portfolio.Pipilis, a veteran of the German lender until leaving amid its historic overhaul earlier this year, oversaw one of the world’s biggest fixed-income trading businesses, dealing in everything from derivatives tied to corporate and sovereign debt, currencies and interest rates to junk bonds and leveraged loans.Pipilis declined to comment, as did a spokesman from SoftBank.Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is cutting 18,000 jobs and retreating from risky trading businesses in the latest revamp of the Frankfurt-based lender, which has struggled over the years with legal and regulatory woes. The various overhauls have prompted the departures of a number of top staff.SoftBank has become home to a number of Pipilis’ former colleagues. Colin Fan, the former co-head of Deutsche Bank’s investment-banking unit, joined SoftBank in 2017, while Rajeev Misra, who built the German lender’s credit derivatives and trading business, is the Japanese company’s head of strategic finance and is in charge of the Vision Fund.Other former Deutsche Bank staff who now ply their trade at SoftBank include Akshay Naheta, Murtaza Ahmed, Munish Varma, Saleh Romeih, Faisal Rahman, Aamir Akram, and Ziyad Al Ashaikh.Unlike traditional tech investors, who buy equity stakes in startups, SoftBank has used a variety of investment strategies to fund its deals, from seeking lines of credit to using billion-dollar collar trades. Pipilis’s role may be to help the Vision Fund manage its debt, but also advise on fixed-income strategies for companies in its portfolio, one person said.\--With assistance from Sonali Basak.To contact the reporters on this story: Giles Turner in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Donal Griffin in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Keith Campbell, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Son himself may account for over half of that amount, the Journal reported, adding that executives feel that such a step will make employees more accountable as the investments of the fund can be cancelled if a manager leaves or is found to have engaged in a "reckless deal". The loans are likely to have an interest rate of about 5%, the WSJ said, citing a source.
SoftBank revealed its plans for its second Vision Fund last month, including$38 billion from SoftBank itself, as well as commitments from Apple,Microsoft and more
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group is planning to lend up to $20 billion to its employees to buy stakes in its second giant venture-capital fund, Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.Chief Executive Masayoshi Son may account for more than half of that amount, the paper said, adding that the employee pool at $20 billion, would represent nearly a fifth of the money that SoftBank said last month it had lined up for its second Vision Fund.A Vision Fund spokesman didn’t comment to the newspaper.To view the source of this information click hereTo contact the reporter on this story: Sebastian Tong in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Kopit at firstname.lastname@example.org, Linus ChuaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Japanese hotel chain Unizo Holdings said it received a friendly buyout offer worth up to $1.3 billion (1.1 billion pounds) from a SoftBank Group investment firm, a deal that will help it fend off a rare hostile takeover bid from travel agency H.I.S. Co. U.S.-based Fortress Investment Group will launch a tender offer from next week for all of Unizo's shares at 4,000 yen apiece (31 pounds), the companies said in separate statements, trumping the 3,100 yen that H.I.S. has offered. Unizo has publicly opposed the H.I.S. bid, saying it lacked synergy and undervalued the hotel chain.
Investors may be stumped by some of the finances WeWork owner We Company unveiled this week in its filing to go public, in particular a $486 million (£401.2 million) gain on a convertible note that made losses at the coworking firm appear a lot smaller. The gain reduced the pace of expanding losses in the first six months of this year to a 25% increase from a year earlier rather than almost doubling it. The IPO will be a key test of investor appetite for fast-growing, money-losing startups.
