Softbank Buys Big Chunk Of Uber, A Deal That Changes How The Company Is Run

SoftBank buys big chunk of Uber, a deal that changes how the company is run

A consortium led by SoftBank Group will buy a large number of shares of Uber in a deal that values the ride-services firm at $48 billion, Uber said on Thursday, in a victory for new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi. The price is a roughly 30 percent discount to Uber's most recent valuation of $68 billion. The deal will trigger a number of changes in the way the board oversees the company, which is dealing with federal criminal probes, a high-stakes lawsuit and an overhaul of its workplace culture. SoftBank and the rest of consortium, which includes Dragoneer Investment Group, will own approximately 17.5 percent of Uber, a person familiar with the matter said. That stake includes a share purchase from earlier investors and employees at the $48 billion valuation, as well as a $1.25 billion investment of fresh funding at the $68 billion level. Uber said the deal will close early next year. On Thursday it said that existing investors had agreed to sell enough shares for SoftBank to go through with the transaction. SoftBank itself will keep a 15 percent stake, while the rest of the consortium will own approximately 3 percent, according to a second person familiar with the matter. Khosrowshahi, who took the top job in August after Travis Kalanick was forced to step down in June, helped negotiate the deal. Uber is losing more than $1 billion each quarter, and a new cash infusion is critical. The company is also planning an initial public offering in 2019. Uber will use the investment "to support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance," a spokesperson, who declined to be named, said. When the deal is completed, the company will make governance changes, expanding Uber's board from 11 to 17 members including four independent directors, limiting some early shareholders' voting power and cutting the control wielded by Kalanick, who remains on the board and is still one of the largest stakeholders.

"Smart thing"

"The stockholders did the smart thing. The price is less important than locking in the governance changes and securing the support of the world's most powerful technology investor," said Erik Gordon an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank's Vision Fund, a $98 billion tech investment vehicle, will join the Uber board, The Wall Street Journal reported. SoftBank will get two seats on the expanded board, a source told Reuters. Misra said in a statement that SoftBank has "tremendous confidence in Uber's leadership and employees." Uber board members agreed in early November to governance changes to pave the way for the SoftBank deal. Some initial investors in the consortium, including General Atlantic, dropped out over disagreement about the price offered to shareholders, Reuters previously reported. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has taken a keen interest in ride-hailing companies around the world, and already has sizeable stakes in China's Didi, Brazil-based 99, India's Ola and Singapore Grab, all of which have competed with Uber. Didi last week raised $4 billion, including some investment from SoftBank. The Uber investment comes after a year of troubles for the company, including a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit Waymo that alleges trade-secrets theft and federal investigations that span possible bribery of foreign officials in Asian countries and the use of software to evade regulators. Over the past year, a former employee's charges of endemic sexual harassment led to an internal review, London said it is stripping Uber of its license and Uber revealed it had covered up a major hack.

Reporting by Heather Somerville and Liana B. Baker


Super Mario Run Is One Of Google's Most Popular New Games Of 2017

Super Mario Run Is One Of Google's Most Popular New Games Of 2017

When you think about how popular the Mario franchise is, where it has managed to resonate with every generation of gamers since the very first title, it's not that hard to imagine how popular Super Mario Run was when it was announced that it would be arriving for our smartphones.

It's also why it isn't surprising to learn that the game has managed to make Google's "Most Popular New Games of 2017" list. According to Google, the game was the most downloaded new game of the year, joining the likes of Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Magic Tiles 3, CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars, and Ballz.

Michibiki Satellites Used To Run Unmanned Harvester

Michibiki satellites used to run unmanned harvester

KIZUGAWA, Kyoto Prefecture--Using location information from satellites, an unmanned combine harvester automatically maneuvered through farmland here in an experiment Nov. 22 that could radically change agriculture work in Japan.

The information was received from the Michibiki satellites during the experiment at a Kyoto University farm. About 40 people, including employees of agricultural machinery makers, attended the test.

Limited-run Nissan Juke Gt Sport Playstation Launches In Europe

Limited-Run Nissan Juke GT Sport Playstation Launches In Europe

A limited-run version of the Nissan Juke, dubbed the GT Sport PlayStation, has just been introduced to the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

Created to celebrate Gran Turismo Sport on PlayStation, the special-edition Juke will be limited to just 500 units and be available in either Ultramarine Blue or Pearl White.

Major Super Mario Run Update Has Been Released

Major Super Mario Run Update Has Been Released

While Super Mario Run was launched with a ton of fanfare considering that this would be the first time that Mario would be arriving on mobile devices, it's safe to say that interest in the game quickly fizzled due to a number of reasons, such as the gameplay which wasn't like what many had thought Mario would be like, and the price of $10 which many felt was rather hefty just to unlock all of its content.

