DoorDash adds plant-based search capability

Impossible Foods, creator of the plant-based Impossible Burger, now has a custom cuisine carousel on DoorDash, according to a company press …

Impossible Foods, creator of the plant-based Impossible Burger, now has a custom cuisine carousel on DoorDash, according to a company press release. It features merchants that offer Impossible menu items in select U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Dallas, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Orlando, Houston, Pittsburgh, Bellevue, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Central Illinois.

DoorDash customer searches for “impossible burger” have increased three times since January, Heather Huestis, vice president of Marketing at Impossible Foods, said in the release.

“DoorDash has been incredibly useful to our consumers looking for the latest and best Impossible dish in their town,” she said in the release. “We are excited to be partnering to make this process even easier.”

The partnership comes with $0 delivery fees in participating markets through Nov. 5.

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Japan’s SoftBank invests in Brazilian marketplace integrator Olist

SAO PAULO — Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is leading a 190 million reais ($46.65 million) third financing round for Brazilian marketplace integrator …

SAO PAULO — Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is leading a 190 million reais ($46.65 million) third financing round for Brazilian marketplace integrator Olist, according to a joint statement on Wednesday.

Founded in 2015, Olist serves small brick-and-mortar retailers, making their products available in virtual “stores” within larger online marketplaces.

Olist Chief Executive and founder Tiago Dalvi said the company plans to use part of the proceeds to expand the number of sellers it serves to 100,000 in two years from the current 7,000.

The deal is the latest in a series by SoftBank, which is investing the proceeds of its $5 billion Latin America fund, launched in March.

Olist “offers a lot of room to grow, as few small retailers are in marketplaces yet,” said Paulo Passoni, managing investment partner at SoftBank Group International.

Olist also is responsible for logistics from sellers to consumers.

Dalvi said Olist may add financial products to its platform in the future and is seeking some partnerships with other SoftBank’s portfolio companies, such as Colombian delivery app Rappi and Brazilian logistics company Loggi.

SoftBank invested alongside existing investors Redpoint eventures and Valor Capital.

($1 = 4.0733 reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl Editing by Paul Simao)

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SoftBank slides after taking control of WeWork

Shares of SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) fell as much as 3% overnight as the tech conglomerate agreed to spend more than $10B for an 80% stake in …

Shares of SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) fell as much as 3% overnight as the tech conglomerate agreed to spend more than $10B for an 80% stake in WeWork (WE), which is in danger of running out of cash in the coming weeks.

The deal takes its total investment to more than $13B, though the office-space sharing startup is now valued at just $8B.

As part of the deal, WeWork will appoint SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure to executive chairman of its board of directors, while former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann will become a “board observer.”

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SoftBank Group in talks for $5-billion rescue financing for WeWork

Group is in discussions to provide with roughly $5 billion of rescue financing in an effort to salvage one of the Japanese conglomerate’s biggest …

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Group is in discussions to provide with roughly $5 billion of rescue financing in an effort to salvage one of the Japanese conglomerate’s biggest investments.

The funds will come directly from SoftBank, rather than its Vision Fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. SoftBank, which already owns about one-third of WeWork, would not amass a majority of voting rights, though its stake would increase, the person said. Part of the package may include non-voting preferred stock.

News of the financing talks sent WeWork’s bonds to their biggest gain on record Wednesday. The jump of more than 8 cents on the dollar erased a record plunge a day earlier.

WeWork, reeling in the past few weeks since parent We Co scrapped its initial public offering, and in danger of running out of cash as early as next month, has been pursuing a pair of rescue plans to shore up its finances — one from SoftBank, its largest shareholder, and another from that would include a $5 billion debt package.

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SoftBank takes 80% stake in WeWork as company accepts rescue plan

… accepted a rescue package from SoftBank Group, its largest investor, that will give the Japanese conglomerate an 80 per cent stake in the company.

WeWork announced on Wednesday it has accepted a rescue package from SoftBank Group, its largest investor, that will give the Japanese conglomerate an 80 per cent stake in the company.

