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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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To: Frank Sully who wrote (5936)3/23/2021 11:49:47 PM
From: Frank Sully
   of 6018
Re: Softbank versus Baidu as an AI investment" Any opinion?

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From: Frank Sully3/24/2021 12:03:25 AM
   of 6018
Baidu A I chip unit valued at $2 billion after funding and may become

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From: Frank Sully3/24/2021 10:34:36 PM
   of 6018
What Cards Does Baidu Have In Making AI Chips?

China Money AI

February 13, 2021 — 01:41

Baidu is reportedly raising funds for the establishment of an independent AI chip company. The move signals Baidu’s ambition to do more in the chip segment after launching its self-developed AI chip in 2018. It is also consistent with China’s drive to develop a self-sufficient chip industry.

Compared to a long list of new chip players in China, Baidu has certain advantages. Its strength in software development and artificial intelligence is strong. It also has some experiences of developing AI chips and using them for Baidu’s own products and beyond.

Baidu started the FPGA AI accelerator project in 2010. At the Baidu AI Developers Conference in 2018, founder Robin Li announced that Baidu would launch its self-developed AI chip Kunlun.

In December 2019, Baidu and Samsung announced that Baidu’s first cloud-based product Kunlun 1st generation AI chips for computing and edge computing has been completed.

On December 17, 2020, Baidu’s chief technology officer Wang Haifeng revealed that Baidu Kunlun 1 has been mass-produced more than 20,000 pieces, and has been deployed to be used in products.

"This kind of large, cloud-based, and high computing power AI chip has a very high tech threshold. Only Baidu, Huawei, and Cambricon are able to make the products," according to a brokerage report.

Kunlun Gen 1 processors use 14nm process technology, 16GB HBM advanced memory, and provide up to 512GB/s memory bandwidth.

Under the power of less than 150 watts, it can realize the INT8 processing capacity of 256 TOPS and the performance of 260 trillion fixed number operations per second.

In contrast, the V100S chip developed by Nvidia has a computing power of 130 TOPS INT8. Cambricon, a Chinese AI chip company, launched Siyuan 270 with 128 TOPS INT8.

Kunlun 1 has been widely deployed in Baidu search engine and Baidu intelligent cloud ecological partners. The company said that it has been used in the Internet, industrial manufacturing, scientific research, smart city, intelligent transportation and other fields, without specifying.

Kunlun 2 will be mass-produced in the first half of 2021, and its performance will be three times higher than that of Kunlun 1.

Based on this chip, Baidu has launched two AI accelerator cards, K100 and K200. Due to the standard PCIe Gen4 interface, the two accelerator cards can be installed on different types of servers, small industrial computers and edge devices.

Their high efficiency and power consumption ratio make it possible to make cloud computing high density and intelligent edge stability at the same time, and it has advantages in latency and is applied to large server clusters.

Compared with the high-performance Kunlun, Honghu is a far-field voice interactive smart chip for consumer electronic terminals and edge computing.

In July 2019, Honghu made its debut at the Baidu AI Developer Conference. Evaluations showed that its performance in wake-up, recognition and power consumption were top rated, especially the first wake-up rate under high noise increased by more than 10%.

This is achieved by using the "end-to-end" deep learning modeling technology to directly extract sound features and send them to the cloud, which has changed the problem that smart speakers used to occupy the main chip computing resources and slow processing speed.

It also realizes the unification of high-performance voice experience and low-cost intelligent hardware.

In addition, low power consumption is also an important indicator of the chip. The average standby power consumption of the Honghu chip on the Xiaodu smart speaker is only 100 milliwatts, which means that any country-certified energy-saving and environmentally friendly green home appliance can be equipped with the Honghu chip.

In addition, Honghu chips are built according to vehicle regulations and can also be used in smart cars. In December 2019, Apollo Smart Car Link was officially launched.

The Honghu chip on board became Baidu’s first car-level chip that integrates complete signal processing, voice wake-up, and command word recognition.

Honghu chips are currently mainly used in Baidu’s Xiaodu smart speakers. In the first half of 2020 alone, the shipment of speakers will be 8.63 million units.

A low-power AI chip for the Internet of Things is embedded in a smart terminal in the range of a few yuan to a dozen yuan. Due to the increase in testing and mold opening, the cost of this smart terminal may increase.

Baidu’s financial report for the third quarter of 2020 shows that in September 2020, the number of voice interactions on first-party hardware devices of Xiaodu Assistant reached 2.7 billion, an increase of 65% over the same period last year.

The total number of monthly voice interactions for Xiaodu Assistant reached 53 Billion times.

The Xiaodu Assistant Skill Store provides 4,300 skills, and the number of developers has reached 45,000. At the same time, the spin-off of Baidu’s Xiaodu Technology received independent financing, and Xiaodu’s current valuation is 20 billion yuan.

To complete the accumulation of advantages in performance and cost-effectiveness, Baidu will need to further expand its AI chip ecosystem.

Baidu has proposed the AI-Native cloud computing architecture, trying to establish AI ??computing cluster, AI chip infrastructure, its Paddlepaddle deep learning platform, cloud intelligence, blockchain, and an overall end-to-end approach to be deployed to all sorts of industries.

Baidu Paddlepaddle deep learning platform has more than 2.65 million developers and created more than 340,000 models to achieve coverage of communications, electricity, urban management, people’s livelihood, industry, agriculture, forestry, public welfare and many other industries.

This kind of integrated AI production platform that combines hardware and software has become the core of Baidu Brain, and has now become a new type of AI infrastructure that empowers all walks of life.

According to Tractica’s research report, the global AI chip market will grow from US$5.1 billion in 2018 to US$72.6 billion in 2025, with an average annual compound growth rate of 46%.

A large portion of this market will be in China, and Baidu wants to take a sizeable piece of the pie. Whether it can achieve its goal will depend on if Baidu can set the right strategy and conduct flawless execution.

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To: Frank Sully who wrote (5936)3/26/2021 10:35:31 AM
From: Madharry
   of 6018
these are two different kettle of fish. risk in softbank is very much tempered by its massive holding in baba and its some 160 other investments in all sorts of business not just AI. its also domiciled in japan. Bidu now carries with it china delisting risk and is prettty much focused on internet advertising .ai and autonomous driving. in china. I consider Softbank to be a long term no brainer at these levels. Softbank is also the second largest component in the japanese stock index. i believe. Bidu is more risky but that risk might be worth it . right now it looks like its in free fall, but if you want to be in the AI space it makes perfect sense to be invested in it.

re softbank. we work going public via spac at $9 billion valuation.

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