Softbank Group's Vision Fund has made its first foray into energy storage technology with a $110 million investment in Switzerland-based Energy Vault. While many countries are keen to use renewable energy as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions in the fight against climate change, the challenge has been to find a way to store it for later use, particularly overnight or when demand surges. Inspired by the physics and mechanical engineering used in hydro plants, Energy Vault says its technology enables renewable energy to be stored in 35-ton bricks and delivered as baseload power for less than the cost of fossil fuels at any hour of the day.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s massive Vision Fund is making its first-ever energy storage bet -- and it’s on a rather unconventional type of battery.The fund, created by Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp., is investing $110 million in Energy Vault, a Swiss startup that’s using cranes and concrete to store energy. An electric crane hoists up blocks of concrete and stacks them into a tower when power is plentiful. When power is needed, it uses gravity to take the structure apart brick by brick. The weight of the descending blocks converts kinetic energy into electricity.The startup faces stiff competition. Huge lithium-ion batteries have emerged as the storage of choice for utilities looking to deal with short-term fluctuations on their grids. The costs of those have plunged 85% since 2010. Entrepreneurs have long pitched alternatives that can hold more energy and supply for longer -- including ones that compress and liquify air and split and store hydrogen, but none have taken off the way lithium-ion has.Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund is betting on the need for more affordable and bigger storage systems to expand the use of renewable power and wean the world off fossil fuels. Even as the price of wind and solar plummets, they remain intermittent, supplying electricity to the grid at some times and not others. Unlocking a cheap way to bottle up clean power and dispatch it at will could change everything.Click here for a video explaining how Energy Vault’s system works.Energy Vault uses the same principle that’s long been employed by pumped-hydro storage dams, which use huge reservoirs and gravity to store energy and generate power. SoftBank is convinced the tower concept can scale quickly, with the systems installed next to existing solar power plants or wind farms.“The minute you have one solar power plant with these towers up and running, we think the scalability goes through the roof,” Akshay Naheta, managing partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in an interview.He estimates the system can be deployed for 15% of the price of a similarly-sized lithium-ion battery installation. SoftBank itself will become one of Energy Vault’s customers and is installing one of the systems at an undisclosed location, Naheta said. Energy Vault also is building a demonstration plant in Italy and a plant for India’s Tata Power Company Ltd.Robert Piconi, Energy Vault’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said the technology will allow wind and solar facilities to supply electricity to the grid 24 hours per day, undercutting the costs of fossil fuel plants. Grid-scale lithium-ion battery packs, in contrast, typically deliver power for just four hours.“We’re solving a problem that, today, there’s just not a lot of answers for,” Piconi said.One advantage is that Energy Vault’s technology can be installed almost anywhere, unlike pumped-hydro systems that need at least two massive reservoirs at different elevations to work. That said, Piconi does not expect Energy Vault’s concrete towers to sprout in urban centers, where the aesthetics may not be appreciated.“Obviously, this is not something that’s going to fit in the middle of a city,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: David R. Baker in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe Ryan, Reg GaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s Latin America foray, a multibillion-dollar deal spree that minted a wave of “unicorns” and upended the region’s startup landscape, is just getting started.The Japanese technology giant still has about $4 billion left in the $5 billion fund it launched in March for new technology companies in the region, and has its sights on roughly 300 targets, according to Andre Maciel, a managing partner at SoftBank Group International. About 200 of those are in Brazil, he said.“We already feel that the opportunity in the region is bigger than what we originally thought,” Maciel, SoftBank’s head of Brazil and structured transactions, said in an interview at the firm’s Sao Paulo offices. “There’s a lot outside of Brazil we still haven’t got around to even looking at.”For the next round, Maciel said he’s looking at companies in the health-care and real estate industries, as well as boosting bets in financial and mobility firms.SoftBank’s investments make up a vast chunk of the total market. Last year, investors stuffed $2.4 billion into startups in the region, more than double 2017’s total, according to PitchBook. In 2019 so far, deals have added up to $2.1 billion, with SoftBank-backed transactions making up the bulk of the total.