VC Deals: SoftBank Puts $940M In Self-Driving Bots

DoorDash (DOORD) is reportedly raising for a $500M round that would push its valuation to between $6B and $7B. Temasek is expected to lead the …

Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Venture Capital Deals of the Week. Follow this account and turn on the e-mail alert to receive VCDeals in your inbox on Saturday mornings.

1. SoftBank bets $940M on autonomous delivery bots

SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) Vision Fund invested $940M in autonomous vehicle startup Nuro at a $2.7B valuation.

Nuro was founded by two vets of Google’s self-driving project (now called Waymo) and last year launched an autonomous vehicle for grocery deliveries and other errands. Last year, Nuro and Kroger launched a pilot grocery delivery program in Arizona that uses a delivery bot without a safety driver. Nuro also licensed its tech to autonomous truck startup Ike.

The massive infusion will likely go towards expanding its delivery service, scaling up its fleet of self-driving bots, signing up new partners, and hiring.

2. Amazon makes another vehicle investment

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) led a $700M equity round in electric truck startup Rivian. GM (NYSE:GM) was reportedly still circling a potential investment.

Rivian plans to launch its R1T pickup truck and R1S sport utility in the U.S. next year with a global launch following in 2021. The vehicles are modeled on a “skateboard” platform the company says has the flexibility to accommodate several different vehicle body styles. Amazon’s investment in Rivian came a week after the tech giant participated in a funding round for autonomous vehicle tech startup Aurora.

Competitors: Traditional truck and SUV automakers like GM and Ford (NYSE:F) plus Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

3. DoorDash seeks $500M

DoorDash (DOORD) is reportedly raising for a $500M round that would push its valuation to between $6B and $7B. Temasek is expected to lead the round. DoorDash has already raised nearly $1B in funding from backers that include SoftBank and Kleiner Perkins. Valuation was $4B when the company raised $250M last year.

Earlier this year, DoorDash expanded its operations to cover all 50 U.S. states. The company has also reportedly started to supplement its driver income with consumer tips, similar to Instacart.

Competitor: GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB), Uber (UBER) Eats, and Postmates (POSTM), which filed for an IPO earlier this month.

4. Reddit confirms Tencent investment

Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY, OTCPK:TCTZF) pitched in half of the confirmed $300M round in Reddit, the “front page of the internet.” TechCrunch reported on the investment last week, and the confirmation followed. The Series B round also included Sequoia, Fidelity, and Snoop Dogg and brought the valuation up to $3B.

Reddit generated $100M in revenue last year and plans to double the figure in 2019. As of late November, Reddit had 330M average MAUs and 14B screen views per month. Tencent’s investment rankled some Reddit users, but the company says it has no plans to create a censored version of the platform for the Chinese market, where the site is currently blocked.

5. Credit Karma for businesses gets $44M

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) participated in a $44M round in business credit startup Nav. Point72 Ventures and Experian Ventures. As part of its investment, Goldman’s investment group managing director Rana Yared will join Nav’s board.

Nav essentially serves as a Credit Karma for small businesses, showing their credit scores from the major consumer and commercial credit agencies for free, which makes it easier for the company to know its financing options. Nav’s platform also contains over 100 financing products including loans and credit cards. Those payment partnerships are how Nav makes its money.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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Nvidia (NVDA) Shareholder Plante Moran Financial Advisors Has Increased Its Holding by …

Newport Asia Llc increased its stake in Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) by 3.3% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Newport …

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) Logo

Newport Asia Llc increased its stake in Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) by 3.3% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Newport Asia Llc bought 36,500 shares as the company’s stock declined 3.15% with the market. The institutional investor held 1.14 million shares of the business services company at the end of 2018Q3, valued at $188.45M, up from 1.11 million at the end of the previous reported quarter. Newport Asia Llc who had been investing in Alibaba Group Holding for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $430.69 billion market cap company. The stock decreased 1.32% or $2.23 during the last trading session, reaching $166.15. About 12.10M shares traded. Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) has declined 13.21% since February 16, 2018 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 13.21% the S&P500. Some Historical BABA News: 07/03/2018 – WANDISCO PLC WAND.L – TO BE EMBEDDED AS A STANDARD COMPONENT IN SELECTED ALIBABA CLOUD SOLUTIONS; 26/04/2018 – JIM CHANOS SAYS NO LONGER SHORT ON ALIBABA – CNBC; 17/04/2018 – IGNORE:ALIBABA-BACKED PRENETICS BUYING DNAFIT ANNOUNCED APR. 16; 09/05/2018 – SoftBank: Logs Y630.19B in Alibaba-Related Derivative Losses in FY2017; 04/04/2018 – The deal consolidates the resources of the two firms, which are backed by Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent, as Mobike faces off against Alibaba-backed Ofo; 09/04/2018 – China’s SenseTime valued at $4.5 bln after $600 mln funding led by Alibaba; 01/05/2018 – Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu turn sights on short video; 23/05/2018 – ANT FINANCIAL SAYS IT WILL WORK WITH CHINA EVERBRIGHT BANK TO HELP IT DEVELOP AREAS SUCH AS PRIVATE AND HYBRID CLOUD PLATFORMS, INTERNET FINANCE AND Al-DRIVEN APPLICATIONS; 10/04/2018 – Alibaba founder Jack Ma says friction between U.S. and China to be expected; 13/04/2018 – ANALYSIS-Trade war or not, China is closing the gap on U.S. in technology IP race

