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SoftBank Vision Fund Raises $93 Billion of $100 Billion Goal from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s PIF, the SoftBank Group and the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company

22 May

The Vision Fund is expected to be active across a wide range of technology sectors, including: IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile apps, computing, communications infrastructure, telecoms, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and fin-tech

By Robert Hoskins

St. Helier, Jersey –  The SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over U.S.$93 billion of committed capital. In addition to SoftBank Group Corp (SBG) and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF) as previously announced, investors in the Fund also include the Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates (Mubadala), Apple Inc. (Apple), Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn), Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm) and Sharp Corporation (Sharp).

The Fund is targeting a total of U.S.$100 billion of committed capital, with a final close within six months.

SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over $93 billion of committed capital

SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over $93 billion of committed capital

SBG created the SoftBank Vision Fund as a result of its strongly held belief that the next stage of the Information Revolution is underway, and building the businesses that will make this possible will require unprecedented large scale long-term investment. Additionally, the Fund’s portfolio companies are expected to significantly benefit from SBG’s global scale and operational expertise, as well as its ecosystem of group portfolio companies (including Sprint and Yahoo Japan); this will thereby help them to accelerate their own growth profile.

The Fund will be SBG’s primary vehicle to realise its SoftBank 2.0 vision, with preferred access to investments of U.S. $100 million or more that meet the Fund’s investment strategy.

Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. said, “Technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today. The businesses working to solve these problems will require patient long-term capital and visionary strategic investment partners with the resources to nurture their success. SoftBank has long made bold investments in transformative technologies and supported disruptive entrepreneurs. The SoftBank Vision Fund is consistent with this strategy and will help build and grow businesses creating the foundational platforms of the next stage of the Information Revolution.”

H.E. Yasir Al Rumayyan, Managing Director of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, added, “Our investment in the SoftBank Vision Fund alongside other sovereign and corporate investors is an important part of our overall investment strategy. We are building a portfolio that is diversified across sectors, asset classes and geographies, and expect the Vision Fund to act as a platform to access a range of exciting, emerging opportunities in the technology sector. We expect that this will, in turn, help enable the Public Investment Fund’s role in supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to develop a diversified, knowledge-based economy.”

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, said, “Our participation in the SoftBank Vision Fund perfectly complements Mubadala’s strategy as a long-term global investor and partner to the technology sector’s high-growth companies. Technology and innovation are central to the UAE’s economic diversification strategy, and we believe the Vision Fund has the scale to deploy significant capital into these disruptive industries that are shaping the future.”

Investment Strategy

The Fund will target meaningful, long-term investments in companies and foundational platform businesses that seek to enable the next age of innovation.

The Fund will seek to acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, from emerging technology businesses to established, multi-billion dollar companies requiring substantial growth funding.

The Fund is expected to be active across a wide range of technology sectors, including but not limited to: IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile applications and computing, communications infrastructure and telecoms, computational biology and other data-driven business models, cloud technologies and software, consumer internet businesses and financial technology.

The Fund will have the right to acquire certain investments already acquired (or agreed to be acquired) by the SoftBank Group, including 24.99% of its holding in ARM, and investments in Guardant Health, Intelsat, NVIDIA, OneWeb and SoFi.

Key Leadership

The Fund will be advised by wholly-owned subsidiaries of SBG, known collectively as “SB Investment Advisers.”

Rajeev Misra will serve as the CEO of SB Investment Advisers and will be a member of the Investment Committee. He will play a key role in all Fund transactions, supported by a highly-experienced global team across offices in London, San Carlos, and Tokyo.

Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu of newly formed Centricus, who advised on structuring and fund raising efforts for the Vision Fund, will continue their roles as advisers.

ARM group

  • SBG’s commitment to invest U.S. $28 billion in the Fund will be partially satisfied through the in-kind contribution of approximately 24.99% of the shares in ARM Holdings plc, at a value of approximately U.S.$8.2 billion.
  • ARM will continue to be a consolidated subsidiary of SBG. SBG will continue to control (directly and indirectly) 100% of the voting rights of ARM, through its retained ownership of approximately 75.01% of the shares and its ownership of the entities managing and advising the Fund.
  • In the course of discussions with certain investors in the Fund, a portion of ARM was requested to be transferred into the Fund based on the shared vision on the huge growth potential of ARM
  • There will be no change to the Board, governance structure or operations of ARM as a result of the transfer.
  • The investors in the Fund will not gain any special commercial benefits from ARM’s operating business.

Relationship to SoftBank Group Corp.

  • The Fund’s general partner is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBG, as are each of the SB Investment Advisers, including the Fund’s primary investment adviser, SB Investment Advisers (UK) Limited.
  • SBG has subscribed for commitments of U.S. $28 billion to the Fund to be contributed through a combination of equity in ARM and cash on hand. The Fund will be consolidated by SBG for accounting purposes.
  • While the Fund will be the primary investment vehicle for investments in excess of U.S.$100 million consistent with the Fund’s investment strategy, SBG (and its subsidiaries) may continue to make certain investments outside of the Fund, including (but not limited to) investments in early stage VC, strategic investments done at the operating company level, and/or other investments which do not fall within the Fund’s investment strategy and criteria.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-eight years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation, rewards and equity crowdfunding campaigns.
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Carlson Wireless Launches $5 Million Crowdfunder.com Equity Crowdfunding Campaign to Raise Money to Deploy TV White Space 802.22 Broadband Wireless Networks

19 May

The New FCC-Approved “Super Wi-Fi” TV White Space Radios will make it possible to serve 4 billion people living in 3rd world developing countries, 90% of which do not have access to the Internet

 By Robert Hoskins

Sunnyvale, CaliforniaCarlson Wireless Technologies announced a $5 million Crowdfunder.com equity crowdfunding campaign to develop and deploy its a global leader in TV White Space (TVWS) unlicensed broadband wireless technology. At speeds of up 25-Mbps, which is three times faster than current technology, and half the cost, Carlson’s RuralConnect Generation 3 TVWS radios (470 to 698 MHz) will offer a superior broadband wireless solution than is currently available in the marketplace. These white space wireless radios will make it possible to build wireless networks in underserved rural areas where there is a huge pent up demand from millions of customers that currently do not have any form of broadband internet access.

