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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (5926)2/17/2021 7:54:06 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 6018
Barron's is suggesting that the Coupang IPO could value the company at $100 billion. Softbank owns a 37% stake. Unfortunately, the article is hidden beyond a paywall.

Masayoshi Son Just Pushed SoftBank Shares Past Dot-Com Peak

Min Jeong Lee and Takahiko Hyuga
Tue, February 16, 2021, 3:25 AM·4 min read

(Bloomberg) -- For Masayoshi Son, these days are even better than the dot-com bubble.

Shares in the Japanese billionaire’s SoftBank Group Corp. surged in Tokyo on Tuesday to the highest close since the company went public in 1994, rising past a long-standing record two decades ago.

The shares rose 4.2% to finish at 10,420 yen, surpassing its previous record of 10,111.09 yen marked on Feb. 18, 2000. SoftBank’s share price increases have been backed by a surging stock market which lifted the value of its portfolio companies.

The gains come on the heels of last week’s record earnings at its Vision Fund, which reported an $8 billion profit in the three months ended in December. Son has said he wants 10 to 20 of his portfolio companies to go public each year. Already this year, South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp. filed for a U.S. listing, which could more than triple the value of SoftBank’s $3 billion investment.

“The global equity market rally is boosting people’s view on SoftBank’s first and second Vision Funds,” said Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for SoftBank, which just last May posted a record fiscal year operating loss of 1.35 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) after missteps with office-sharing provider WeWork and satellite startup OneWeb. The coronavirus pandemic compounded those challenges, putting in jeopardy Son’s investments in the so-called sharing economy. Shares fell as low as 2,687 yen apiece.

In a bid to regain investor support, Son reversed his long-standing aversion to parting with equity investments. He pledged in March to sell off 4.5 trillion yen in assets and buy back 2.5 trillion yen of its own stock. He quickly peddled stakes in China e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., T-Mobile US Inc. and SoftBank Corp., the domestic wireless business.

While aggressive buybacks propped up SoftBank Group’s shares last year, surging demand for IPOs pushed the stock to new heights. In November, the Vision Fund reported a record profit, largely due to a $5.1 billion gain from its investment in a Chinese real estate startup called KE Holdings Inc.

This month, SoftBank revealed the Vision Fund had made even more money in the December quarter. A rally in technology shares boosted the value of stakes in publicly traded firms like Uber Technologies Inc. and sparked strong demand for IPOs from portfolio companies such as DoorDash Inc. SoftBank invested about $680 million for a stake in DoorDash that is now worth about $9 billion, Son said last week.

The lofty share price may bring back bubble-era memories, when Son briefly became the world’s richest man from backing hundreds of dot-com startups -- only to see his fortune plunge by $70 billion in a matter of months.

Last week, he revisited his argument that SoftBank is like a goose that lays golden eggs, from Alibaba two decades ago to DoorDash and Coupang now. At one point, he marched in place while an animated goose laid sparkling eggs and music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker played.

“Since the Vision Fund launched, the number of golden eggs is in accelerating mode,” he said. “We are finally in the harvesting stage.”

With Tuesday’s rally, the stock has surpassed Ishino’s target share price of 10,000 yen. The stock also trades above analysts’ 12-month consensus of 9,592.14 yen, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 14-day relative strength index on SoftBank stock hovers above the 70 mark, an indication that shares may be poised for a downward correction.

Read more: Masayoshi Son Explains the Vision Behind SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Ishino said it’s “possible” for SoftBank’s stock to head for levels near 15,000 yen, as Son has asked investors to evaluate the stock based on its net asset value, or the value of its equity holdings less its net debt. SoftBank calculated its net asset value at 14,935 yen a share as of Jan. 1, with much of that coming from Alibaba.

“My eyes are on how the net asset value growth takes its course from here,” Ishino said. “Currently, it relies heavily on Alibaba. The focus will be on whether it is able to lift expectations for its other investments in the two Vision Funds, as it cuts back on Alibaba.”