“This is the kind of capital that has never been seen before in Latin America,” Maciel said.SoftBank isn’t the only venture capitalist pouring money in Latin America’s startup champions. Nu Pagamentos SA, the six-year-old fintech known as Nubank, announced a $400 million funding round led by venture capital firm TCV -- an early backer of Netflix Inc. and Spotify Technology SA -- in its first large investment in Latin America. Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sequoia Capital, two existing Nubank investors, added money to the fund.Beyond infusing Latin American companies with cash -- in some cases more than tripling their valuations -- SoftBank is also investing in local venture capital funds. In June, SoftBank announced a partnership with Valor Capital Group, a fund with about $300 million invested in 37 Brazilian companies and U.S. firms looking to expand in Brazil.“In some cases we’ve more than doubled the investment firepower available to those funds,” Maciel said. “We don’t have the reach and structure to look at smaller transactions, but those funds do. They can irrigate the system for entrepreneurs.”Maciel, a 17-year veteran of JPMorgan Chase & Co., is one of Marcelo Claure’s three lieutenants in the region, and the only one based in Sao Paulo. The other two are Shu Nyatta, who shuttles between the Miami and Silicon Valley offices, and Paulo Passoni, who worked at Third Point LLC for seven years and is based in Miami. The trio report to Claure, the Bolivian-American chief executive officer of SoftBank Group International who oversees the Latin America expansion.New FirmsAnother part of the group’s mandate is to help SoftBank’s global portfolio of over 100 firms setting up footholds in Latin America. Maciel says there are plans to bring around 40 of those to the region, either through partnerships or local offices. Some of SoftBank’s most-successful ventures, from Uber Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos. to Didi Chuxing, already have sizable local operations.The company has 10 employees on its local team and plans to reach as many as 30 in coming months. It’s also looking for a new building to house its offices in Sao Paulo, Maciel said, but will keep running into one of the biggest hurdles of its Latin America deal binge: the everybody-knows-everybody tightness of Brazil’s financial district.Maciel’s solution? “I’ve started taking some of our more delicate business meetings in my living room.”SoftBank’s Latin America investments:RappiA Colombia-based delivery startup. In May, SoftBank agreed to invest $1 billion in the firm, valuing it at around $3.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.ClipA Mexican payments fintech similar to Square.LoggiA Brazilian logistics platform. In June, SoftBank led a $150 million infusion for the firm, valuing it at $1 billion.GympassA Brazilian fitness startup. In June, SoftBank led a $300 million investment in the firm. Both the Vision Fund and the Latin American Fund participated.CreditasA Brazilian online lender for secured loans. In July, SoftBank led a $231 million investment in the firm, tripling its valuation. Both the Vision Fund and the Latin American Fund participated.Banco InterA Brazilian digital bank. In July, SoftBank, through a vehicle called LA BI Holdco LLC, bought an 8.1% stake at the lender, paying roughly 760 million reais ($190 million), according to a regulatory filing.VolantyA Brazilian digital dealership for used cars. In August, it received a 70 million reais investment led by SoftBank and Argentine venture capital firm Kaszek.To contact the reporters on this story: Felipe Marques in Sao Paulo at email@example.com;Vinícius Andrade in São Paulo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, Steve Dickson, Daniel TaubFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
China-based CloudMinds is seeking an initial public offering to help it create a future of connected robots.
On August 9, Yahoo! Finance reported that Uber (UBER) is imposing a hiring freeze for tech talent. The same day, Uber stock ended 6.8% lower.
Japan's SoftBank Group Corp is in advanced talks to invest in Mexican used car platform Kavak and financial technology firm Konfio, several people familiar with the matter said, underscoring the company's interest in Mexico as it pours money into Latin America. SoftBank is discussing an investment in Kavak, an online platform for buying and selling secondhand cars, said three people, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks were not public. SoftBank declined to comment, and Konfio did not respond.
Surging venture capital investment in Latin American startups has financed international expansion across the region and beyond, as business models that do not require large amounts of capital have helped many firms avoid silos common in the region. Analysts say fundraising rounds this year could double 2018's total, thanks to Japan's SoftBank Group Corp , which launched its $5 billion Latin America fund in March, the region's biggest-ever venture capital deployment. SoftBank's investments this year have helped to mint a new wave of Latin "unicorns," or tech startups valued at more than $1 billion, with high expectations hinging on their potential beyond their headquarter countries.