Plante Moran Financial Advisors Llc increased its stake in Nvidia Corp (NVDA) by 1216.33% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Plante Moran Financial Advisors Llc bought 1,192 shares as the company’s stock declined 44.72% with the market. The institutional investor held 1,290 shares of the semiconductors company at the end of 2018Q3, valued at $363,000, up from 98 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Plante Moran Financial Advisors Llc who had been investing in Nvidia Corp for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $95.98 billion market cap company. The stock increased 1.82% or $2.81 during the last trading session, reaching $157.34. About 37.92 million shares traded or 98.96% up from the average. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has declined 20.90% since February 16, 2018 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 20.90% the S&P500. Some Historical NVDA News: 27/03/2018 – NVDA: Breaking: Nvidia has just confirmed with me that it is suspending self-driving car testing on public roads following the recent Uber fatality. – ! $NVDA; 10/05/2018 – NVIDIA SAYS GPU SUPPLY WAS TIGHT, NOW EASING; 10/05/2018 – CNBC’s Jim Cramer praises Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jensen Huang ahead of the computer chipmaker’s quarterly earnings after Thursday’s closing bell; 19/04/2018 – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) is the largest semiconductor foundry company in the world and also makes chips for leading technology firms such as Apple and Nvidia; 10/05/2018 – Nvidia’s Good Year Looks Even Better as AI, Games Fuel Sales; 04/04/2018 – NeuLion’s MainConcept Business Enables HEVC/H.265 Encoding with NVIDIA Technology; 30/05/2018 – Supermicro Shows Industry’s First Scale-Up Al and Machine Learning Systems based on the Latest Generation CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla V100 with NVLink GPUs for Superior Performance and Density; 27/03/2018 – U.S. opens probe into fatal Tesla crash, fire in California; 27/03/2018 – Chipmaker Nvidia will suspend self-driving tests globally after a fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving vehicle; 27/03/2018 – Supermicro’s New Scale-Up Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Systems with 8 NVIDIA Tesla V100 with NVLink GPUs Delive

Plante Moran Financial Advisors Llc, which manages about $10.58B and $307.51M US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Mcdonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) by 9,913 shares to 2,382 shares, valued at $399,000 in 2018Q3, according to the filing. It also reduced its holding in Ishares Russell 1000 (IWB) by 3,090 shares in the quarter, leaving it with 32,415 shares, and cut its stake in Jetblue Airways Corp (NASDAQ:JBLU).

Since September 4, 2018, it had 0 buys, and 6 insider sales for $33.34 million activity. The insider Kress Colette sold 889 shares worth $131,496. 43 shares were sold by Byron Michael, worth $12,046. Another trade for 90,831 shares valued at $26.28M was sold by Puri Ajay K.

Among 49 analysts covering Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), 32 have Buy rating, 4 Sell and 13 Hold. Therefore 65% are positive. Nvidia Corporation had 238 analyst reports since August 3, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. The rating was maintained by Goldman Sachs with “Buy” on Friday, May 11. The stock has “Buy” rating by SunTrust on Tuesday, March 27. The rating was maintained by M Partners on Wednesday, December 30 with “Buy”. The stock of NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has “Overweight” rating given on Tuesday, April 10 by Morgan Stanley. On Thursday, July 6 the stock rating was maintained by Bank of America with “Buy”. Wedbush maintained it with “Outperform” rating and $30 target in Friday, February 12 report. The stock of NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) earned “Overweight” rating by Barclays Capital on Thursday, May 3. The firm has “Buy” rating by Tigress Financial given on Wednesday, August 23. The stock of NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) earned “Hold” rating by Topeka Capital Markets on Friday, August 7. The firm has “Buy” rating by Mizuho given on Monday, January 15.

