SoftBank Group

SoftBank Group Corp. (ソフトバンクグループ株式会社 Sofutobanku Gurūpu Kabushiki-gaisha)[4] is a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company owns stakes in Softbank Corp., Softbank Vision Fund, Arm Holdings, Fortress Investment Group, Boston Dynamics, Sprint (ca.85%), Alibaba (29.5%), Yahoo Japan (48.17%), Brightstar (87.1%), Uber (15%), Didi Chuxing (ca.20%), Ola (ca.30%), Grab, Renren (42.9%), InMobi (45%), Hike (25.8%), Snapdeal (ca.30%), Brain, Fanatics (ca.22%), Guardant Health, Improbable Worlds (ca.50%), Mapbox, Nauto, One97 Communications (ca.20%), Oravel Stays (42%), OSIsoft, PingAn Heath Cloud (7.41%), Plenty United, Roivant Sciences, Slack Technologies (ca.5%), Vir Biotechnology, WeWork (ca.22%), Zhongan Online P&C Insurance (5%), Compass (ca.22%), Auto1 (ca.20%), Wag (45%), Katerra (ca.28%), Cruise Automation (ca.19.6%), Ele.me, Getaround, Packet and ParkJockey.[5] It also runs Vision Fund, the world's largest technology fund.[6]

The company is known for its leadership by founder Masayoshi Son.[7] It now owns operations in broadband; fixed-line telecommunications; e-commerce; internet; technology services; finance; media and marketing; semiconductor design; and other businesses.

SoftBank was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 list as the 39th largest public company in the world,[8] and the 4th largest publicly traded company in Japan after Toyota, MUFG, NTT.[9]

The logo of SoftBank is based on the Kaientai, a naval trading company that existed at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, and is meant to represent a "21st century" version of their passion for the enterprise. Resembling an equals sign, it also represents how SoftBank "has an 'answer' it can provide for customers and help solve the various problems the world faces", as well as "interactive communication and the unlimited possibilities of the Internet".[10]

SoftBank Group Corp.
ソフトバンクグループ株式会社
Native name
ソフトバンクグループ株式会社
Public (K.K)
Traded asTYO: 9984
TOPIX Core 30 Component
IndustryConglomerate
Founded3 September 1981
FounderMasayoshi Son
HeadquartersTokyo Shiodome Building, ,
Key people
Masayoshi Son
(Chairman and CEO)
Ronald D. Fisher
(Vice Chairman)
Products
Revenue¥8.90 trillion (2017)[1]
¥977 billion (2017)[1]
¥1.42 trillion (2017)[1]
Total assets¥24.63 trillion (2017)[1]
Total equity¥3.58 trillion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
68,402 (2016)[2]
Subsidiaries
Websitegroup.softbank/en/

History

Founding and early years

SoftBank was founded in September 1981 as SOFTBANK Corp. by then-24-year-old Masayoshi Son, originally as a computer parts store. They went into the publishing business in May 1982 with the launches of the Oh! PC and Oh! MZ magazines, about NEC and Sharp computers respectively.[11] Oh!PC had a circulation of 140,000 copies by 1989.[12] It would go on to become Japan's largest publisher of computer and technology magazines and of trade shows.

In 1994 the company went public and was valued at $3 billion.[12] SoftBank agreed in September 1995 to purchase U.S.-based Ziff Davis publishing for $2.1 billion.[13]

1995–2009 expansion

SoftBank bought COMDEX from The Interface Group on 1 April 1995 for $800 million, and ZDI on 29 February 1996.[14][15] SoftBank sold COMDEX to Key3Media, a spin-off of Ziff Davis, in 2001.[16]

In the nineties Son made large forays into Internet services. In 1996, SoftBank made a joint venture with rising American internet company Yahoo!, creating Yahoo! Japan, which would go on to become a dominant site in the country.[17]

In October 1999, SoftBank became a holding company.[18] In 2000, SoftBank made its most successful investment ever – $20 million to a then fledgling Chinese Internet venture Alibaba.[19] This investment turned into $60 billion when Alibaba went public in September 2014.[20][21]

SoftBank Hankyu-Ibaraki
SoftBank store in Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan

On 28 January 2005, SoftBank became the owner of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, a Nippon Professional Baseball team. On 17 March 2006, SoftBank announced its agreement to buy Vodafone Japan, giving it a stake in Japan's $78 billion mobile market. In April 2006, they bought a 23% stake of Betfair, an Internet betting exchange. In August 2006, SoftBank sold all its shares of SBI Group to a subsidiary of SBI's holding company, making SBI independent. On 1 October 2006, Vodafone Japan changed its corporate name, mobile phone brand name, and its mobile phone domain name to SoftBank Mobile, SoftBank, and [mb.softbank.jp], respectively.[22]

On 28 January 2008, it was announced that SoftBank and Tiffany & Co. collaborated in making a limited 10 model-only cellphone. This cellphone contains more than 400 platinum diamonds, totaling more than 20 carats. The cost is said to be more than 100,000,000 yen.[23]

2010–2016 acquisitions

On 3 February 2010, SoftBank acquired 13.7% in Ustream with the option to increase shares to 30% by July 2011.[24] On 1 October 2010, Ayumi Hamasaki became the commercial spokesperson.[25]

On 3 October 2012, the take over of competitor eAccess was announced, and was completed in January 2013.[26] On 1 July 2013, SoftBank announced that Willcom became a wholly owned subsidiary effective 1 July 2013, after termination of rehabilitation proceedings. eAccess was merged with Willcom, which resulted in a new subsidiary and brand from Yahoo! Japan, Ymobile Corporation.