Uber (UBER) stock rose just 0.3% Tuesday amidst aftershocks from additional U.S.-China trade war tariffs and broader market concerns. Investors are looking for signs that the company will eventually become profitable, and for what to do if it doesn't.
(Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son can’t wait to wash his hands of Sprint Corp.SoftBank Group Corp. will stop consolidating the U.S. carrier in its results starting next earnings report, anticipating a successful merger with T-Mobile USA Inc. despite questions over the deal’s eventual closing. That accounting change will slash SoftBank’s debt load and help it shed its image as a staid telecoms company, the Japanese billionaire said Wednesday.Son is eager to put the Sprint chapter behind him. The wireless carrier’s roughly $47 billion debt pile has weighed on its Japanese owner’s valuation ever since the latter agreed to pay $21.6 billion for a majority stake in 2012. Son in turn has repeatedly railed at investors for misjudging his company’s true value. Now, the entrepreneur can better plug SoftBank as an technology investment powerhouse, allowing him to focus his energies on the $100 billion Vision Fund and its $108 billion successor.“For years, investors have focused on the immediate struggles at Sprint, overlooking the longer-term potential of Son’s technology investments,” said Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Group.The accounting change will reduce the group’s overall interest-bearing debt load by about 29%. But because Sprint’s borrowings are non-recourse to the parent, meaning the Japanese company will not owe anything to its U.S. unit’s creditors, the removal of the debt from the balance sheet is largely symbolic and may not affect SoftBank’s credit rating.Son has previously pointed out that the Sprint excision will have a significant impact on SoftBank’s annual interest expenses — as much as halving them — which amounts to an even greater reduction than in the overall debt because Sprint pays higher interest on its borrowings.“There is still a lingering image of SoftBank as a debt-laden telecommunications company,” Son said at the briefing. “That’s quite different from the truth.”On Wednesday, SoftBank reported first-quarter profit that beat the highest analyst estimate thanks to valuation gains from Vision Fund investments such as Slack Technologies Inc., which went public in June, hotel chain OYO Rooms and food-delivery app DoorDash Inc. The gains were offset by a 195.3 billion yen decline in the fair value of holdings including Uber Technologies Inc. Operating income in the three months ended June slipped 3.7% to 688.8 billion yen ($6.5 billion), but trumped the 345.3 billion yen average analyst estimate. SoftBank also said the Vision Fund held 81 investments worth about $66.3 billion.The Sprint accounting change signals Son’s confidence in sealing the deal. While the Justice Department approved the acquisition last month, the transaction has been held up by an antitrust lawsuit by more than a dozen states including California and New York. Texas was the latest to join the fight last week. The deal already has the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has expressed support.“There hasn’t been a case in history where you had those three approvals and the deal didn’t get done,’’ Son said.Sprint has been profitable for only one of the past five years. It accounted for 38% of SoftBank’s revenue in the three months ended June, slightly less than the company’s domestic telecom operations.Son originally considered buying T-Mobile in 2014 before abandoning the effort when officials at the FCC and Justice Department signaled they were against a theoretical merger with Sprint. Another attempt at a merger fizzled out in late 2017 amid disagreement over control. SoftBank finally agreed to sell Sprint to T-Mobile in 2018, getting about a 27.4% stake in the resulting entity in return.The billionaire acknowledged that his Sprint purchase has been largely seen as a failure, but said that SoftBank generated a 21% rate of return on the deal. All but 400 billion of the 2.1 trillion yen acquisition came from borrowing, he said. That smaller proportion of shareholder value has tripled to 1.3 trillion yen, “not bad at all as an investment.”“From a sentiment perspective, Sprint got in the way of a lot of investors, who thought of it as a bad deal,” said Chris Lane, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. “This at least cleans up a mess. It’s a good save and allows them to move on.”Last month, Son announced that he’s setting up a second Vision Fund. SoftBank is committing $38 billion in capital itself and expects to collect money from Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Foxconn Technology Group and the sovereign wealth fund of Kazakhstan. He also won broad support from Japanese financial institutions, with seven of them identified as signing memorandums of understanding to participate.“The merger of Sprint with T-Mobile and Vision Fund 2, these are great milestones for SoftBank,” Son said. “The only way from here is forward.”To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
SoftBank Group Corp's second Vision Fund could start investing as soon as next month, founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said, as the technology conglomerate reported a leap in profits at its first $100 billion (82.4 billion pounds) fund. SoftBank said last week it had secured $108 billion in pledges for its Vision Fund 2 (VF2) from participants including Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc , without breaking out their individual contributions. The anchor investors from the first fund, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, are showing "high interest" in taking stakes and negotiations are ongoing, Son said on Wednesday after SoftBank turned in first-quarter operating earnings that blew past consensus estimates.
