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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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IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things with Crowdfunding

20 Feb

Entrepreneurs to Get Free Access to IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and Discounts on Cloud Services

By Robert Hoskins

Munich, Germany – IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced a partnership with Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW) to help bring new Internet of Things (IoT) ideas to life. This collaboration brings IBM’s Watson IoT platform and cloud services together with ideation to production services from Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo – the world’s largest crowd sourced funding platform with more than $1.1 billion raised.

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things Startups

IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics Partner to Fuel the Next Generation of Internet of Things Startups

Now, qualified Indiegogo entrepreneurs will have no-charge access to IBM Watson IoT Platform via Bluemix for an unlimited amount of time, giving them access to more than 160 industry-leading cloud services to incorporate ready-to-use capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain, advanced data analytics and cyber security into their latest IoT inventions. In addition, qualified startups will have access to IBM’s global network of technical and industry expertise, education, mentoring and enterprise customers and business partners, all of which can help to bring new and innovative IoT products to market quickly.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Arrow and IBM to help entrepreneurs bring their wildest IoT dreams to life,” said David Mandelbrot, CEO of Indiegogo. “We know that fundraising is only one piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle, and by working together with IBM and Arrow we’ll be able to continue making it easier for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas all the way from concept to market.”

Experts predict that by 2022, the IoT landscape will be worth $14.2 trillion.1 A critical driver to this growth will be entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses which, while armed with ideas, lack the resources and skills to develop these next-generation IoT innovations and bring them to market.

Early examples of Arrow Certified Indiegogo IoT startup projects include:

  • Fitly, which created Smart Plate, the first intelligent nutrition platform that instantly analyzes and tracks what you eat. An industry first, Smart Plate was developed with support from Arrow and IBM Cloud, and was successfully funded on Indiegogo.
  • PlayDate, a startup that launched on Indiegogo, created the first smart ball for pets that lets owners interact with their dogs and cats from anywhere in the world. The PlayDate team ran the highest grossing pet tech crowdfunding campaign to date, but used Indiegogo for much more than just funding. They were one of the first campaigns to get Arrow-certified, a badge of approval on their manufacturing plans, and they received $100,000 in flash funding as well as engineering design support. “Arrow and Indiegogo’s support was incredibly valuable,” said Kevin Li, CEO at PlayDate. “Our campaign with Indiegogo opened doors with partners and acted as market validation for investors. Indiegogo and Arrow partnering with IBM will be a huge benefit for entrepreneurs using the platform.”

Through this partnership, IBM, Indiegogo and Arrow are removing key barriers and providing the expertise, resources and funding that entrepreneurs need to develop innovative new connected products and quickly and cost-effectively bring them to market. Combining IBM’s powerful cognitive capabilities with Indiegogo’s entrepreneur platform and Arrow’s end-to-end technology design and production expertise will rapidly increase the volume and quality of IoT devices in market and help fuel a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“Entrepreneurs and startups play a vital role in creating the next generation of businesses – their drive, innovation and passion for bringing new ideas to life is particularly important in building the IoT,” said Harriet Green, General Manager Watson IoT. “We are thrilled to partner with Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics to accelerate IoT innovation and development around the world working hand in hand with some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs, developers and startups to build an even better IoT.”

In addition to IBM’s benefits, Arrow provides qualified Indiegogo campaigns with up to $500,000 in benefits, such as component parts, online product design and prototyping tools, comprehensive technical reviews with Arrow engineers, manufacturing and supply chain services and sustainable recycling. As the only global technology company capable of providing comprehensive, sensor-to-sensor, full IoT product lifecycle solutions, Arrow is uniquely positioned to guide the biggest names in technology, and startups and makers alike, along their IoT production journey.

“IBM will take our groundbreaking collaboration with Indiegogo to a whole new level, helping us reach more entrepreneurs and get their innovative products to market quickly and cost-effectively,” said Arrow’s Chief Digital Officer Matt Anderson. “As one of the world’s largest providers of electronic and IT products and services in the world, Arrow has the breadth of resources and depth of expertise to successfully shepherd promising entrepreneurs along their path to market. Arrow engineers around the world are eager to collaborate with Indiegogo entrepreneurs on cutting-edge tech designs that incorporate the best that IBM’s Watson IoT and cloud services have to offer.”

