Startups Weekly: What’s up with YC? Plus, mobility layoffs and Airbnb’s grand plans

Where to begin… Netflix darling Marie Kondo is hitting up Sand Hill Road in search of $40 million to fund an ecommerce platform, Y Combinator is giving $150,000 to a startup building a $380,000 flying motorcycle (because why not) and Jibo, the social robot, is calling it quits, speaking to owners directly of its imminent […]

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 […]

Go-Jek pulls in $100M more for its massive Series F round

U.S. ride-hailing giants Lyft and Uber are going public in the U.S. imminently, but in Southeast Asia, the two largest on-demand companies are still madly fueling up on investment capital. The latest update to that story today saw Go-Jek, the Indonesian ride-hailing firm aiming to go regional in Southeast Asia, announce that it has pulled […]

India’s Ola spins out a dedicated EV business — and it just raised $56M from investors

Ola, Uber’s key rival in India, is doubling down on electric vehicles after it spun out a dedicated business, which has pulled in $56 million in early funding. The unit is named Ola Electric Mobility and is described as being an independent business that’s backed by Ola. TechCrunch understands Ola provided founding capital, and it […]

SoftBank’s Vision Fund invests $1.5B in Chinese second-hand car startup Chehaoduo

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is taking a bet on China’s auto market after it agreed to pour $1.5 billion into online car trading group Chehaoduo, which literally means “many cars” in Chinese. The Beijing-based company operates two main sites — peer-to-peer online marketplace Guazi for used vehicles, and Maodou, which retails new sedans through direct sales […]

Uber’s India rival Ola nears $6 billion valuation ahead of huge funding round

Ola, India’s local rival to Uber, has seen its valuation jump to nearly $6 billion as it prepares to take in a large round of financing. The ride-hailing firm, which was founded in 2010, has raised around $3.3 billion from investors to date, and it topped that up a little this week. Ola pulled in […]

WeWork rebranding won’t work

The company formerly known as WeWork has rebranded as the We Company — although a better name for its network of on-demand office spaces for the newly incorporated and nominally employed, co-living spaces for the same easyJet-set and educational and coding services could be “House of Cards.” News of the rebranding (first reported via Fast Company) comes […]

Grab raises fundraising target to $5B as Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing war heats up

Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab is aiming to start the new year with a bang and an awful load of bucks. The company, which acquired Uber’s local business earlier this year, is planning to raise as much as $5 billion from its ongoing Series H round, up from an original target of $3 billion, a source with […]

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is preparing to invest $1 billion in Grab

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is set to continue its recent spree of investments in Asian tech unicorns. The mega fund — which is targeted at $100 billion — is planning to invest upwards of $1 billion into Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing leader Grab, two sources with knowledge of the plan told TechCrunch. The investment could reach as much […]

With today’s IPO sinking, a year of highs and lows for SoftBank

If there was a word that dominated startup and tech news coverage this year, it was SoftBank. The Japanese telecom conglomerate’s Vision Fund pushed out a prodigious amount of capital this year — quite literally billions of dollars — into companies as diverse as a molecular manufacturer (Zymergen) and a robotic pizza delivery business (Zume Pizza). […]