お父さん犬 (5377659450)
Merchandise drinking mug featuring "Otosan", the SoftBank mascot

On 15 October 2012, SoftBank announced plans to take control of American Sprint Nextel by purchasing a 70% stake for $20 billion.[27] On 6 July 2013, the United States Federal Communications Commission approved SoftBank's acquisition of the Sprint Corporation for $22.2 billion for a 78% ownership interest in Sprint. The acquisition involved payment of $17.2 billion in cash to Sprint shareholders, with the balance $5 billion as capital contribution. The transaction was financed by way of cash and a bridge loan from a consortium of banks.[28] On 6 August 2013, SoftBank bought 2% more shares of Sprint Corporation, increasing its ownership stake in the company to 80%.

Softbank in Sendai & the decorations of Sendai Star Festival
SoftBank store in Sendai, with decorations for the Tanabata

In October 2013, SoftBank acquired 51% stake in Supercell for a reported $2.1 billion. Later on 25 October 2014, they invested $210 million in OlaCabs,[29] $627 million in Snapdeal with 30% stake in the company on 28 October 2014, and a $100 million investment in Housing.com with 30% stake in the company in November 2014.[30]

In 2013, the company brought a controlling strake in French company Aldebaran Robotics, which was rebranded SoftBank Robotics. In 2014, teams from both companies co-designed Pepper, a humanoid robot. In 2015, SoftBank increased its stake to 95% of Aldebaran Robotics.[31][32]

In 2015, SoftBank acquired DramaFever.[33] In May 2015, Masayoshi Son said he would appoint Nikesh Arora, a former Google executive, as Representative Director and President of SoftBank. Arora has been heading SoftBank's investment arm.[34] On 1 June 2015, SoftBank acquired additional 22.7% stake in Supercell, increasing its total stake to 73.2% and becoming the sole external shareholder of the company. In June 2015, SoftBank announced it would invest US$1 billion in the Korean e-commerce website Coupang as part of its overseas expansion plans.[35]

In July 2015, SoftBank announced the renaming of the company from SoftBank Corp. to SoftBank Group Corp. Meanwhile, SoftBank Mobile was renamed to SoftBank Corp., the now former name of the company as a whole.[36] On 16 February 2016, SoftBank announced they would repurchase a record 14.2% of shares, valued at $4.4bn, in order to boost investor confidence.[37] On 31 March 2016, they announced they would sell shares worth $7.9 billion of their stake in Alibaba Group. On 21 June 2016, SoftBank sold its 84% stake in Supercell for reported US$7.3 billion to Tencent.[38] On 3 June 2016, Softbank agreed to sell most of its stake in GungHo Online Entertainment (approximately 23.47%) for about $685 million, which would thus end Softbank's majority ownership of the company, resulting in Gungho no longer being an associate of Softbank.[39][40][41] The offer was accepted by Gungho and completed by 22 June, thus allowing Gungho to become an independent company.[42][43]

In June 2016, Nikesh Arora stepped down as president of SoftBank amidst pressure from investors. Board member Ron Fisher and Baer Capital Partners founder Alok Sama stepped in to manage Arora's overseas investment duties.[44] Just a month later,[45] Son announced the company's largest deal ever to buy British chip designer ARM Holdings for more than US$32 billion.[46][47] This acquisition was completed on 5 September 2016.[48]

On 6 December 2016, after meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump, chief executive Masayoshi Son announced SoftBank will be investing US$50 billion in the United States toward businesses creating 50,000 new US jobs.[49][50][51]

2017–2018

On 30 January 2017, the Wall Street Journal wrote that SoftBank Group was "weighing an investment of well over $1 billion in shared-office space company WeWork Cos., in what could be among the first deals from its new $100 billion technology fund."[52] On 20 March SoftBank bought a $300m stake in WeWork.[53] On 14 February 2017, SoftBank Group agreed to buy Fortress Investment Group LLC for $3.3 billion.[45] In February 2017, it was announced that Social Finance Inc. was close to raising $500 million from an investor group led by Silver Lake, and also including Softbank.[54] On 28 March 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that SoftBank Group Corporation had approached Didi Chuxing Technology Co. about investing $6 billion to help the ride-hailing firm expand in self-driving car technologies, with the bulk of the money to come from SoftBank's planned $100 billion Vision Fund.[55]

