Internet connectivity projects unite as Alphabet spinout Loon grabs $125M from SoftBank’s HAPSMobile

Two futuristic projects are coming together to help increase global internet access after Loon, the Google spinout that uses a collection of floating balloons to bring connectivity to remote areas, announced it has raised money from a SoftBank initiative. HAPSMobile, a SoftBank project that is also focused on increasing global connectivity, is investing $125 million […]

Ride-hailing firm Grab is losing its CTO

Grab is once again on the hunt for a CTO after Theo Vassilakis, the former Microsoft and Google executive who currently occupies the role, announced that he will leave the ride-hailing company this summer. Vassilakis became Grab CTO in October 2017, ending a very long search to fill the job, but he explained in a […]

Startups Weekly: Zoom CEO says its stock price is ‘too high’

When Zoom hit the public markets Thursday, its IPO pop, a whopping 81 percent, floored everyone, including its own chief executive officer, Eric Yuan. Yuan became a billionaire this week when his video conferencing business went public. He told Bloomberg that he actually wished his stock hadn’t soared quite so high. I’m guessing his modesty […]

Uber’s self-driving car unit raises $1B from Toyota, Denso and Vision Fund ahead of spin-out

Uber has confirmed it will spin out its self-driving car business after the unit closed $1 billion in funding from Toyota, auto-parts maker Denso and SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The development has been speculated for some time — as far back as October — and it serves to both remove a deeply unprofitable unit from the […]

Startups Weekly: Lessons from a failed founder

I sat down with Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan this week to talk about his early investment in Uber. Menlo, if you remember, led Uber’s Series B and has made a hefty sum over the year selling shares in the ride-hailing company. I’ll have more on that later; for now, I want to share some […]

Equity Shot: A deep dive into the Uber S-1

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. It’s time for another Equity Shot, a quick-take episode centered around a breaking news event. This time, as you already guessed, Kate Clark and I sat down to dig into the Uber S-1. It’s a huge, complex document, […]

Travis Kalanick stands to make billions from Uber’s IPO

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who resigned from the company in 2017, still stands to make billions in the company’s initial public offering, expected in May. The ride-hailing giant dropped its S-1 this afternoon, confirming plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “UBER.” The company did not disclose the valuation […]

WTF is Baillie Gifford?

The SoftBank Vision Fund has been screaming from the venture headlines the last few months, driven by eye-popping rounds (and valuations!) into some of the most notable startups around the world. Yet, SoftBank isn’t the only player rapidly buying up the cap tables of top startups. Indeed, another firm, more than a century old, has […]

Travel activities platform Klook raises $225M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

We recently noted that SoftBank’s Vision Fund has stepped up its deal-making in Asia this year, and today it added a new company to its roster: travel services platform Klook. Hong Kong-based Klook announced today that it has raised a $225 million round led by the Vision Fund with participation from existing investors. The deal […]

Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Always be raisin’. That appears to be the motto of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing companies Grab and Go-Jek. Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle […]