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U.S. Approves Softbank's $2.25 Billion Cruise Investment

A U.S. national security panel has approved a $2.25 billion investment in GM Cruise by the Softbank Vision Fund, the self-driving company has said. The deal may have met scrutiny over concerns of Japan-based Softbank's ties to Chinese firms amid a growing trade war between the U.S. and China. The Softbank Vision Fund has backed several Chinese companies, to name some; ZhongAn Insurance, Didi Chuxing, OneConnect, Full Truck Alliance and Guazi.

Softbank's investment in GM Cruise was cleared by Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a regulatory body that reviews foreign investments in U.S. companies. For Softbank's investment to go through, an assurance that Cruise's tech will be off limits to Softbank had to be made, Reuters reports.


“Today’s news is another important step toward achieving our goal to develop and deploy self-driving vehicles at massive scale,” Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a statement to Reuters. The approval of  Softbank's i…

Naspers Pays $1.16 Billion To Increase Stake In Russia's Avito

OLX co-founder Fabrice Grinda. Naspers took ownership of OLX in 2014 and is purchasing an additional 29.1% stake in Avito through the OLX Group.
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch

South African media giant Naspers has increased its stake in Russian classifieds platform Avito, paying $1.16 billion for an additional 29.1% stake, placing its stake in the company now at 99.6% on a fully diluted basis. The remaining 0.4% stake is held by current Avito management.

Naspers first invested in Avito in 2013 with the company having grown since then to 10.3 million daily unique visitors, a large portion of the Russian internet population.  Avito recorded revenue of $162 million in the first half of its fiscal 2019 year, a 31% growth from last year driven by strong vertical traction and enhanced product features.

Naspers made a hit as an early investor in Chinese internet giant Tencent and has parlayed its winnings into several big investments in technology companies around the globe. Other companies it has backed include Indian food delivery unicorn Swiggy, Brazil's Movile, iFood, Letgo and Byju's.




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