Carlson Wireless Technologies Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign on Crowdfunder for RuralConnect TV White Space Radio Gen3

Carlson Wireless Technologies Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign on Crowdfunder for RuralConnect TV White Space Radio Gen3

In order to transform its FCC-approved prototype into a mass produced reality for worldwide distribution, Carlson Wireless is offering the private placement memorandum and is currently selling equity shares to raise investment venture capital. 

The equity fundraising will enable completion of both the software and hardware for the new product, as well as provide working capital for the first Generation 3 production run, with an expected release to market before the end of 2015. Carlson Wireless currently has a presence on the equity crowdfunding platforms AngelList and Crowdfunder.

This funding will allow Carlson Wireless to help fuel world-wide Internet connectivity through next generation dynamic spectrum wireless communication systems. By helping the company fund the final stages of this project, investors can be a part of this fundamental economic and social change.  

Globally, there are 4 billion people without access to the Internet, 90% of which are from the developing world. Domestically, millions of Americans in rural areas lack access to broadband connectivity due to current market and technological constraints.

Carlson Wireless developed the FCC Certified RuralConnect as a solution that provides affordable broadband Internet access by transmitting signals over vacant TV frequencies. Using this spectrum, the RuralConnect signal penetrates foliage and travels around hills to provide broadband in rural and remote locations throughout the world that cannot be served by traditional line-of-sight radio technology.

RuralConnect can cover an area up to 20 km in diameter, with the ability to deploy a hotspot using minimal infrastructure. TVWS technology also expands the capability of businesses and governments to extend communications and private networks such as: small cell sites, smart cities, the Internet of Things (M2M), utilities, oil & gas operations, public safety, wireless backhaul, security, video surveillance and more.  Moreover, acceptance of the technology is accelerating worldwide, with regulatory approvals earlier this year in Canada and the U.K.

In the United States, the abandoned television frequencies are primarily in the upper UHF 700-Megahertz band, covering  TV channels 52 to 69 (698 to 806 MHz).  This new spectrum became available as TV broadcasters migrated from analog to digital broadcasting technology.

Digital transmission uses much smaller slices of spectrum and can be packed into adjacent channels, while analog ones cannot. This means that the band can be “compressed” into fewer channels, while still allowing for more transmissions. In addition to white space assigned for technical reasons, there is also unused radio spectrum which has either never been used, or is becoming free as a result of technical changes. 

For more than a decade, Carlson Wireless has designed and developed products to deliver high-speed Internet and wireline-quality voice connectivity to rural communities and businesses with remote operations. Specializing in hard-to-reach regions, Carlson Wireless provides fixed-wireless systems using TV White Space and microwave technology to deliver voice and data connections.

Working with customers, trial participants, and other industry leaders, Carlson Wireless has created a third-generation product that will exhibit the enhanced throughput and superior propagation characteristics required by the market at an attractive price point. The RuralConnect Generation 3 will utilize channel bonding in order to triple Internet connection speeds up to 25 Mbps, reduce latency, and support four times as many users per sector; all under the new IEEE 802.22 standard.

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Connectify Lanches Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign to Finance Broadband Servers in Underserved Areas

18 May

Where Do You Want Broadband Internet Access: Crowdfunding a Faster Global Network on Kickstarter

 By Robert Hoskins

“Where Do You Want Faster Internet?” That’s the question that Connectify Inc. is asking as they Kickstart their new Switchboard technology this month. Connectify Switchboard is a new cloud service that lets Mac and PC users combine multiple Internet connections for faster speeds and increased reliability using an international network of “Speed Servers” in the cloud. In order to plan and deploy these Speed Servers, Connectify is working with Kickstarter backers to essentially crowdsource a worldwide network in real-time.

Connectify Network for Faster Global Internet Access

Connectify Network for Faster Global Internet Access

Backers of the Connectify Switchboard Kickstarter project can now vote for the location of the next Speed Server to be rolled out during the campaign. An interactive “heat map” a www.wheredoyouwantfasterinternet.com shows where the company currently has servers, and where backer interest is most fervent for upcoming Speed Servers.

By posting in project comments, on Facebook, and Tweeting with the hashtag #backswitchboard with their location, Connectify’s Kickstarter backers can add their location requests directly to the heat map. Kickstarter is all about community, and that’s why we decided to come back to the crowdfunding platform to help us plan and deploy our cloud network,” said Connectify CEO, Alex Gizis. “Switchboard Kickstarter backers now have an opportunity to help us build out a worldwide network, and we’re confident that the end result will be a Switchboard infrastructure that works seamlessly for our users worldwide.”

Already, backers from all over the world are giving the company valuable feedback, both on the Kickstarter project page and via social media channels. Less than a week into the campaign, and the interactive map asking Where Do You Want Faster Internet? is starting to light up. With interest growing by the hour, perhaps Connectify has struck upon a new model, where vital data on network coverage can be crowdfunded by users months before companies spend millions to roll out their servers.

Connectify is a privately-held company that develops next-generation networking software for Mac, PC, and mobile platforms. Founded in 2010, Connectify’s mission is to give all users the power to perform complex networking tasks at the click-of-a-button. For more information on Connectify, visit www.connectify.me .

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