Forbes, with an estimated net worth of US$14.9 billion. In July, SoftBank agreed to acquire UK-based ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM; NASDAQ: ARMH), whose microchips are used in more than 95% of all smartphones, for $32 billion in cash. Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with up to 1.5 million daily bookings. the company offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 6 countries and 31 cities in Southeast Asia, with 1 out of every 4 passengers using multiple services. “Our vision is to drive Southeast Asia transportation forward and transform the region’s mobile internet ecosystem. This latest funding, the largest in the history of Southeast Asia consumer technology, strengthens our ability to pursue those long-term goals as we continue to build on our market leadership,” said Grab CEO & co-founder Anthony Tan. Grab plans to continue expanding its transportation services in Southeast Asia, home to 620 million people, and a rising population of middle class and mobile users, especially in Indonesia. Grab also plans to significantly invest in mobile payments capabilities, to enable a seamless daily transaction experience in a region with low banking and credit card penetration and limited cashless payment options. Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest market with 250 million people, over a third of the region’s population. Grab will further expand the diversity, density and efficiency of its services in Jakarta, a congested city with 30 million people, where it believes its GrabCar, GrabBike, GrabTaxi and GrabFood services are relevant and transformative. In Indonesia, its GrabCar and GrabBike services grew 250x in one year as of the end of 1H2016, and continue to grow exponentially, the company said. Grab said it will also continue to invest in data science and machine learning capabilities to support its growth and enable services like predictive demand, and driver and user targeting. Grab continues to hire “top international talent in its R&D centers in Singapore, Beijing and Seattle,” developing “innovative features like Flash that pools cars and taxis,” improving “back-end routing capabilities,” and building a proprietary “POI mapping database.” The move comes less than two months after China’s ride-sharing leader Didi Chuxing agreed to acquire all assets of UberChina, including its brand, business operations and data within mainland China in a deal valued at $35 billion. A few days later in August, Go-Jek, Indonesia’s leading ride-hailing motorcycle taxi mobile app startup, raised over $550 million in growth equity funding led by global investment firms KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR), Warburg Pincus, Farallon Capital and Capital Group Private Markets, as well as existing shareholders and other international investors. Previous investors in Go-Jek include Sequoia India, Northstar Group, DST Global, NSI Ventures, Rakuten Ventures and Formation Group. In June, Uber raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the largest funding it ever raised from a single investor, as part of a $5 billion funding round that valued the company at $68 billion, turning Uber into the world’s most highly valued startup. A month ago, in a strategic shift focusing on autonomous vehicles,, Uber acquired self-driving trucks startup Otto, in a deal reportedly valued at $700 million. Uber also said it made a partnership deal with Swedish carmaker Volvo, “a leader when it comes to safety.” In late August, Uber followed with the launch of an experimental driver-less car-hailing program in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home to Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics department, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company had yet achieved, Photo: Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank.]]>
Volkswagen AG invested $300 million in Tel Aviv-based taxi-hailing app Gett. Toyota Motor Corp. also disclosed an investment in Uber, while Apple sank $1 billion into Chinese rival Didi Chuxing Technology Co., which is backed by Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd. In January, Lyft raised $1 billion in a Series F round, with half of it funded by General Motors, as part of a plan to test a fleet of self-driving electric taxis beginning next year. Ironically, The $68 billion privately-held startup now has a greater market value than General Motors (NYSE: GM), which has a market capitalization of $46.36 billion.]]>
Gett launched a bid to acquire London’s Radio Taxis from Mountview House Group in a multi-million pound deal that will bring the total amount of Gett black cabs in London to 11,500 or half of all the licensed taxis in the city. “Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025,” says Matthias Müller, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen. “Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.” “Just one month after announcing plans to launch a legally independent company for the development of mobility services, the Volkswagen Group is resolutely driving forward the future of mobility,” VW said in a statement. “The Volkswagen Group opens the way for new mobility concepts with a significant $300 million stake in Gett. On the map with over 60 cities worldwide, Gett is one of the fastest growing ride hailing providers in the mobility-on-demand area. Based on a joint strategy, according on-demand mobility services will be further expanded,” VW stated further. Innovative, digitally integrated services covering all aspects of mobility promise very strong growth momentum and huge earnings opportunities in the coming years. The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow’s mobility business models. “The Volkswagen Group’s expressed goal is to generate a substantial share of sales revenue from such new business models by 2025. To this end, the Group is opening for new partnerships and strategic investments,” says VW. “A key partner in this area will be Gett, one of the leading providers in the European ride hailing market with development facilities in Israel.” Gett is available in more than 60 cities worldwide, including London, Moscow and NYC. In London alone, half of all the black cabs use Gett. Uniquely, Gett’s convenient and at the same time highly efficient mobility solution is equally successful with consumers and businesses. It is already trusted by more than 4,000 leading corporations worldwide. The business model is based exclusively on licensed drivers who have a permit to carry passengers and are committed to providing safe, reliable mobility. “The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership. The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses,” said Shahar Waiser, Gett’s founder and CEO. Through the Gett app consumers can, at the touch of a button, book on-demand rides instantly or pre-book rides for later. Besides transportation, Gett covers innovative delivery and logistics. Gett’s technology leverages big data, cutting-edge predictive algorithms, and artificial intelligence. “It therefore serves as the foundation for a viable on-demand autonomous car operation,” says VW. With the support of the Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s largest carmakers, Gett will further strengthen its position in the market. Based on a strategic alliance agreement, the partnership’s joint growth strategy is focused on collaborative development and market expansion of on-demand mobility services in Europe and beyond. Completion of this transaction is ssubject to merger control clearance by antitrust authorities. Matthias Müller and Shahar Waiser are expected to announce further details of the strategic partnership in a joint event scheduled for the coming week, said VW. Gett was founded in 2011 by Israeli entrepreneurs Shahar Waiser, CEO, and Roi More, who developed a GPS-based application connecting customers and taxi drivers, enabling users to order a cab either via smartphone or the web. The app’s beta version started operating in Tel Aviv and was subsequently launched in London, Moscow and New York City. [caption id="attachment_430802" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Shahar Waiser, CEO & Co-Founder of Gett.[/caption] Waiser is a serial entrepreneur, who founded and built companies in the US and internationally. In 2000, he became the head of Russian operations at Comverse [NASDAQ: CMVT]. After moving to Silicon Valley in 2005 he founded and then sold Loyalize, a social engagement and loyalty startup based in San Francisco (acquired by Viggle [VGGL]).
“When he was 16 years old, Shahar (Waiser) Smirin boarded a train from Russia to Hungary and asked for political asylum. His parents stayed behind, and when he arrived, he did not have a penny to his name. He did, however, have a clear goal: to get to Israel. Now, (25 years later) he is one of the brightest technological entrepreneurs Israel has had.”]]>