On 18 May 2017, it was reported that Softbank had completed its single largest investment in India to date, investing $1.4 billion in Paytm. At the time, Softbank was also working on a takeover of Flipkart's Snapdeal.[56] On 10 August 2017, Softbank invested $2.5 billion into Flipkart.[57]

On May 27, 2017 Softbank and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), the kingdom's main sovereign wealth fund, partnered to create the Softbank Vision Fund, the world's largest private equity fund with a capital of $93 billion.[58] Softbank Group will contribute $28 billion to the investment fund, of which $8.2 billion will come from the sale of approximately 25% of British multinational Arm Holdings shares.[59] Saudi Arabia is the main investor in the fund: its Public Investment Fund (PIF) will inject $45 billion into the Vision Fund over 5 years, becoming its largest investor in terms of volume.[60] Other investors include Apple, Qualcomm, ARM, Foxconn, Sharp, Larry Ellison and Mubadala.[61] The latter will invest $15 billion dollars in the fund, targeting artificial intelligence, communications infrastructure, financial technology, consumer internet, mobile computing and robotics.[62] Through Softbank Vision Fund, CEO Masayoshi Son explained his intent to invest in all companies developing technologies in line with the global artificial intelligence trends, including various sectors such as finance or transportation.[63]

On 8 June 2017, Alphabet Inc. announced the sale of Boston Dynamics (robotics companies whose products include BigDog) to SoftBank Group for an undisclosed sum.[64] On 25 August, SoftBank finalized a $4.4 billion investment in WeWork[65]

On 24 October 2017, Softbank Group's CEO Masayoshi Son announced the group would collaborate with Saudi Arabia to develop Neom, the new high-tech business and industrial city of the Saudi Kingdom.[66]

On 14 November 2017, Softbank finally agreed to invest $10 billion into Uber.[67] On 29 December 2017, it was reported that SoftBank-led consortium of investors had secured a $9 billion investment into Uber. The deal, to close in January 2018, will leave SoftBank as Uber's biggest shareholder, with a 15 percent stake.[68] The deal was secured after Uber shareholders voted to "sell their shares to the Japanese conglomerate at a discounted price." Beyond SoftBank, consortium members included Dragoneer, Tencent, TPG and Sequoia.[69]

On 14 January 2018, Softbank's Vision Fund announced to invest $560 million in the German used-car sales portal Auto1.[70]

On 1 March 2018, Softbank's Vision Fund lead a $535 million investment in DoorDash.[71]

In May 2018, CEO Masayoshi Son revealed during an earnings presentation that Walmart reached a deal to buy Flipkart.[72]

On 27 September 2018, Soft bank announced investment of $400 Million in Home-Selling Startup Opendoor.[73]

In September 2018, Saudi government officials announced that a planned $200 billion project with SoftBank Group to build the world's biggest solar-power-generation project would be put on hold.[74]

In November 2018, SoftBank announced it will make an IPO with the cost of share $13.22 (which is 1,500 yen). The offer of the shares was going to last for a month. Regarding the number of shares, total value of SoftBank will reach $21.15 billion, which would be the second largest IPO ever made.[75]

Business units

SoftBank's corporate profile includes various other companies such as Japanese broadband company SoftBank BB, data center company IDC Frontier, gaming company GungHo Online Entertainment, and the publishing company SB Creative. SBI Group is a Japanese financial services company that began in 1999, as a branch of SoftBank.[76] Ymobile Corporation is another telecommunications subsidiary of SoftBank, established in 2014. In 2010, SoftBank founded Wireless City Planning (WCP), a subsidiary that will see the development of TD-LTE networks throughout Japan.[77] SoftBank also operate SoftBank Capital, a US-based venture capital company. The COMDEX expo in the US was owned by SoftBank from 1995 to 2001. Since 2005, SoftBank also owns the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks professional baseball team. SoftBank also operates in the eco-power industry through its SB Energy subsidiary.

Additionally, it has various partnerships in Japanese subsidiaries of foreign companies such as Yahoo! (which has resulted in Yahoo! Japan), E-Trade, Ustream.tv, EF Education First and Morningstar. It also has stakes in Alibaba Group and Sprint Corporation.[53]

SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank Corp. (ソフトバンク株式会社 Sofutobanku Kabushikigaisha) is SoftBank's telecommunications subsidiary, providing both mobile and fixed-line services. It was previously called SoftBank Mobile until July 2015, with the Group's merger of SoftBank BB Corp., SoftBank Telecom Corp. and Ymobile Corporation to reflect its new status of providing fixed-line and ISP operations.[78]

J-PHONE

SONY TH291 (1999) 1 (2759751822)
Sony TH291 cellular phone for the Digital Tu-Ka operator
Jan14 01
J-PHONE store in Nagoya in 2003

The roots of SoftBank's mobile communications arm date back to the formation of Japan Telecom in 1984. The Digital Phone Group (デジタルホン, DPG, three local companies) mobile phone division was formed in 1994, and J-PHONE Co., Ltd. (J-フォン) was formed in 1999 by the merging of DGP with Digital TU-KA Group (DTG, six local companies, not to be confused with TU-KA). Japan Telecom owned a stake of 45.1%.

