“SoftBank has put money into the delivery startup Rappi in Colombia; Gympass, a Brazilian fitness company; and the FinTech Uala, based in Argentina. Softbank’s move into Latin America is also looking at artificial intelligence (AI) startups that apply the technology to food-related businesses, particularly plant-based food.”
- “The total expected contribution to the SoftBank Vision Fund 2 from both the Japanese conglomerate and other partners stands at about $108 billion
- The first fund is known for investing billions of dollars into global technology and telecommunication companies. The fund, which delivered about 45% rate of return to partners after fees on a net equity basis, invested into companies such as Uber, Slack, The We Company (formerly known as WeWork), as well as Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.”
Day 1 of the Digital Banking Conference hosted by the ABA is complete, and the biggest draw of the day was…Pepper the robot from SoftBank
Rise of the robots: Bank deploys ‘Pepper’ to assist customers
“Beginning Thursday, Pepper will greet customers at HSBC Bank’s Brickell branch in Miami, and later, possibly other locations throughout Florida, according to bank officials. Pepper’s Miami launch will be the fourth for the bank, following launches at branches on Fifth Avenue in New York City last summer, and in Seattle and Beverly Hills this past spring.
Pepper’s job is to bring you information about basic services offered by the bank, so the bank’s human employees will have more time for “deeper, more high-value customer engagements,” a bank official said in a recent news release.
Pepper is friendly and social, says Jeremy Balkin, head of Innovation at HSBC Bank USA. It can show customers “how-to” videos on its tablet. It can teach customers how to use the bank’s ATM machine or download its smartphone app. It can send links to your device to help you apply for a credit card or open an account.”
- “People should brace themselves for the proliferation of artificial intelligence as it will change the way we live within three decades, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son told CNBC.
- Son has long championed the benefits of artificial intelligence, investing billions of dollars in companies he believes can capitalize on it.
- ‘We are investing $100 billion in just one thing, AI,’ he said.”
“Coupang, the South Korean eCommerce company, is getting a $2 billion investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which will provide it with the money to speed up development of delivery and shopping services.
According to a report in Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, the eCommerce company has a post-money valuation of $9 billion. SoftBank invested $1 billion in Coupang back in 2015, valuing the company at $5 billion the time.”