IBM made the announcement at its first-ever Genius of Things Summit at the company’s Watson IoT headquarters in Munich, where customers, partners and influencers gathered to examine how Watson clients are implementing IoT solutions that drive exceptional outcomes. Around the globe, IBM is working with more than 6,000 clients, across industries, to help them truly realize the benefits of IoT. For more information, please visit:on IBM Watson IoT

Originally launched as a crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo is the place for entrepreneurs to move their ideas quickly from concept to market. Entrepreneurs on Indiegogo are able to showcase their ideas directly to users, take orders for products early in their lifecycle and ultimately build direct relationships with their first customers. Indiegogo is the platform of choice for early stage entrepreneurs and the creative teams of some of the most successful consumer product companies in the world. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five 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-based crowdfunding campaigns.

Arrow Electronics Brings Technology and Design Hardware to Life with Up to $1 Million for Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaigns 

1 Sep

Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo launches groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production service aimed at accelerating the pace of innovation for technology entrepreneurs

San Francisco, California – Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW) and Indiegogo launched their groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production service, which is aimed at accelerating the pace of innovation for technology and internet of things (IoT) entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs can apply for Arrow certification on the Indiegogo platform. Arrow Electronics’ engineers will then analyze the design and manufacturability of each application. Projects deemed “ready for manufacturing” will be denoted with official “Arrow Certified” badges on their Indiegogo campaign site to let potential backers know the project is ready for production."Arrow

Every “Arrow Certified” campaign on Indiegogo that meets certain eligibility criteria can compete to receive a share of $1 million in flash-funding that Arrow will give away to 20-50 campaigns during the next 12 to 15 months. Click here for full funding details and rules.

Arrow Certified” campaigns on Indiegogo will also lock-in up to $50,000 in benefits that help entrepreneurs succeed in prototyping and manufacturing their innovative products, which include some or all of the following:

  • Direct, online access to the prototyping tools available through Arrow.com and Silicon Expert, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive database for technology component design
  • Comprehensive technical reviews of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture a product
  • Professional design-for-manufacturing product reviews and certification
  • Up to $1,000 in materials for prototype development
  • Free access to the Arrow Testdrive program to try out the latest innovations from leading semiconductor manufacturers with no up-front investment
  • Customized marketing and promotional support on Arrow.com and through Arrow’s extensive technology-focused media network
  • 10 percent off and free shipping on millions of products available through Arrow.com that will help accelerate prototyping and bringing innovations to market

In addition, a handful of “Arrow Certified” campaigns that Arrow experts deem truly technologically exceptional will qualify as “Arrow Innovator” campaigns and receive additional support, which includes some or all of the following:

  • Supply chain services and contract manufacturing support worth up to $500,000
  • Up to $10,000 in materials for prototype development
  • A dedicated local Arrow technical concierge available for on-call or on-site support
  • Perk protection that guarantees campaign backers will get their money back if for some reason the product is never manufactured—providing current and future campaign backers with increased confidence
  • A fast-tracked review with Arrow’s in-house financing team to help fund the cost of getting production up and running

Arrow and Indiegogo formalized an alliance in May after Indiegogo entrepreneurs had been increasingly turning to Arrow to help transition innovative ideas into successful commercial products. Arrow is now a key component of Indiegogo’s efforts to support the entire product lifecycle for entrepreneurs on the platform.

Current and new Indiegogo technology or design campaign entrepreneurs interested in applying to become “Arrow Certified” should visit www.arrow.com/indiegogo.

“This groundbreaking crowdfund-to-production program will help so many tech entrepreneurs and startups accelerate their path to market and revenue. Halo Smart Labs didn’t have access to a formal production program like this when we were successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo. However, we did have the good fortune of getting introduced to Arrow experts early on who helped us refine designs, source the right components, tackle first runs and scale to full production,” said Ben Stagg, Halo Smart Labs’ CEO. “Without the crowdfunding support we received on Indiegogo and without the go-to-market support we received from Arrow, we wouldn’t be preparing for the first Halo and Halo+ smart fire alarms to hit the shelves of major retailers this fall.”

“Arrow is leading IoT design and production for many of the world’s largest companies. We are broadening these capabilities to support the rising wave of innovation coming from crowdfunding,” added Arrow’s Chief Digital Officer, Matt Anderson. “The comprehensive design, manufacturing and go-to-market support that Arrow will provide Indiegogo campaigns will help IoT and technology innovators succeed in even greater numbers, making Indiegogo the only game in town when it comes to launching an IoT or technology idea.”