J-PHONE grew steadily for a decade by continuously introducing new services and enhancements such as SkyWalker for PDC, SkyMelody ringtone download, the famous Sha-Mail picture mail introduced on the basis of camera phones developed by SHARP, the mobile multimedia data service J-Sky modeled after NTT DoCoMo's i-mode, and advanced Java services based on JSCL, modeled after NTT DoCoMo's DoJa based i-appli.

Vodafone

In October 2001, the British mobile phone group Vodafone increased its share to 66.7% of Japan Telecom and 69.7% of J-Phone. On 1 October 2003, the name of the company and the service brand was officially changed to Vodafone, with the division called Vodafone K.K. or Vodafone Japan. The growth and success of the company during this period is due in large part to then president Bill Morrow.[79]

However, in January 2005, Vodafone Japan lost 58,700 customers and in February 2005 lost 53,200 customers, while competitors NTT DoCoMo gained 184,400 customers, au by KDDI gained 163,700, and Willcom gained 35,000. While as of February 2005, DoCoMo's FOMA 3G service had attracted 10 million subscribers and KDDI's 3G service had attracted over 17 million subscribers, Vodafone's 3G service only attracted 527,300 subscribers. Vodafone 3G failed to attract subscribers because Vodafone cut back investments in 3G services in Japan in 2002/3; handsets did not fully match needs and preferences of Japanese customers. At the end of February 2005, Vodafone Japan had 15.1 million customers, and by end of October 2005, the number of subscribers had fallen by 103,100 to 14.996 million, while during the same period NTT DoCoMo had gained 1.65 million customers and KDDI/AU had gained 1.82 million customers. At the end of October 2005, NTT DoCoMo had 17.6 million 3G customers, KDDI/AU had 19.8 million 3G customers, and Vodafone-Japan had 1.9 million 3G customers, i.e. Vodafone-Japan gained about 4.8% of Japan's 3G market.

Vodafone changed the name of its multimedia data services from J-Sky to Vodafone live!, and used J-Sky's principles and technologies and business models to introduce the WAP-based Vodafone live! in Vodafone's other markets. Thus Vodafone live! has its origin in J-Phone's J-Sky. At the end of February 2005, Vodafone live! had 12.907 million subscribers in Japan. By end of October 2005 the number of Vodafone live! subscribers had fallen by 138,000 to 12,769,600.

In March 2006, Vodafone began discussing the sale of the Vodafone Japan unit to SoftBank. Vodafone was unable to satisfy customers, as Japanese users tend to have preferences not seen in other markets. Handsets had user interfaces that differed too much from the Japanese interface, and did not have as many features as competing companies. This led to the loss of more customers and Vodafone's decision that the market was no longer profitable.

SoftBank Mobile

(Real) TV on Mobile (397712891)
Television broadcast on a 2007 Sharp phone on SoftBank
SoftBank WiFi
SoftBank Wi-Fi display with the company's mascot, indicating a place where Wi-Fi can be used

On 17 March 2006, Vodafone Group announced it had agreed to sell its holding of Vodafone Japan (Vodafone K.K.) to SoftBank for about 1.75 trillion Japanese yen (about US$15.1 billion). On 14 April 2006, SoftBank and Vodafone K. K. jointly announced, that the name of the company will be changed to a "new, easy-to-understand and familiar" company name and brand. It was announced in a press conference on 18 May 2006, that the new name would be "SoftBank Mobile Corp.", effective 1 October 2006. SoftBank started the rebranding around 14 June 2006.

On 4 June 2008, SoftBank Mobile announced partnership with Apple and brought the iPhone (3G) to Japan later in 2008.[80] SoftBank Mobile was the only official carrier of the iPhone in Japan until the release of iPhone 4S in 2011 when it became available on au by KDDI as well.[81]

Technology

SoftBank Corp.'s mobile network operates W-CDMA (UMTS 3G) network ("SoftBank 3G"). SoftBank's 3G network is compatible with UMTS and supports transparent global roaming for existing UMTS subscribers from other countries. SoftBank 4G uses TD-LTE / LTE. SoftBank offers 4G speeds of more than 110 Mbit/s. SoftBank Wi-Fi Spots are available almost everywhere in Japan.