The Boston-based company, which was founded in 2012, has previously raised capital from CRV, Spark Capital and Lockheed Martin. SoftBank launched a second Vision Fund last month, in which it committed $38 billion and secured pledges from Microsoft Corp and other investors of around $108 billion, as it looks to strengthen its position as one of the world's biggest tech investors. Cybereason said it will use the capital to expand its global footprint and focus on developing its core offering, Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP).
U.S.-Israeli cyber security provider Cybereason said on Tuesday it raised $200 million (£164.6 million) from Japan's Softbank and its affiliates, bringing the company closer to an initial public offering. The new funds, which double the amount raised to date, will be used to fuel global growth and further innovate its cloud-based endpoint protection platform, Cybereason said. "The $200 million investment is a big step towards taking Cybereason to IPO," CEO Lior Div told Reuters, saying a two-year timeline was reasonable.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. has tapped Nomura Holdings Inc. as lead manager for a domestic bond sale to raise as much as 400 billion yen ($3.8 billion) in what could be one of the biggest in the local corporate bond market, said people familiar with the matter.The Japanese conglomerate is preparing to sell 300 billion yen to 400 billion yen of seven-year notes to individuals, and may set the bond’s marketing range as early as this month, for issuance in September, said the people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public yet. SoftBank, which last month unveiled plans for a second enormous technology fund, has a 400 billion yen bond due Sept. 12.Spokesmen at SoftBank Group and Nomura declined to comment.Founder Masayoshi Son has transformed SoftBank into a technology investment juggernaut in recent years, and the company said last month it will commit $38 billion of its own capital to a second Vision Fund, following its first unprecedented effort. The main purpose of the planned bond sale is for refinancing, and SoftBank has already hired several underwriters for the deal.SoftBank is also considering a bond offering to institutional investors that may include seven-year and 10-year notes, according to people familiar with the matter. The company registered to sell yen bonds at the start of last month, according to a regulatory filing.The Vision Fund injection is unlikely to affect the company’s current rating, even if financed entirely with debt, according to S&P Global Ratings last month. Both S&P and Moody’s Investors Service rate SoftBank with their highest speculative-grade rating.The new investment vehicle, which is targeting $108 billion of fundraising, is a “manifestation of an extremely aggressive growth strategy and underlying financial policy that are likely to continue to restrain its credit quality,” S&P said in a statement on July 26.The technology company raised 500 billion yen in April, a record amount in the domestic debt market, by selling bonds at a coupon of 1.64% to individual investors in Japan. The issuance was fully subscribed on the first day of a planned two-week sales period.SoftBank has an A- rating from Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd. and is the single biggest issuer of yen debt in the local corporate bond market during the past five years, with the majority of that raised from individuals. It has sold more than 3.5 trillion yen of bonds in the domestic market during that period.To contact the reporters on this story: Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Issei Hazama in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Takashi Amano at firstname.lastname@example.org, Finbarr Flynn, Beth ThomasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Fair, the vehicle subscription startup backed by SoftBank, is loading its executive team with veterans in the tech, venture and automotive industries as it seeks to build out its Uber leasing program and expand beyond North America. Fair.com today announced three key hires to lead the development of its car subscription app, financing department and leasing program with Uber. Jay Trinidad, a former Google and Discovery Networks executive, is now chief product officer.