More notable recent NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) news were published by: Investorplace.com which released: “AMD Stock Will Benefit Even More with the Rise of Cloud Computing – Investorplace.com” on February 15, 2019, also Seekingalpha.com with their article: “Where’s Nvidia Going? – Seeking Alpha” published on January 29, 2019, Nasdaq.com published: “Don’t Let the Bitter Taste in Nvidia Stock Discourage You – Nasdaq” on November 23, 2018. More interesting news about NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) were released by: Nasdaq.com and their article: “Notable Friday Option Activity: CMG, NVDA, NFLX – Nasdaq” published on January 25, 2019 as well as Nasdaq.com‘s news article titled: “Zacks Earnings Trends Highlights: Apple, Caterpillar and Nvidia – Nasdaq” with publication date: February 14, 2019.

Investors sentiment decreased to 1.36 in Q3 2018. Its down 0.24, from 1.6 in 2018Q2. It is negative, as 64 investors sold NVDA shares while 312 reduced holdings. 130 funds opened positions while 380 raised stakes. 371.72 million shares or 2.91% more from 361.20 million shares in 2018Q2 were reported. 6.45 million were reported by Commercial Bank Of New York Mellon. Parallax Volatility Advisers Ltd Partnership stated it has 315,464 shares or 0.11% of all its holdings. Pillar Pacific Cap Mgmt Ltd Com, a California-based fund reported 19,595 shares. Amarillo Bankshares holds 0.2% of its portfolio in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) for 1,558 shares. Blair William Co Il reported 156,021 shares. Pinnacle Financial Prtnrs stated it has 1,133 shares. Amica Mutual Insurance Company stated it has 14,357 shares or 0.42% of all its holdings. Teacher Retirement System Of Texas holds 0.44% in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) or 224,686 shares. The Ohio-based Huntington State Bank has invested 0.01% in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA). Qs Investors Limited Liability Corporation owns 10,098 shares. Janney Montgomery Scott Llc reported 69,344 shares stake. Comm State Bank holds 18,794 shares or 0.06% of its portfolio. Harding Loevner Ltd Partnership holds 0% of its portfolio in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) for 60 shares. Trexquant Invest Limited Partnership reported 22,219 shares. Chevy Chase Tru Hldg reported 914,366 shares stake.

More notable recent Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) news were published by: Seekingalpha.com which released: “Alibaba’s Stock Isn’t Finished Climbing – Seeking Alpha” on February 14, 2019, also Seekingalpha.com with their article: “Alibaba: Too Cheap Going Into Earnings – Seeking Alpha” published on January 24, 2019, Seekingalpha.com published: “Alibaba: Conservatively Undervalued By 20-30% – Seeking Alpha” on February 13, 2019. More interesting news about Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) were released by: Benzinga.com and their article: “Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Analysts Stay Bullish After Q3 Print – Benzinga” published on February 04, 2019 as well as Benzinga.com‘s news article titled: “Earnings Scheduled For January 30, 2019 – Benzinga” with publication date: January 30, 2019.

Among 41 analysts covering Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), 39 have Buy rating, 1 Sell and 1 Hold. Therefore 95% are positive. Alibaba had 202 analyst reports since August 12, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. As per Monday, May 7, the company rating was maintained by KeyBanc Capital Markets. The firm has “Buy” rating by Jefferies given on Friday, February 2. Robert W. Baird maintained Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) on Friday, October 27 with “Buy” rating. The stock of Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) has “Buy” rating given on Thursday, November 2 by RBC Capital Markets. The firm has “Buy” rating given on Friday, August 18 by Stifel Nicolaus. The firm has “Accumulate” rating given on Monday, January 9 by Standpoint Research. Morgan Stanley maintained Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) rating on Tuesday, June 28. Morgan Stanley has “Overweight” rating and $130.60 target. The stock has “Buy” rating by Needham on Friday, August 18. The rating was upgraded by Raymond James on Friday, August 12 to “Strong Buy”. On Thursday, March 24 the stock rating was maintained by Deutsche Bank with “Buy”.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) Institutional Positions Chart

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OYO raises close to USD 1B from Chinese conglomerate Didi Chuxing

… in September 2018, from SoftBank and other investment firms including Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greenoaks Capital.
OYO raises close to USD 1B from Chinese conglomerate Didi Chuxing

India’s leading hospitality company OYO has reportedly raised funding worth USD 100 million from China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to close its ongoing USD 1 billion investment round. As per trusted sources, many companies including Japan’s SoftBank and Grab, a Singapore-based ride-hailing company have already invested USD 900 million as part of the USD 1 billion investment round.