Timeline

Vodafone Mobile SHOP ikebukuro japan
Vodafone store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo
Softbank celltower01
A SoftBank mobile cell tower in Nakatsugawa, Gifu
  • 1981: SOFTBANK Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.) Japan (Yombancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) established. Commenced operations as a distributor of packaged software
  • 1984: JAPAN TELECOM was founded.
  • 1986: JAPAN TELECOM launches leased circuit services.
  • 1986: RAILWAY TELECOMMUNICATION established.
  • 1989: RAILWAY TELECOMMUNICATION merges with JAPAN TELECOM.
  • 1991: Tokyo Digital Phone established.
  • 1994: J-Phone starts PDC cellular service in the 1.5 GHz band, 10 MHz bandwidth.
  • 1997: J-Phone launches SkyWalker SMS service designed by Aldiscon and Ericsson for PDC
  • 1998: J-Phone launches SkyMelody ringtone download service
  • 1999: J-Phone launches J-Sky wireless Internet service ten months after NTT DoCoMo's i-mode, which was launched in February 1999.
  • 2000: J-Phone launches Sha-Mail (写メール) picture messaging service using the world's first camera phones developed by SHARP
  • 2001: J-Phone launches Java service with JSCL library
  • 2002: J-Phone launches W-CDMA 3G service for the first time
  • 2002: Company name was changed to JAPAN TELECOM HOLDINGS.The fixed-line telecommunications business was also separated to found a new JAPAN TELECOM.
  • 2003: J-Phone company name is changed to Vodafone K.K., and J-Sky name is changed to Vodafone live!. Vodafone launches a Japan-nationwide Beckham campaign
  • 2003: Company name was changed to Vodafone Holdings K.K.
  • 2004: Vodafone K.K. merges with Vodafone Holdings K.K. and company name is changed to Vodafone K.K.
  • 2004: Vodafone relaunches the 3G services in Japan a second time offering mobile phone handsets designed primarily for the European markets
  • 2005: Vodafone changes management and relaunches 3G services in Japan a third time
  • 2006: Vodafone officially announced it had agreed to sell Vodafone Japan (Vodafone KK) to SoftBank for a total of 1.75 trillion Japanese yen (approx US$15.1 billion) in one of the largest M&A transactions in Japan to date
  • 2006: SoftBank and Vodafone K. K. jointly announced, that the name of the company will be changed to a "new, easy-to-understand and familiar" company name and brand. Masayoshi Son became CEO and Representative Director of Vodafone K. K.
  • 2006: Headquarters moved from Atago Hills to Shiodome to integrate operations with other SoftBank group companies.
  • 2006: SoftBank announced that the name of the company will be changed to "SoftBank Mobile Corp." effective 1 October 2006
  • 2006: SoftBank started rebranding "Vodafone" to "SoftBank."
  • 2006: Vodafone Japan company name is changed to "SoftBank Mobile Corp."
  • 2008: SoftBank Mobile releases iPhone in Japan beating NTT DoCoMo
  • 2008: SoftBank Mobile joins Open Handset Alliance[82]
  • 2009: SoftBank Mobile joins TransferJet Consortium
  • 2010: Softbank purchased 100% of the PHS mobile operator Willcom.
  • 2012: SoftBank Mobile unveils the Pantone 5 107SH, a mobile phone with a built-in geiger counter.[83]
  • 2015: Investment in US-based Social Finance, Inc (SoFi) announced
  • 2015: SoftBank Mobile was merged with SoftBank BB Corp., SoftBank Telecom Corp., and Ymobile Corporation to form a new subsidiary, SoftBank Corp., to reflect its new status of providing fixed-line and ISP operations.[78]
  • 2018: SoftBank Corp. (TSE: 9434) listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange On 19 December 2018.

Gallery

THE PREMIUM SoftBank 821SH PG open

SoftBank 821SH PG

SoftBank 001P Gold01

SoftBank 001P by Lumix

ARROWS A 202F SoftBank (2013 .08.17)

SoftBank A202F by ARROWS

SoftBank 930CA BK001

SoftBank 930CA by EXLIM

Softbank 003sh

SoftBank 003SH

Vodafone 803T Soul Black open

Vodafone 803T by Toshiba

Japanese mobile phone

J-PHONE J-SH07 by Sharp (2001)

Mobile phone evolution Japan1997-2004

An evolution of J-PHONE and Vodafone cell phones, 1997–2004

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A SoftBank USIM card

Straatbeeld Tokyo juli 2004

View of Taitō, Tokyo, with a large Vodafone sign in the background (2004)

Mobile Blazer (2724270785)

Mobile Blazer (2008)

Marketing

Since May 2006, SoftBank's marketing and commercials have principally revolved around "Otosan sujan karki", the canine patriarch of the otherwise human "Shirason, Kaito" family.[84] "Otosan" translates to father, and the character, a Hokkaido dog, indeed acts as the father of the family, along with the son "Kojiro" (starred by Dante Carver), mom "Masako" (Kanako Higuchi), and daughter "Aya" (Aya Ueto).[85] The advertising series proved to be highly popular: CM Research Center ranked the Otousan adverts as the most popular in Japan between 2007 and 2012, based on monthly surveys of 3,000 randomly selected adults in Japan.[86][87]

SoftBank also has a partnership with the Ingress augmented reality game, supporting the branded "SoftBank Ultra Link" in-game item.[88]

Sponsorship

Softbank was sold a "team" for the America's Cup. The team was named SoftBank Team Japan, and Yanmar came onboard. SoftBank Team Japan raced in the 2017 races held in Bermuda. The team-members come from various backgrounds, most of whom are not Japanese.[89]

The company was the official jersey sponsor of the Japanese national basketball team at the official 2017 Asian Basketball Championship in Lebanon.[90]

Softbank is also the sponsor of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, a Japanese professional baseball team. The Softbank logo features prominently on the jersey.