The deal marks the end of an era for the troubled co-working giant, which raised money at a $47 billion valuation in January, pulled out of a botched initial public offering attempt last month and is now valued at less than $8 billion in the bailout.

WeWork founder Adam Neumann will leave the company’s board as part of the package, to be replaced by SoftBank executive and newly appointed executive chairman Marcelo Claure. Mr Neumann is set to walk away from the deal with as much as $1.2 billion in WeWork stock, a $500 million credit line from SoftBank and a roughly $185 million consulting fee, people familiar with the matter have said. Mr Neumann will remain connected to the company as a board observer.

The deal with SoftBank, which includes $5 billion in new financing and an acceleration of a $1.5 billion existing commitment, grants a reprieve to WeWork parent We Co, which was on track to run out of money as soon as next month. The company has been racing to slash costs since it pulled its IPO paperwork in September, and is expected to fire thousands of employees this month.

“This is exactly the reason why people are suspicious about actual valuations of unicorn companies,” said Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer with Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “There will be a lot of SoftBank investors that will think it’s crazy to invest this much money into one company.”

The capital infusion doesn’t give the Japanese conglomerate a majority of voting rights and WeWork will be treated as an associate, not a subsidiary. That might allow SoftBank to wield influence at WeWork without having to show all of its liabilities on the balance sheet. SoftBank’s shares fell as much as 3.5 per cent in Tokyo on Wednesday, their biggest intraday drop in three weeks. The stock pared its losses after the announcement.

Options

The SoftBank rescue was one of two options the WeWork board was considering to keep the company afloat. The other alternative was a $5 billion debt package presented by JPMorgan Chase and Co., which people familiar with the proposal said would have been one been of the riskiest junk-debt offerings in recent years, including $2 billion of pay-in-kind bonds yielding 15 per cent.

As part of the deal with SoftBank, the company will offer to buy as much as $3 billion from existing shareholders, from the fourth quarter. Mr Neumann will be allowed to sell nearly $1 billion of stock to SoftBank, a person familiar with the matter has said. The deal will enable him to retain his billionaire status, according to calculations by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

WeWork’s arc – from being one of the world’s most highly valued startups, to surrendering much of the company in an emergency bailout – is one of the most dramatic business disasters in recent memory. As recently as last month, the company appeared to be headed to the public markets. But investors balked at the company’s unusual governance structure and rapid rate of spending. According to its IPO paperwork, WeWork lost $900 million in the first half of this year alone.

The chilly public market reception prompted the company to oust Neumann as CEO last month, and pull its IPO paperwork, while it tried to find a way to profitability. But making money may prove difficult. The company considers only 30 per cent of its office space to be “mature,” which typically means generating steady revenue. It could face costs that approach $1 billion to renovate new space it has already secured. Some leases and projects, including one plan for a 36-story lease in a Seattle tower, have been scuttled as the company has floundered.

The SoftBank deal paves the way for the Japanese conglomerate to take a larger role at the troubled startup. SoftBank asked Claure, the former CEO of Sprint, last month to look for ways to cut costs and raise revenue at WeWork. After Neumann’s ouster, WeWork executives Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson were appointed as co-CEOs, with a similar mandate to refocus on the core business.

SoftBank had already committed more than $10 billion to the startup before the rescue package, and owns about one-third of the company. Its latest effort to shore up its troubled investment comes at a delicate time. SoftBank is currently working to raise another, larger version of its $100 billion Vision Fund, the massive tech fund that made bets in Silicon Valley so large that it changed the startup ecosystem. SoftBank was also an investor in Uber Technologies I, which is down by more than a quarter since its May IPO.

SoftBank’s losses from its recent investments could run into the billions of dollars. Founder Masayoshi Son is likely to address the subject when the company reports quarterly earnings on November 6th.

“It is not unusual for the world’s leading technology disruptors to experience growth challenges as the one WeWork just faced,” Mr Son said in the statement. “Since the vision remains unchanged, SoftBank has decided to double down on the company by providing a significant capital infusion and operational support.” – Bloomberg

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