Big losses and checks, business as usual!?
3-in-1: 3 digital news in 1 minute. On Monday. Episode 201
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News 1: Downfall! A problem worth $16,74 billions at Softbank
Softbank famously founded and run the largest venture capital fund of the world (2 tickets of 100b). Tokyo, exactly a week ago — Softbank published results (FYMarch 2019/March2020) showing a minus of $16,74 billions (1,8 trillion Yens) attributed to failed investment, notably at WeWork and OneWeb. 15 further investments are at stake as well. Opinion: Now comes the micro-economics reality. Softbank Vision Fund invested a lot of money in many companies. However, management/business model/P&L/balance sheets/burning rates were poor. Remember the 100 of millions invested in Wag! (app for dog sitters) or in bankrupted Brandless (essentials with no brand, but Brandless as a brand). B2B Takeout: SVF disturbed the economics of start-ups and venture capital in 2018 and 2019. Struggling but not in Asia: smarter invests in ByteDance (TikTok), DiDi and Grab.
News 2: Hey Siri! Is Apple buying companies? Yes, 3 of them.
We badly need a summary of the latest Apple acquisitions. 3 of them. NextVR, a virtual reality event specialist. Voysis, a language understanding e-commerce solution from Dublin. Dark Sky, an hyperlocal weather app. Apple acquires small-sized specialist while announcing record Q1 2020 results. Opinion: These acquisitions are easy to decode: specialists are completing existing Apple services, helping making them better — where Apple is lagging behind. Weather, Siri and VR! Acquire and “acquires”. B2B Takeout: Apple and other big tech companies like Microsoft continue to grow their footprint and dominance in time of crisis.
News 3: Silent but unstoppable, Salesforce Ventures
The venture capital arm of Salesforce is a metronom at investing in startup — 70 investments in 2019 and 15 in 2020. Latest two investments in Airwallex (platform for foreign currency account) and Onfido (AI-based ID verification). Always in platforms, always near to the core of Salesforce — process and CRM. Opinion: Salesforce venture is a mighty but silent investor in tech, from seed (2,5m USD) to higher ticket (290m in Automation Anywhere). Typical of Salesforce altogether; “mighty but discreet”. B2B Takeout: Present investment strategy of Salesforce Ventures: invest in privacy and verification platforms. With “reasonable” tickets as opposed to Sofbank Vision Fund.
Authors are the 10 trend scouters at Space and Lemon, always on the hunt for the newest trends in tech and digital. Gathered here in original weekly news since 2016 — no re-write of TechCrunch, always with an opinion and B2B takeout. Come back next Monday and share your opinion.