SoftBank leads $500 million fundraising for Didi’s self-driving unit

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters building in Beijing, China August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Didi Chuxing said on Friday it had completed a fundraising round of over $500 million for its autonomous driving subsidiary that was led by SoftBank Group’s (9984.T) Vision Fund 2.

The ridehailing giant said in a statement the round marked the first time Didi’s autonomous driving business had brought in external funding since it became a standalone unit last year and was also the single largest fundraising round in China’s self-driving sector.

Didi said it would use the capital to invest further in the research and development of autonomous driving technology as well as testing, and accelerate the deployment of autonomous driving services.

Didi has gained open-road testing licences in California, Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, it said. It first began to develop and test

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SoftBank Vision Fund head’s pay doubled last year despite massive losses

FILE PHOTO: Rajeev Misra CEO, SoftBank Investment Advisers speaks during the Milken Institute’s 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Vision Fund’s head, Rajeev Misra, saw his total pay for the past business year more than double to roughly $15 million, even as the fund’s underperformance pushed SoftBank to a record operating loss of some $13 billion.

The 1.6 billion yen amount includes basic pay and other compensation, a group filing showed.

The figure was second only to renumeration for SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, which rose 17% to 2.1 billion yen.

While offering big pay packets to foreign executives, compensation for CEO Masayoshi Son was 209 million yen, a 9% decline compared to a year earlier.

SoftBank’s massive annual operating loss was largely due an $18 billion shortfall at the Saudi-backed Vision

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In SoftBank slides, tofu, a goose and unicorns underpin sales pitch

TOKYO (Reuters) – A chastened Masayoshi Son summed up SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) record $13 billion operating loss on stage this week with a striking image: unicorns tumbling into the “valley of the coronavirus”.

A graphic image entitled “Valley of Coronavirus”, as part of the SoftBank Group presentation slides, is shown in this undated handout image. SOFTBANK GROUP/Handout via REUTERS

Son’s presentations are more akin to the performances of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) co-founder Steve Jobs than the data-dense displays common in corporate Japan, with slides becoming an enduring part of the chief executive’s sales pitch.

While striking some observers as comical, the images, mixed with charts showing free cash flow and dividend policy, often outline central tenets of the businessman’s thinking.

Notable examples include SoftBank as a golden egg-laying goose that will reward with patience, or as tofu representing corporate wealth that the tech conglomerate will

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SoftBank to sell $3.1 billion worth of Japan telco unit stake

FILE PHOTO: A woman using a mobile phone walks past the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo, Japan December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) said it plans to sell 5% of its domestic telco SoftBank Corp (9434.T), currently worth $3.1 billion, as part of a programme to raise $41 billion through asset sales.

The sale of 240 million shares for a yet to be determined price and set to close on May 26 will leave SoftBank Group with a 62.1% stake in Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier.

SoftBank Corp’s shares closed down 0.8% on Friday ahead of the announcement at 1,375 yen, giving a 5% stake a market valuation of 330 billion yen ($3.1 billion).

SoftBank needs cash for a record stock buyback aimed at supporting the price of its shares, which have been used by Chief Executive Masayoshi Son

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