SoftBank is the New form of IPO
Not every startup is like China’s Pinduoduo, dashing to the public market in a short span of a mere 3 years. While most startups weren’t ready for a public debut at the age of three; some, if lucky enough, invested by SoftBank, the world’s largest tech investor, don’t need to go public in haste. They have the privilege to stave off an IPO for a long time.
Just like Rett Wallace said in an interview with WSJ, SoftBank-backed companies “will go public when they feel they’re ready-not when they have to.”
With a walloping around US$100 billion check, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is the world’s largest venture capital vehicle, and it’s also considered too big to be a conventional one. The Vision Fund is known for throwing gigantic amount at startups, urging them to compete for more market share at costly expenses.
Online lender Social Finance’s ex-CEO Mike Cagney, after investments from SoftBank in 2015, said that the funding “takes the pressing need of an IPO off the table,” and allow the company to put off an IPO indefinitely.
It seems that, receiving SoftBank investment is the new form of doing an IPO.
The firm in Southeast Asia invested in Grab and is encouraging the ride-hailer to form joint ventures with its portfolio companies to help them enter the region. “You should go there and partner with Grab and the Vision Fund will invest,“ said Masayoshi Son, chief executive officer of SoftBank, in a Bloomberg interview.
SEA and Beyond
Crowde, an Indonesian agrculture tech startup raises undisclosed seed funding from GREE Ventures, more here.
Zomato, one of the Indian food delivery trio, raises US$210 million from Alipay Singapore. Zomota’s local rival Swiggy, on the other hand, was reportedly raising between $500m and $700m from Tencent-backed Meituan, more here.
Kolibra Capital, an Indonesian venture capital firm created by Tokopedia co-founder Leontinus Alpha Edison, has launched an inaugural VC fund to support post-seed stage startups, more here.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma to open an institute for tech entrepreneurs in Indonesia, more here.
Xiaomi plans to roll out fintechservicess In India, more here.
GoGoTalk, an online English tutoring service targeting the youngsters, raises millions of USD from Crystal Stream Capital, more here (link in Chinese).
XTransfer, a fintech startup focus on cross-border payments for SME exporters, raises US$10 million Series A led by China Merchants Group with participation by 01VC, Yunqi Partners and Gaorong Capital, more here.
QKM Tech, a robotics and automation startup, raises US$ hundreds of millions led by Technical Financial Group and Ying Capital, more here (link in Chinese).
Xiaoqiao Treadmill(小乔跑步机), a household treadmill maker, raises US$20 million led by Harvest Investments with participation from FutureCap and Hongtai Capital, more here (link in Chinese).
Linklogis, a Shenzhen-based supply chain financing service, raises over US$220 million Series C led by Singapore’s GIC (Government Investment Corporation) with participation from Tencent, Citic Capital, China Merchents Venture, etc, more here.