(Bloomberg) -- Everywhere you turn in the transportation industry these days, Toyota Motor Corp. seems to already be there.From batteries and self-driving vehicles to lunar rovers and ride-hailing companies, the world’s second-biggest automaker is on an investment spree, pouring more than $3 billion into deals and partnerships in recent years. Toyota, which reports first-quarter results Friday, is placing bets across the board, mimicking technology investors like SoftBank Group Corp.Toyota, Volkswagen AG and other carmakers face an uncertain future as new technologies and business models ripple through the $2.23 trillion global auto industry. Uber Technologies Inc. has made younger buyers less interested in owning and driving cars, and Tesla Inc.’s success with electric vehicles has spurred bigger rivals to counter with their own products. All told, car sales will be only slightly higher in 2030, while new spending on mobility services will total $1.34 trillion, Accenture predicts.“They are developing by far the most diverse lineup of different mobility products, from personal mobility to luxury cars and various types of shared mobility and commercial vehicles,” said Janet Lewis, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities (Japan) Ltd. in Tokyo. “Investors, to the extent that they are invested in the auto sector, generally agree that Toyota is looking like a winner.”Indeed, shareholders are endorsing Toyota’s approach. The automaker’s stock rose 1% on Thursday, leaving it up 10% this year and adding $18.6 billion in market value. That’s better than the Topix index and other Japanese automakers, even amid tepid profit and sales growth. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict quarterly operating profit will rise 1.3% to 692 billion yen, while revenue will climb 1.6% to 7.48 trillion yen.Big BetIn addition to investments and partnerships, Toyota’s spends about 1.05 trillion yen ($9.7 billion) a year on research and development.Akio Toyoda, chief executive officer and grandson of the automaker’s founder, has been holding forth at public appearances about Toyota’s transformation into a mobility service provider from a manufacturer.“My true mission is to completely redesign Toyota into a mobility company,” Toyoda said in May, saying the mission is to not just make products that move people around but provide “all kinds of services related to mobility.”Ride-HailingToyota’s strategy is to tie up with the strongest ride-hailing providers in each region and then integrate its hardware and software into their services. Toyota is a major investor in the world’s three top ride-hailing companies: Uber, China’s Didi Chuxing and Southeast Asia’s Grab Holdings Inc.In Japan, the carmaker teamed up with SoftBank — which has poured even more money into the three companies — in yet another mobility service venture called Monet Technologies Inc.The Japanese companies are betting that Monet can evolve into a variety of transportation-related business. For example, they envision meal-delivery vehicles that can prepare food en route to customers, or hospital shuttles that offer medical examinations.Toyota’s rivals aren’t standing still, either. General Motors Co. injected $500 million into Uber rival Lyft Inc. in 2016 while also pursuing its own robotaxi program with the Cruise Automation unit. Daimler AG and BMW AG merged their car-sharing operations this year after buying up several local ride-hailing ventures.ElectrificationWhile Toyota was first out of the gate with the Prius hybrid car, it hasn’t rolled out any mass-market EVs. Like Volkswagen and other major automakers, the Japanese company was biding its time. That will change next year, when Toyota introduces the first of six EV models planned through 2025.To secure enough batteries, Toyota recently stepped up its dealmaking with manufacturers, racing competitors to secure supplies for pure-electric and hybrid vehicles. Volkswagen and Daimler have made tens of billions of dollars in battery investments.In July, the Japanese auto giant made back-to-back battery announcements with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and BYD Co. Toyota also is committed to work with suppliers Toshiba Corp., GS Yuasa Corp. and Toyota Industries, as well as long-term partner Panasonic Corp.In Japan, Toyota teamed with Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp., Subaru Corp. and parts makers to develop a common platform for EVs, betting that a combined effort can save development and production