#MarketWire is a quick round up of notable business movements of the day. This segment features news from Temasek, Microsoft, Softbank and Amazon India
Temasek and its Portfolio Companies Collaborate with Microsoft to Accelerate Startups
To support and scale startups across the world, tech giant Microsoft and state investment firm Temasek have entered a global partnership. As part of the collaboration, Temasek and six of its portfolio companies have joined the Microsoft Accelerator (MA) program as official global network partners in the technology and innovation hubs of Bangalore, Berlin, Seattle and Tel Aviv.
The six portfolio companies involved include real estate developers Ascendas and CapitaLand, venture lending platform InnoVen Capital, cyber-security provider Quann, engineering group ST Engineering and investment company Fullerton Financial.
The key areas Temasek and its portfolio companies will be focussing are urban solutions, IoT, artificial intelligence, fintech, cybersecurity, healthcare IT and digital media.
“The programme offers partnering opportunities between promising start-ups and our portfolio companies to provide innovative solutions to operational pain points and enhance customer experience,” said Mr Ong Beng Teck, the managing director of Temasek’s Enterprise Development Group. Read More
Softbank to Sell Majority of its Stake in Gungho Online Entertainment
Days after Softbank announced that it will be selling $7.9 billion of Alibaba shares, the Japanese telecom giant is selling majority of its stakes in GungHo Online Enterntainment as it seeks to offload assets and reduce its debt. Softbank is also selling an additional $1.1 billion of its Alibaba shares.
Continuing its divestment strategy, Softbank plans to raise $685 million by selling 248.3 million shares or 23.47% stake of the company. The buyer in the deal is Gungho itself, which will buy back most of the shares that Softbank has held since March 2013. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Gungho will tender an offer of $2.74 per share within 20 days of June 3, 2016.
The moves are widely reported to be aimed at cutting SoftBank’s debt, which was as high as $107 billion at the end of March this year. Around one-third of that debt is said to be associated with Sprint whose acquisition has not worked out for Softbank. Read More
Amazon Joins Hands with Storeking to Grow Offline Presence
Building a brand in rural India has always been a challenge for eCommerce companies like Amazon because of poor internet connections, language barriers and general mistrust of online shopping. To overcome this problem, Amazon launched its offline shopping initiative called Udaan in late 2014. Under this initiative, the company selects and trains local entrepreneurs in smaller cities and towns.
Under the offline shopping initiative, US based Amazon has tied up with e-commerce startup Storeking, which has more than 10,000 rural outlets across South India. Storeking offers its products via tablets at retail and kirana stores in rural areas.
Amazon has also included 1,000 more outlets as part of its Udaan initiative. Local entrepreneurs persuade consumers to buy products, Amazon delivers the products with the entrepreneurs taking a cut from the transaction. Read More
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