Africa Roundup: Uber says it’s staying, Konga could be epic startup fail

 Despite exit rumors and quitting Morocco, Uber is staying in Africa, according to its General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits. Speculation Uber could leave the continent surfaced late last year when a board member of its biggest investor, Softbank, encouraged the company to focus on markets such as the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. “It really was an…article after that… Read More

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SoftBank’s $100B Vision Fund could get more capital from the Middle East

 SoftBank’s Vision Fund looks set to bring on more capital from the Middle East as it bids to reach its $100 billion fundraise target. The fund has already deployed around one-third of the $93 billion it raised in its first close, according to statements released earlier this month, and now it is on the hunt for more LPs. The Middle East has proven to be fertile soil for the Vision Fund,… Read More

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China’s Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan

 China’s Didi Chuxing is preparing yet another market expansion after it inked an agreement with SoftBank, Uber’s largest shareholder, to introduce taxi-hailing services in Japan this year. Didi dominates the Chinese market — thanks in no small amount to its acquisition of second-placed Uber China — but this year it has expanded to Brazil via an acquisition and Taiwan via… Read More

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SoftBank’s Vision Fund has already spent over $35 billion on investments

 SoftBank made waves when its gigantic Vision Fund hit a massive $93 billion first close of a targeted $100 billion total last year, but already it is clear why the firm is reportedly planning a sequel. According to the Japanese firm’s latest financials, it has already deployed one-third of the capital. A large chunk of the investments went on ride-hailing. SoftBank completed a $7.7… Read More

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SoftBank buys into Line’s mobile service in Japan

 SoftBank is partnering up with messaging app Line to help develop its Line Mobile telecom service. Line announced that it has agreed to allow SoftBank to take a 51 percent in the business via an issuance of new shares. The deal is expected to close by March. From the documents, its mobile business is valued at around $15 million (1.7 billion JPY) but a company spokesperson told TechCrunch… Read More

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Benchmark’s lawsuit against former Uber CEO Kalanick dismissed

 It’s over. Benchmark’s lawsuit against former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has now been dropped, ending one of the biggest VC-founder disputes in history. It was dismissed as a condition of the SoftBank investment in Uber getting done. The deal was completed earlier this month, giving both Benchmark and Kalanick an opportunity to sell a significant Uber stake. The venture firm and… Read More

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Construction startup Katerra gets $865M in Softbank’s latest mega-round

 There’s another big financing round led by Softbank’s mammoth vision fund today, with the firm this time pouring $865 million into a construction startup called Katerra that’s a one-stop shop for getting a building up off the ground. Katerra is creating a full-stack provider for, well, buildings. The company runs the process of getting a building up and people inside it from… Read More

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Crunch Report | Amazon reveals 20 finalists for second HQ

The 20 finalist cities for Amazon’s second HQ are announced, HuffPost drops its free contributor platform and Uber’s SoftBank deal officially closes. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Uber’s big SoftBank deal has officially closed

 SoftBank’s $1.2 billion primary direct investment deal has officially closed, according to Uber itself, which confirmed the deal closure and provided the following statement to TechCrunch via a spokesperson:
We’re proud to have SoftBank, Dragoneer and the entire consortium in the Uber family. This is a great outcome for our shareholders, employees and customers, strengthening… Read More

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Equity podcast: Spotify’s impending debut, Uber’s done deal, and Nasdaq 7,000

 Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This episode, the first of 2018, saw our own Katie Roof and your humble servant (Alex) joined by Atish Davda, CEO and founder of EquityZen. Matthew Lynley is off this week.
(Davda’s firm put together a landing page for Equity, which we thought was… Read More

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