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From: Glenn Petersen2/22/2021 9:09:47 PM
   of 6018
WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann Nears Settlement With SoftBank

SoftBank could spend roughly $1.5 billion to buy the shares of early WeWork investors and employees

By Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown
Wall Street Journal
Feb. 22, 2021 5:43 pm ET

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann in 2017. SoftBank could spend nearly $500 million to buy shares from Mr. Neumann, according to terms being discussed. PHOTO: NOAM GALAI/GETTY IMAGES

WeWork co-founder and former Chief Executive Adam Neumann is in advanced talks to settle a high-profile legal fight with SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 1.74% by agreeing to a nearly $500 million cut in his payout from the shared-office-space company’s new owner, a move that would help clear the way for WeWork’s second attempt at a public listing.

According to terms being discussed, SoftBank would spend roughly $1.5 billion to buy the shares of early WeWork investors and employees, including nearly $500 million to purchase shares from Mr. Neumann—in both cases about half of what it originally agreed to, according to people familiar with the talks.

SoftBank took a majority stake in WeWork after its attempted initial public offering collapsed in 2019 when public investors balked at buying the money-losing company’s shares and at Mr. Neumann’s conflicts of interest and erratic behavior. Mr. Neumann stepped down under pressure as CEO in the wake of the IPO debacle.

The negotiations have been rocky at times and there is no guarantee they will produce an agreement, but if there is one, it could be finalized in the coming days, the people said.

Should there be a settlement, it could be followed by another deal as WeWork is also in talks to combine with a special-purpose acquisition company, a move that would finally convert it into a public company.

WeWork has been in talks with a SPAC called BowX Acquisition Corp. BOWX -1.09% and the two sides could reach a deal in the coming weeks, the people said. There is no guarantee WeWork will reach a deal with BowX, and other financing and SPAC options are still on the table, the people cautioned.

The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that WeWork was in talks with BowX, which come amid a wave of SPAC deals and a booming IPO market. A deal could value WeWork at about $10 billion, people familiar with the matter have said.

The agreement with Mr. Neumann would put an end to a fight that has its roots in the October 2019 bailout of WeWork by SoftBank, soon after the IPO fell apart. The Japanese investing giant agreed to buy $3 billion of shares from Mr. Neumann and others as part of a deal that also pumped money into the company when it was weeks from running out of cash. The agreement included a four-year, $185 million consulting fee for Mr. Neumann, an enormous golden parachute that was criticized at the time.

Last April, as a deadline approached for SoftBank to complete the share purchase, the firm reneged, saying certain conditions of the payment hadn’t been met, including the restructuring of a China subsidiary. Mr. Neumann and other early WeWork investors each filed suit separately, starting a legal skirmish that was set to go to trial in early March. SoftBank discontinued payments on Mr. Neumann’s consulting fee amid the legal fight.

WeWork has been a black eye for SoftBank, as most of the $10 billion it invested vanished, at least on paper. Besides cutting its bill to bail out WeWork, resolving the dispute would help pave the way for a listing that could inject new cash into the company. For Mr. Neumann and the other investors, it would enable them to avoid the risk of getting nothing if SoftBank prevailed at trial.

SoftBank’s decision to withhold the $3 billion payment came as the coronavirus pandemic decreased the need for office space and put a major dent in WeWork’s business. The company’s value shrank to $2.9 billion, SoftBank told investors in an earnings presentation in May, from $47 billion at its peak. WeWork, which rents office space on long-term leases and then subleases it on shorter terms after completing hip renovations, cut thousands of jobs and withdrew from dozens of buildings around the world.

The company is still awash in red ink, though far less than before.

Under current Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani, who joined in early 2020, WeWork has cut its cash burn from a high of $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $517 million in the third quarter of 2020.

Now, its executives are betting that WeWork’s flexible offering, which allows companies to rent monthly or yearly instead of signing, say, 10-year leases, will be a hit among those that want to rethink their office space post-pandemic. Mr. Mathrani said recently he believes the company will turn a profit in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (5927)2/25/2021 1:00:39 PM
From: Madharry
   of 6018
thanks for the valuation update. I continue to hold it. I think the company should get credit for having assets under management as well as being a go to investor in a promising start up.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (5928)3/1/2021 5:14:00 AM
From: Madharry
   of 6018
softbank is up over 5% in tokyo. 5.7% weight in nikkei 225.

