Google is closing its Schaft robotics unit after failing to find a buyer

Sad news for anyone into giant robots: Google parent Alphabet is closing down Schaft, its secretive unit that develops bipedal robots aimed at helping out in disaster efforts and generally looking badass. The news was first reported by Nikkei, but Alphabet confirmed to TechCrunch that the business will be shuttered. It said it is helping staff find […]

SoftBank to wait on Khashoggi murder investigation before deciding on second Vision Fund

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son says the company won’t walk away from its existing commitment with the Saudi Arabian royal family — the largest LP in its $100 billion Vision Fund — but the firm will wait on the outcome of an investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi before deciding on whether to continue the […]

China’s ByteDance leapfrogs Uber to becomes world’s most valuable startup

Move aside Uber, China’s ByteDance is now the world’s highest-valued tech startup. That’s according to reports from Forbes and Bloomberg both of which claim that the company has completed a $3 billion investment that values the company at $75 billion. A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed the round to TechCrunch and suggested that […]

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund will also invest $45B in SoftBank’s second Vision Fund

The sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia plans to invest $45 billion into the second SoftBank Vision Fund, two years after putting the same amount into the original $100 billion Vision Fund, Saudi Arabia Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview on Friday. When the first Vision Fund was announced, it was by […]

Tencent backs fintech firm Voyager to set up battle with Alibaba in the Philippines

China’s internet battle is rapidly reproducing itself in Southeast Asia. One new hotspot is the Philippines, where Tencent just agreed to invest in Voyager, a fintech business started by telecom firm PLDT. The deal would bring Tencent into direct competition with arch-rival Alibaba, which entered the Philippines 18 months ago when its fintech affiliate Ant […]

Benchmark is staying focused, targeting $425M for ninth fund

VC powerhouse Benchmark has filed to raise $425 million for its ninth flagship fund. While other firms close billion-dollar venture funds despite a history of smaller fundraises, Benchmark is sticking to its guns. The firm, known for its early bets on Twitter, Uber, Snap and WeWork, hasn’t fallen victim to the SoftBank effect. Longtime Benchmark general […]

India’s budget hotel startup OYO raises $1B for international growth

OYO, the India-based startup that operates a network of budget hotels, has pulled in $1 billion in new funding to grow its business in China and expand into other international markets. The majority of the funding — $800 million, to be exact — was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund with participation from Lightspeed, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital. OYO […]

Alibaba confirms it raised $3B for its newly consolidated local services business

Alibaba has confirmed that it has raised $3 billion for its new-look local services business after it united its Koubei local services business with Ele.me, the on-demand delivery business it recently acquired. The company said it put the capital into the business alongside SoftBank, according to a note within its financial results that were released today. […]

Sequoia wraps up new $695M fund for India and Southeast Asia

Sequoia has announced the close of its newest fund for India and Southeast Asia. The firm has raised $695 million for this fund, which is its fifth since it expanded into India 12 years ago. Reports at the beginning of this year suggested that the firm was shooting for a $1 billion fund, perhaps influenced by […]

SoftBank’s Vision Fund to help Chinese online insurance giant ZhongAn go international

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is backing Chinese online insurance giant ZhongAn through its latest investment, which could take the company — which has struggled for stability following a monster IPO last year — into international markets. The Vision Fund announced today it has made an undisclosed investment in ZhongAn International, the global arm of the five-year-old company created by $200 […]