costs.Earlier this year, Toyota’s brought forward its EV sales target by five years. The company now expects to see annual sales of 5.5 million units globally in 2025, compared with a previous timeline of 2030.Fuel CellsToyota placed bets on fuel-cell technology years ago, gambling that hydrogen would replace batteries to store and deliver electricity for cars. So far, the technology’s complexity and high development costs has scared off most rivals. Three years after introducing its Mirai hydrogen car, the model remains a rarity even in Japan.Even so, Toyota is keeping fuel-cell car development alive, with hopes that Chinese interest in hydrogen will create a bigger market for the technology. In April, Toyota said it will work with Chinese truckmaker Beiqi Foton Motor Co. and Beijing SinoHytec Co., an affiliate of Tsinghua University, to develop more commercial vehicles with fuel cells. In July, it struck a similar deal with carmaker China FAW Group Co. and Higer Bus Co. to supply fuel-cell systems.Hybrid CarsAfter keeping its hybrid-car technology in Japan, the U.S. and developed markets for years, Toyota is now seeking to enter new markets. It will supply its hybrid system to Suzuki globally, while Suzuki will sell compact vehicles through Toyota in India and Africa, the carmakers said in March. The pair also will jointly develop a multipurpose vehicle that will be sold in India under both brands.Toyota also may share the hybrid-car engine technology it pioneered with the Prius with Chinese manufacturers, seeking to catch up with rivals in the world’s biggest auto market. Toyota is in advanced talks to license its hybrid system to Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., Bloomberg reported last year.Toyota will benefit if China eases emissions rules so that low-polluting hybrid cars aren’t penalized as much as normal gas guzzlers. Policy makers are now considering rules that would count levels from a super-low emission vehicle as one-fifth of a normal gasoline car, according to a draft of the rules released July 9 by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.A majority of Toyota’s new partners are Chinese manufacturers because Toyota wants to catch up there with Volkswagen and General Motors in the next decade. China contributed most of Toyota’s growth last year, as well as this year, thanks to new products and its Lexus luxury brand, which benefited from lower government tariffs on auto imports from Japan.Connected CarsAlthough Toyota lags behind General Motors and European rivals, the digital information business has been a central -- yet less visible -- element of its vision for the future.Automobiles are generating more data that can be shared in order to improve safety, monitor road conditions and help passengers. For example, many manufacturers see a future when collisions become rare because autonomous vehicles will be programmed to avoid each other.Toyota is working to have 70% of new cars connected globally by 2020, with almost all of those in the U.S. and Japan. Automakers are already using the cloud to generate revenue through telematics insurance and car-sharing services.Toyota also has talked about using data to alert dealers when cars need servicing, provide information about road and traffic conditions for smart city planning, and inform retailers where their customers are commuting from to allow more targeted marketing.Moon PlansAlthough less relevant for Earthlings, Toyota wants to be the first automaker on the moon. Together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Toyota is planning to build a six-wheeled, self-driving transporter that can carry two humans for a distance of 10,000 kilometers. They expect to land a vehicle on Earth’s closest ndaimeighbor in 2029.The rover will use solar arrays and fuel cells to generate and store power. The vehicle will be big enough so the astronauts can take their suits off and live in it while exploring the lunar surface.“Toyoda is determined to shift his company into a mobility company from a conventional hardware-oriented corporation,” said Koji Endo, senior analyst at SBI Securities Co. “It’s yet to be seen if Toyota can win among the competition and rapid changes in the business model, but it seems management is determined to chase this course.”(Updates with Toyota shares in)\--With assistance from Kae Inoue.To contact the reporter on this story: Ma Jie in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org, Reed Stevenson, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.