China’s Vivo is eyeing smartphone users in Africa and Middle East

Africa’s mobile phone industry has in recent times been dominated by Transsion, a Shenzhen-based company that is little known outside the African continent and is gearing up for an initial public offering in China. Now, its Chinese peer Vivo is following its shadow to this burgeoning part of the world with low-cost offerings. Vivo, the […]

Startups Weekly: SoftBank’s second act

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted some challenges plaguing mental health tech startups. Before that, I wrote about Zoom and Superhuman’s PR disasters. Remember, you […]

Microsoft and the second SoftBank Vision Fund as another play for corporate cloud dominance

It looks like the return of SoftBank’s Vision Fund may be less reliant on murder money and more reliant on Microsoft’s money-making machine for its backing. The rumored involvement of Microsoft in financing SoftBank Vision Fund II (electric boogaloo?) is interesting for what it may indicate about how the relationship between venture investors, startups and […]

Microsoft in talks to invest in SoftBank’s second Vision Fund

SoftBank is said to be preparing the announcement of a $40 billion investment in its second Vision Fund, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. News of the mammoth investment comes after weeks of rumors the Japanese telecom giant was struggling to secure capital for its second fund, citing lukewarm reception from […]

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will be the first publicly traded company for human spaceflight

The race to become the first publicly traded company dedicated to human spaceflight is over, and Virgin Galactic has won. The company will be listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange through a minority acquisition made by Social Capital Hedosophia, the special purpose acquisition company created by former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya as […]

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 […]

Uber is paying $3.1BN to pick up Middle East rival Careem

After months and months of rumors it’s finally been confirmed that ride-hailing giant Uber is picking up its Middle East rival Careem in an acquisition deal worth $3.1 billion — with $1.7BN to be paid in convertible notes and $1.4BN in cash. Uber writes that it expects the transaction to close in Q1 2020, pending […]

The ‘splinternet’ is already here

Keith Wright Contributor Keith Wright is a Villanova School of Business instructor of Accounting and Information Systems, founder of Simplicity On-Demand LLC and former Senior Vice President for Global Sales Operations for SAP. There is no question that the arrival of a fragmented and divided internet is now upon us. The “splinternet,” where cyberspace is […]

The Khashoggi murder isn’t stopping SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Money talks in the startup community, especially when SoftBank comes knocking with the megabucks of its Vision Fund. Despite the public outcry around the firm’s dependence on money from Saudi Arabia in the wake of that country’s assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, deal flow for SoftBank’s Vision Fund appears to be back to […]

Facebook is not equipped to stop the spread of authoritarianism

Yael Grauer Contributor Yael Grauer is an independent tech journalist and investigative reporter based in Phoenix. She’s written for The Intercept, Ars Technica, Breaker, Motherboard, WIRED, Slate and more. After the driver of a speeding bus ran over and killed two college students in Dhaka in July, student protesters took to the streets. They forced […]