In December 2018, SoftBank invested in a startup called ParkJourney. The startup was invested in 2013 and deals with monetizing parking lots. After the investment round general valuation of the ParkJourney reached $1 billion.[91]

In December 2018 SoftBank announced its intention to invest $1 billion on ride-hailing startup Grab. Some sources said that the total amount of investment could reach $1,5 billion.[92]

In February 2019 Softbank invested $940M in Nuro, an autonomous delivery startup. [93]

Baby bonus

In 2015, SoftBank, along with some other companies in Japan,[94] offered a baby bonus for employees who have children. The payments range from US$400 for a first child to US$40,000 for a fifth child.[95][96][97]

See also

References

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  32. ^ Olson, Parmy. "Softbank's Robotics Business Prepares To Scale Up".
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Additional sources

External links

Altaba

Altaba Inc. is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company based in New York City that was formed from the remains of Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo! Inc.'s Internet business. The company that remained after the purchase changed its name to Altaba Inc. on June 16, 2017. Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo!'s core internet business on June 13, 2017, and put the assets under a new subsidiary named Yahoo! Holdings within its newly created division, Oath. The only Yahoo!-branded interest held by Altaba was its stake in the joint venture Yahoo! Japan but this stake has since been sold to SoftBank Group.

Arm Holdings

Arm Holdings is a British multinational semiconductor and software design company, owned by SoftBank Group and its Vision Fund. With its headquarters in Cambridgeshire, within the United Kingdom, its primary business is in the design of ARM processors (CPUs), although it also designs software development tools under the DS-5, RealView and Keil brands, as well as systems and platforms, system-on-a-chip (SoC) infrastructure and software. As a "Holding" company, it also holds shares of other companies. It is considered to be market dominant for processors in mobile phones (smartphones or otherwise) and tablet computers. The company is one of the best-known "Silicon Fen" companies.Processors based on designs licensed from Arm, or designed by licensees of one of the Arm instruction set architectures, are used in all classes of computing devices (including in space). Examples of those processors range from the world's smallest computer to the processors in some supercomputers on the TOP500 list. Processors designed by Arm or by Arm licensees are used as microcontrollers in embedded systems, including real-time safety systems (cars' ABS), biometrics systems (fingerprint sensor), smart TVs (e.g. Android TV), all modern smartwatches (such as Qualcomm Toq), and are used as general-purpose processors in smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops (even also for running, traditional x86, Microsoft Windows programs), servers and supercomputers/HPC, e.g. a CPU "option" in Cray's supercomputers.Arm's Mali line of graphics processing units (GPU) are used in laptops, in over 50% of Android tablets by market share, and some versions of Samsung's smartphones and smartwatches (Samsung Galaxy Gear). It is the third most popular GPU in mobile devices.Systems, including iPhone smartphones, frequently include many chips, from many different providers, that include one or more licensed Arm cores, in addition to those in the main Arm-based processor. Arm's core designs are also used in chips that support many common network related technologies in smartphones: Bluetooth, WiFi and broadband, in addition to corresponding equipment such as Bluetooth headsets, 802.11ac routers, and network providers' cellular LTE.Arm's main CPU competitors in servers include Intel and AMD. In mobile applications, Intel's x86 Atom is a competitor. AMD also sells Arm-based chips as well as x86; MIPS Technologies offers another RISC design for embedded systems. Arm's main GPU competitors include mobile GPUs from Imagination Technologies (PowerVR), Qualcomm (Adreno) and increasingly Nvidia and Intel. Despite competing within GPUs, Qualcomm and Nvidia have combined their GPUs with an Arm licensed CPU.

Arm had a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It also had a secondary listing on NASDAQ. However Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Group made an agreed offer for Arm on 18 July 2016, subject to approval by Arm's shareholders, valuing the company at £23.4 billion (short scale). The transaction was completed on 5 September 2016.

Asian Super Grid

The Asian Super Grid is a project to establish an electrical power transmission network, or super grid, connecting China, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, and Japan.It will transmit electrical power from renewable sources from areas of the world that are best able to produce it to consumers in other parts of the world. The idea is dependent on development of an ultra-high voltage grid operating at more than 1,000 kilovolts AC and 800 kilovolts DC over thousands of kilometers. It envisions interconnecting grids across regions, nations, and even continents with a capacity of over 10 gigawatts.The concept is the result of an idea by Masayoshi Son, founder and head of the telecom and Internet giant SoftBank Group. After the devastation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Son was so shocked by events that he established the Renewable Energy Institute soon afterwards to help develop and promote renewable energy.A diverse and widely sourced mix of both renewable and nonrenewable energy sources connected by super grid could reduce the region’s risk of power outages; as experienced after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, and 2011 South Korea blackouts.