Indiegogo CEO’s David Mandlebrot commented, “This collaboration improves the experience for both entrepreneurs and backers on Indiegogo. Supporting the entire lifecycle for technology entrepreneurs—from idea, to funding, to manufacturing and ultimately retail selling—is a priority for Indiegogo and this collaboration with Arrow allows us to build on those efforts in an incredibly impactful way. At the same time, this alliance will enable backers to have greater confidence that they will ultimately receive their perks.”

Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations serving over 85 countries.

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Fantem Unveils IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign Offering New Oomi, the World’s First Z-Wave Smart Home Built for Everyone

8 May

Oomi’ s Z-Wave MultiSensors gives customers more insight into what is going on inside of their domicile by detecting motion, temperature, light, UV rays, vibrations and humidity

By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, IL – Fantem announces Indiegogo campaign featuring it new Oomi Smart Home System, which includes a new, redesigned controller and a unique multisensor. The new controller, Oomi Touch, is encased in edge-to-edge glass and includes both tactile buttons and capacitive touch controls, offering control of smart home devices as well as television and music. Oomi Multisensor not only detects motion, but also temperature, light and humidity, and more, adding versatility to the home automation system already set apart by intuitive control and ease of use.


Oomi’s patent pending Tap-and-Touch™ technology sets Oomi apart from other systems by allowing for effortless setup and configuration. Oomi Cube, a hub with unrivaled functionality built on the Z-Wave Wireless Mesh Network Technology, instantly recognizes all system accessories and sensors without programming. Self-learning algorithms and adaptive automation allow the system to learn the user’s habits, schedules and preferences to deliver a new level of whole home control.

Oomis Z-Wave MultiSensors gives customers more insight into what is going on inside of their domicile

Oomis Z-Wave MultiSensors gives customers more insight into what is going on inside of their domicile

The latest Oomi smart home technology is available now for preorder on Indiegogo. The campaign offers three bundles, each based on Oomi Cube and Oomi Touch. Bundles also come with a choice of Oomi accessories, allowing contributors to create their ideal smart home.

Oomi bundles include:

  • Oomi Cube plus the choice of one of three Oomi Z-Wave accessories ($279) – limited time pricing
  • Oomi Cube and three Oomi Z-Wave accessories, plus the choice of Oomi Streamer or Oomi Air ($439) – limited time pricing
  • Oomi Cube, both Oomi premium accessories, and a choice of nine Oomi Z-Wave accessories ($699)

Oomi Z-Wave technology-enabled accessories include:

  • Oomi Multisensor. Comprised of a motion, temperature, humidity and ambient light senor, Oomi Multisensor can be mounted, recessed, or placed on a shelf and is 70 percent smaller than leading sensors.
  • Oomi Plug. Wirelessly control home accessories and monitor energy consumption, all with a tiny 56mm x 56mm x 42mm wall outlet. The light band on Oomi Plug changes color to display energy use, offering real-time energy monitoring.
  • Oomi Bulb. Control light output, including shade, just by screwing in this RGB bulb. With the ability to render millions of colors, the Oomi Bulb offers brilliant color or white for perfect ambiance any time of the day or night.

Oomi premium accessories include:

  • Oomi Streamer. Plug the Oomi Streamer into your TV’s HDMI port and instantly access the Internet and HD video.
  • Oomi Air. Monitor airborne pollutants that cause risks to you and your family and record environmental quality.

Lead by Fantem chief executive officer, Winston Cheng, the creators of Oomi boast experience in the smart home space spanning over a decade. Before founding Fantem, Cheng was a vice president at Aeon Labs, the creators of Z-Wave products, and also served as a software engineer for companies such as Zensys and Quantum3D. With its first product Oomi, Fantem seeks to facilitate consumer adoption of smart home technology by removing the complexity and frustration associated with existing systems.

Fantem is a developer of innovative products and solutions for the home. It is dedicated to the worldwide consumer adoption of smart home technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) through the development of home automation solutions that remove the complexity and frustration associated with existing systems.

Together with its global team of experts and partners, Fantem set out to create the first smart home management system that is not only the easiest to install, set-up, and use, but also the first smart home system that is actually smart.

The result of this effort, Oomi, is set to revolutionize the future of home automation, not only by positively impacting upon multiple areas (home safety and security, home environment and home entertainment) of users’ home lives, but by also making it accessible to the everyone – “a system designed for the rest of us!” Fantem is based in Chicago with offices and strategic partners spanning four continents.

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