Trusted reports claim that OYO raised USD 800 million in September 2018, from SoftBank and other investment firms including Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greenoaks Capital. Post this accumulation, the company raised USD 100 million more from Gram to equal the overall amount of the round to USD 900 million.

According to sources familiar with the development, OYO, run by Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd has been expanding immensely with its services now available in 500 cities across eight countries namely India, Nepal, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, UAE and UK. As a part of its hospitality chain, OYO presently runs more than 13,000 franchises or leased hotels and more than 6,000 homes. In India, the firm holds presence in over 180 cities with over 8,700 properties.

A report from The Economic Times claims that the relationship between Didi and OYO goes back to the year 2017 when the latter had leveraged Didi to declare its entry into China. Reliable sources claim that Didi is certain to join forces with OYO as it expands its reach into newer regions and the two are likely to strengthen their alliance as they both extend the scope of their business operations worldwide.

Agarwal, Group CEO & founder, OYO, has apparently been quoted stating that a major amount of the accumulated capital will be spent in expanding OYO’s fast-growing business across India and China.

There have been speculations that OYO may soon make its foray into the United States as well.

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SoftBank Group (SFTBY) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group

Equities research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of SoftBank Group (OTCMKTS:SFTBY) in a research report issued …

SoftBank Group logoEquities research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of SoftBank Group (OTCMKTS:SFTBY) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, January 21st, The Fly reports. The firm set a “neutral” rating on the technology company’s stock.

SFTBY has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered SoftBank Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Deutsche Bank started coverage on SoftBank Group in a research report on Sunday, January 20th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. SoftBank Group has a consensus rating of “Hold”.

Shares of OTCMKTS SFTBY traded down $1.02 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $47.36. 794,862 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 451,546. SoftBank Group has a twelve month low of $31.08 and a twelve month high of $50.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $103.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.55 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 0.84 and a quick ratio of 0.80.

About SoftBank Group

SoftBank Group Corp., together with its subsidiaries, operates in the information industry in Japan and internationally. The company operates through six segments: Domestic Telecommunications, Sprint, Yahoo Japan, Distribution, ARM, and SoftBank Vision Fund and Delta Fund. The Domestic Telecommunications segment provides mobile communications and broadband services; and telecom services, such as data communications and fixed-line telephone services to corporate customers, as well as sells mobile devices.

Recommended Story: What does relative strength index mean?

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Uber says it lost $1.8B in 2018

Uber, the most highly- valued US based startup, is heading into its much-anticipated IPO after more than one billion dollars in losses last year.

Uber, the most highly- valued US based startup, is heading into its much-anticipated IPO after more than one billion dollars in losses last year.

The company lost $1.8 billion in 2018, the first full year under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, according to the company’s select financial results for 2018 released on Friday. The staggering figure represents a modest improvement from one year ago when it reported $2.2 billion in losses.

While Uber’s losses shrunk, so did its sales growth. Its revenue hit $3 billion in the final three months of 2018, up just 2% from the prior quarter and up 25% from the same period a year ago.

By comparison, Uber’s revenue in the September quarter increased by 38% from the year prior. Its June quarter revenue shot up by a strong 63% from the year prior.

In 2018, the company sold its business in Southeast Asia to Grab and merged its Russia business with Yandex. The company’s financials exclude the impact of those sales on Uber’s business.

The steadily declining sales growth could raise alarm bells for potential investors on Wall Street who are expecting to see a business with rocket ship growth to justify the lofty $120 billion valuation it’s reportedly seeking. It has been widely reported that the company has confidentially filed initial paperwork to go public. Khosrowshahi has repeatedly said the company would seek to go public in 2019.

Khosrowshahi took over as CEO amid a period of incredible turmoil at the company, which included sexual harassment and gender discrimination allegations, a messy lawsuit with Waymo, vacant executive roles and drivers on the verge of revolt.

He was brought in to help clean up the company. He has helped Uber invest in areas beyond cars, such as bike sharing and scooters as well as food delivery. And those new areas of business are bright spots in the company’s future, according to Uber.

“In 2018, our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities, and we believe Uber Eats became the largest online food delivery business outside of China, based on gross bookings,” Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai said in a statement.

Notably, the company did not break out numbers for its Uber Eats delivery service during the fourth quarter of this year. Uber previously highlighted strong growth for Eats during its third quarter results: Gross bookings for the service topped $2 billion for the quarter, a jump of more than 150% from the same period a year earlier.

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