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To: Madharry who wrote (5930)3/10/2021 8:44:21 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 6018
SoftBank-Backed Coupang Prices U.S. IPO Above Target

By Crystal Tse and Julia Fioretti
March 10, 2021, 6:40 PM CST

-- South Korean e-commerce company sells shares for $35 each

-- Coupang shares set to begin trading Thursday on NYSE

Eco-bags carrying fresh food move along a conveyor belt at a Coupang Corp. fulfillment center in Bucheon, South Korea, on Feb. 19.
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. priced its initial public offering above a targeted range to raise $4.2 billion based on the planned size of the share sale, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In one of the biggest listings by an Asian company on a U.S. exchange, Coupang priced its shares at $35 each on Wednesday, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information wasn’t public yet.

The company and its existing shareholders had planned to sell 120 million shares for $32 to $34 apiece. That range had been boosted earlier from $27 to $30, signaling strong demand from investors.

An employee inspects fruits at a Coupang Corp. fulfillment center in Bucheon, South Korea, on Feb. 19.
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

A representative for Coupang declined to comment.

At $35 a share, Coupang would have a market value of about $60 billion, based on the outstanding shares listed in its prospectus. The company is selling 100 million new shares while existing investors are offloading 20 million shares. The IPO price was reported earlier by Dow Jones.

SoftBank’s Return

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp., its biggest shareholder, is poised to reap a gain of about $16 billion from the IPO, burnishing the reputation of founder Masayoshi Son in picking successful startups even after a number of missteps.

In November 2018, SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested $2 billion in the company in a deal that valued Coupang at $9 billion, people familiar with the matter said at the time. That funding followed $1 billion from SoftBank itself in 2015, valuing the startup at about $5 billion.

Founded in 2010 by Bom Kim, a Harvard University dropout, Coupang has grown into Korea’s version of Inc.

The company has aggressively expanded its delivery and logistics operations, putting 70% of the country’s population within a seven-mile radius of its distribution centers, according to its prospectus filing. Coupang has also invested in new business lines like food delivery and streaming services.

For More: Coupang’s $3.6 Billion IPO Shows U.S. Is King for Tech IPOs

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Allen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are leading the offering. Coupang shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol CPNG.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (5931)3/11/2021 8:45:14 AM
From: Madharry
   of 6018
should be kching for coupang as far as softbank goes. looks like a nice profit of $17-$20 billion. another one of son's golden eggs. I think i read somewhere Softbank had over 160 of them, and they are starting to make inroads into Latin America too. Long and Strong!

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To: Madharry who wrote (5932)3/11/2021 9:54:14 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 6018
South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang tops $84 billion market cap after soaring in market debut

Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ


-- South Korean e-commerce company Coupang made its market debut Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange through an IPO and is now trading under the ticker symbol “CPNG.”

-- The company’s stock began trading at $63.50 apiece, giving Coupang a market cap of $102.2 billion.

-- The company was last valued in the private market at $9 billion in a 2018 funding round, according to PitchBook.

The New York Stock Exchange welcomes executives and guests of Coupang (NYSE: CPNG), today, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in celebration of its Initial Public Offering.

Shares of South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang surged 40% in its market debut Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, making it the largest IPO so far this year in the United States.

The company’s stock began trading at $63.50 apiece. Shares closed at $49.25, giving the company a market cap of $84.47 billion.

The company had priced its shares at $35 apiece, above its target range of $32 to $34 each.

Founded in 2010 by Korean-American billionaire Bom Kim, Coupang (pronounced “coo-pong”) made a name for itself through its guaranteed same-day or next-day delivery service. Often compared to Amazon or Alibaba, Coupang has more than 100 fulfillment and logistics centers in more than 30 cities. The company, which ranked No. 2 on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, also employs 15,000 drivers in South Korea for its deliveries.

The company was last valued in the private market at $9 billion in a 2018 funding round, according to PitchBook.