BigDog

BigDog was a dynamically stable quadruped military robot created in 2005 by Boston Dynamics (now owned by SoftBank Group) with Foster-Miller, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Harvard University Concord Field Station. It was funded by DARPA, but the project was shelved after the BigDog was deemed too loud for combat.

Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics is an American engineering and robotics design company founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Boston Dynamics is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group.

Boston Dynamics is best known for the development of BigDog, a quadruped robot designed for the U.S. military with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and DI-Guy, software for realistic human simulation. Early in the company's history, it worked with the American Systems Corporation under a contract from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) to replace naval training videos for aircraft launch operations with interactive 3D computer simulations featuring DI-Guy characters. The company is a pioneer in the field of robotics and it is one of the most advanced in its domain. Marc Raibert is the company's president and project manager. He spun the company off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992.On 13 December 2013, the company was acquired by Google X (later X, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.) for an unknown price, where it was managed by Andy Rubin until his departure from Google in 2014. Immediately before the acquisition, Boston Dynamics transferred their DI-Guy software product line to VT MÄK, a simulation software vendor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On 8 June 2017, Alphabet Inc. announced the sale of the company to Japan's SoftBank Group for an undisclosed sum.

DoBank

doBank S.p.A. is an Italian bank based in Verona, Veneto region. The bank was known as UniCredit Credit Management Bank until 2015. In 2015 the company was acquired by private equity funds of Fortress Investment Group. Soon after the company started their initial public offering; the bank became a component of FTSE Italia Mid Cap Index in August 2017.

DoorDash

DoorDash Inc. is an on-demand food delivery service founded in 2013 by Stanford students Andy Fang, Stanley Tang, Tony Xu and Evan Moore. A Y Combinator-backed company, DoorDash is one of several technology companies that uses logistics services to offer food delivery from restaurants on-demand. DoorDash launched in Palo Alto and has since expanded to 56 markets and more than 600 cities across North America.

Exodus Communications

Exodus Communications was an Internet hosting service and Internet service provider to dot-com businesses. It went broke, along with many of its customers, during the bursting of the dot-com bubble. It declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 and was purchased by Cable and Wireless.Exodus acquired American Information Systems, Cohesive, Arca Systems, and Network-1's professional services division.

In December 1999, Exodus acquired Global Online Japan and opened its Tokyo IDC in April 2000.

In January 2003, Cable and Wireless Japan sold Global Online Japan to Japanese VoIP operator Fusion Communications, merging its existing consumer Internet and VoIP efforts to create Fusion Network Services. The Fusion group was later acquired by Rakuten Group, where the Global Online Japan and Fusion brands continue to exist.

In March 2004, Cable and Wireless America, including the Exodus assets, were acquired by SAVVIS. Cable and Wireless Japan sold its IDC operations to the SoftBank Group.

Fumitaro Ohama

Fumitaro Ohama (大浜 史太郎, Ōhama Fumitarō, born 1971), is a Japanese internet entrepreneur and a philanthropist, founded Japan's first mega mobile site, "girlswaler.com". Ohama also established "fashionwalker.com" with Japan's major portal site, Yahoo! Japan(SoftBank group), became the president and CEO of the owning 17 group companies, Xavel Inc.(Branding Inc.)The annual sales of all the companies owned were over 290 billion yen (US$270 million), which was later sold in 2011.

Ohama is also the producer and creative director of mega fashion event "Tokyo Girls Collection" and the "World Runway".

GungHo Online Entertainment

GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. (Japanese: ガンホー・オンライン・エンターテイメント株式会社, Hepburn: Ganhō Onrain Entāteimento Kabushiki-gaisha, TYO: 3765) is a Japanese video game developer. They are primarily known for hosting the Japanese server of Ragnarok Online, as well as their development of Ragnarok DS for the Nintendo DS. More recently, the company has reported huge financial success thanks to its mobile game Puzzle & Dragons, which, in 2013, was reportedly responsible for 91% of the company's $1.6 billion revenues for the year.

Marcelo Claure

Marcelo Claure is a Bolivian-American businessman and executive chairman and former CEO of Sprint Corporation. He was succeeded in the role of CEO by industry veteran, Michel Combes. He also serves as COO of SoftBank Group. He is also a wireless industry distribution entrepreneur and co-founder of Brightstar Corp. Since its founding in 1997, Brightstar has grown into an enterprise with $10.5 billion in gross revenue, with local presence in approximately 50 countries, on six continents. On August 5, 2014, he was selected to replace Dan Hesse as CEO of Sprint Corporation (Effective August 11, 2014). The announcement was made on August 6, 2014, coinciding with Bolivia's independence day.