The New York Stock Exchange welcomes executives and guests of Coupang (NYSE: CPNG), today, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in celebration of its Initial Public Offering.

Coupang is hitting the market after the Covid-19 pandemic caused millions of consumers to remain home, leading to an e-commerce boom. Coupang nearly doubled its revenue to $12 billion last year, according to its filing to go public. Still, the company reported a net loss of about $475 million in 2020.

Thursday’s market debut could mark another successful venture for SoftBank, whose $100 billion Vision Fund owns more than 35% of Coupang. The firm has been recovering from a series of missteps and announced last month it recorded an $8 billion profit at its Vision Fund unit in its third quarter. Coupang also counts Sequoia Capital and BlackRock among its investors.

Goldman Sachs, Allen & Co and JPMorgan were among the lead underwriters for the offering. The stock trades under the ticker symbol “CPNG.”

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From: Glenn Petersen3/11/2021 11:06:15 PM
   of 6018
Another potential liquidity event for Softbank:

Blank Check IPOs (SPACS) Message Board - Msg: 33238700 (

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (5934)3/23/2021 3:35:12 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 6018
SoftBank-backed delivery start-up goPuff valued at $8.9 billion in new funding round, more than double from five months ago

UPDATED TUE, MAR 23 202111:24 AM EDT


-- Digital convenience store goPuff announced Tuesday that it raised $1.15 billion at a $8.9 billion valuation, which is more than double its previous valuation.

-- GoPuff, launched in 2013, offers access to items like household essentials, snacks and over-the-counter medicine within roughly 30 minutes.

-- The company is pulling in more cash amid a pandemic-fueled surge in online food and grocery delivery.

SoftBank-backed digital convenience store goPuff’s valuation has more than doubled in five months amid a pandemic-fueled surge in online food and grocery delivery.

The company announced Tuesday that it raised $1.15 billion at a $8.9 billion valuation. That’s a significant jump from GoPuff’s last funding round in October 2020, which valued the company at $3.9 billion.

GoPuff said in a release that it will use the new funds, which included an investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 1, to continue expanding across the U.S. and internationally. It also plans to invest in new technology, talent and product categories, like beauty, baby products and healthier food offerings.

GoPuff, based in Philadelphia, was launched in 2013 by two college students at Drexel University. The company aims to take on traditional convenience stores by offering a range of household essentials like over-the-counter medicines and cleaning supplies to snack foods and alcohol.

The company found early success among college students, but it has since expanded its consumer base to other demographics by serving up products that goPuff calls “instant needs.” GoPuff’s average users are in their 30s, the company said.

“We have people from all walks of life ordering goPuff, whether it’s a mom who needs her diapers or baby products delivered, or a pet owner that needs pet food,” goPuff co-founder Rafael Ilishayev told CNBC’s David Faber in an interview on “Squawk On the Street” Tuesday morning. “We’re actually seeing the fastest year-over-year growth in these new innovative categories, rather than kind of the traditional core goPuff categories that we launched with.”

The service is available to users in more than 650 cities across the U.S. GoPuff says it’s able to deliver goods to shoppers’ doorsteps within roughly 30 minutes via contracted delivery drivers that pick up items from the company’s roughly 250 micro-fulfillment centers, which are rented by the company.

Its physical footprint also includes more than 160 stores operated by alcoholic beverage chain BevMo!, which the company acquired for $350 million last November.

GoPuff is pulling in more cash after the coronavirus pandemic pushed millions of consumers indoors, propelling them to rely on online services for both essential and non-essential goods. Food and grocery delivery services saw a massive surge in activity, including goPuff, which recorded a 400% increase in order volume year-over-year between the first half of 2019 and the same period last year.

GoPuff isn’t the only company working to expand the scope of products that consumers can get delivered to their doorstep within an hour or on the same day. Amazon’s 2-hour Fresh service, as well as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates and Instacart, have added categories like groceries, personal care items and household goods.

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From: Frank Sully3/23/2021 11:27:29 PM
   of 6018
Softbank versus Baidu as an AI investment" Any opinion? I like the fact that Baidu is planning an AI chip subdiary (a Chinese NVIDIA?) TIA

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