Nao (robot)

Nao (pronounced now) is an autonomous, programmable humanoid robot developed by Aldebaran Robotics, a French robotics company headquartered in Paris, which was acquired by SoftBank Group in 2015 and rebranded as SoftBank Robotics. The robot's development began with the launch of Project Nao in 2004. On 15 August 2007, Nao replaced Sony's robot dog Aibo as the robot used in the RoboCup Standard Platform League (SPL), an international robot soccer competition. The Nao was used in RoboCup 2008 and 2009, and the NaoV3R was chosen as the platform for the SPL at RoboCup 2010.Several versions of the robot have been released since 2008. The Nao Academics Edition was developed for universities and laboratories for research and education purposes. It was released to institutions in 2008, and was made publicly available by 2011. Various upgrades to the Nao platform have since been released, including the 2011 Nao Next Gen and the 2014 Nao Evolution.Nao robots have been used for research and education purposes in numerous academic institutions worldwide. As of 2015, over 5,000 Nao units are in use in more than 50 countries.

Nikesh Arora

Nikesh Arora (born 9 February 1968) is an Indian businessman who served as a former Google executive. He later served as the president for SoftBank Group, joining the company in October 2014 until stepping down on 21 June 2016. On 1 June 2018 Arora took on the role of CEO and chairman at Palo Alto Networks.

OYO Rooms

OYO Rooms, commonly known as OYO, is India's largest hospitality company, consisting mainly of budget hotels. It was founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal and has since grown to over 8,500 hotels in 337 cities in India, Malaysia, UAE, Nepal, China and Indonesia.

Rajeev Misra

Rajeev Misra is a London-based banker and executive. He is Board Director of SoftBank Group. and CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisors which oversees the firm’s Vision Fund.

Simon Segars

Simon Anthony Segars (born 17 October 1967) is the chief executive officer (CEO) of ARM Holdings plc. ARM is a world leading semiconductor IP company headquartered in Cambridge, England, that was acquired by SoftBank Group for £24.3 billion ($32 billion) in 2016.

SoftBank Telecom

SOFTBANK TELECOM Corp. Japanese: (ソフトバンクテレコム株式会社), previously as Japan Telecom Co. Ltd. (日本テレコム株式会社, Nippon Terekomu Kabushiki-gaisha), was a Japanese telephone company of the SoftBank group. It provides services to businesses and consumers in Japan. It provides long-distance telephone service, international call service, and direct connection fixed-line voice service. In addition, it engages in the billing and collecting fees for the telephony service; consulting, development and establishment of telecommunication system; and provision of information processing and providing service. On 1 April 2015 Softbank Telecom Corp. merged into Softbank Mobile Corp. and ceased to exist as a separate entity.

Vodafone live!

Vodafone live! was the brand name for the multimedia portal service of mobile phone operator Vodafone, offering news content, picture messaging, instant messaging, email, and downloadable ringtones and games. The service officially launched on 24 October 2002, originally in eight countries. The first compatible phones were the Japanese Sharp GX10 and Panasonic GD87, and the Nokia 7650.It was initially developed by Japan's J-Phone under the J-Sky brand. Vodafone acquired J-Phone in August 2001 and the J-Sky service in Japan was rebranded in line as Vodafone live! in 2003. In addition, London-based Vizzavi which provided media content was taken full control by Vodafone (previously 50% owned) in 2002 and the brand name was dropped, being integrated into Vodafone live! The service and its content are modelled largely on NTT DoCoMo's successful i-mode service.The service was marketed extensively, using stars such as footballer David Beckham in the UK, Spain and Japan. As of May 2003 there were 1.5 million customers. In the UK market its main competing WAP portals were O2 Active and OrangeWorld.While the service itself could be looked at with any WAP browser, Vodafone live! handsets marketed by the company integrated the service with each handset's core functions. All handsets included a colour screen, a digital camera and the capability to send and receive email, SMS and MMS messages. Vodafone live! had an icon-driven interface that was the same on all compatible models regardless of operating system.In December 2004, Vodafone live! with 3G services was launched.Vodafone live! was struggling against competitors i-mode and EZweb in Japan. In 2006 Vodafone announced that its Japanese division will be sold to SoftBank Group. Vodafone live! was replaced there by Yahoo! Keitai.In September 2009, Vodafone 360 was announced to replace Vodafone live! as well as Vodafone MyWeb to replace live!

Ymobile Corporation

Ymobile Corporation (ワイモバイル株式会社), stylized Y!mobile, is a subsidiary of Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Group Corporation that provides mobile telecommunications and ADSL services. The current CEO of the company is Ken Miyauchi. It was formed in 2014 through the merger of Willcom and eAccess, and uses the Y! moniker brand from Yahoo! Japan, which is partly-owned by SoftBank.

On 1 April 2015, Ymobile Corporation merged into Softbank Mobile Corporation (now SoftBank Corporation), with the Y!mobile brand continuing to be used by the newly merged company.

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