However the good news is that if you were holding out on purchasing Super Mario Run, Nintendo has [recently released an update for the game] that the company had previously promised. The price has been temporarily reduced by 50% which means that it is now a bit more affordable than before, but note that this is a temporary price reduction as the price of the game will be going back to normal levels on the 12th of October.

Super Mario Run Gets A Temporary Price Cut And New Levels

Super Mario Run Gets A Temporary Price Cut And New Levels

If there was one main criticism that many gamers had when Super Mario Run was launched was its price tag. Sure, the game was free up to a certain extent, but gamers who wanted more content and features would have to fork out $10 for everything, which as far as mobile games are concerned is pricey.

However the good news is that if you've been holding out on purchasing the game, Nintendo has announced that from the 29th of September until the 12th of October, Super Mario Run will be discounted and have its price slashed by 50%, meaning that the game will only cost you $5 if you were to purchase it within that particular time period. After that we expect the price to go back to normal levels.

Watch Subaru Wrx Sti's Ripping Record Run At Nurburgring

Watch Subaru WRX STI's ripping record run at Nurburgring

As expected, Subaru had a bunch of cameras rolling when they gunned for a Nürburgring lap record attempt. The car they used was a specially honed (deep breath) WRX STI Type RA NBR Special, and it proved to be good for a 6:58.9 lap around the Nordschleife, in the hands of Richie Stanaway. Now, video material of the sedan car record run has been posted on Subaru's social media pages, and it includes a separate "Behind the Scenes" video.

The record car was built by Prodrive, and it consists of a 2017 WRX STI with a full roll cage, fitted with a WRC specification two-liter turbo engine that produces more than 600 horsepower thanks to its 75mm intake and 25 psi of boost. The transmission is also a WRC item, and its hydraulic paddle-shift setup together with an automated clutch enables shift times of 20-25 milliseconds.

Super Mario Run Has Been Downloaded Nearly 150 Million Times

Super Mario Run Has Been Downloaded Nearly 150 Million Times

While Super Mario Run wasn't Nintendo's first mobile gaming efforts, it did represent for the first time Mario was available on mobile devices in an official capacity, and the numbers certainly show just that. According to Nintendo's latest financials, it was revealed that the game has since been downloaded nearly 150 million times.

Last we checked, which was back in January earlier this year, Super Mario Run was downloaded 78 million times, so for Nintendo nearly double that amount in 3 months is pretty impressive. However we guess the fact that it was later released on Android did help a bit with those numbers.

Super Mario Run To Get A Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Event This Friday

Super Mario Run To Get A Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Event This Friday

To celebrate the launch of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch, which is taking place on the 28th of April which is this Friday, it seems that Nintendo wants to tie in that celebration with its other games, like Super Mario Run. As you can see in the screenshot to the right, Nintendo will be introducing what they're calling a "mega event" to the game.

Basically to celebrate the release of the game, players will be able to get their hands on certain deluxe buildings and decorations for their Mario kingdom in Super Mario Run. However it also seems that this is contingent on how many players around the world are playing Toad Rally, which we guess is also Nintendo's way of trying to entice players back into the game.

Nintendo Releases First Super Mario Run Update With Some Improvements

Nintendo Releases First Super Mario Run Update with Some Improvements

Nintendo released Super Mario Run on iOS last year and the version for Android only arrived in March, with some of the same features that users can enjoy when playing on their iPhones or iPads. Now, the version for Android has received its first update with some improvements.

Super Mario Run has just received an update, bumping the version number to 2.1.0 and bringing some improvements to the user experience. Nintendo’s first update to Super Mario Run for Android-running smartphones brings more Toads, as their number now stands at 99,999.

Sword Fans To Run To Nara To See Sharp Edge Of Date Masamune

Sword fans to run to Nara to see cutting edge of Date Masamune

NARA- - History buffs and freshly discovered fanatics of times long past alike are sliding on Yakushiji sanctuary here for a display of hundreds of years old Japanese swords including one apparently waved by medieval ruler Date Masamune (1567-1636).

In expansion to the current "Uwasano Katana Ten II" (Exhibition of whispered swords II) that goes through April 23, an uncommon presentation on April 2 and 3 will demonstrate six extremely valuable edges including "Okurikarahiromitsu," an administration assigned vital artwork.

Guarded Omissions Cut Off Japan's Unbeaten Run

Defensive failures cut off Japan's unbeaten run

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Japan-U.S. elimination round of the World Baseball Classic conveyed an essence of the peril in playing a champ takes-all game.

Despite standing its ground against a U.S. group stacked with real class players, two cautious slips cost Japan a place in the WBC last in a 2-1 misfortune on March 21. On that blustery night in Los Angeles, splits showed up in what had already been a practically impervious defense.

No. 1 Kerber Finishes Ozaki's Miami Run

No. 1 Kerber closures Ozaki's Miami run

AFPMIAMI (AFP-Jiji) — World No. 1 Angelique Kerber dispatched Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki 6-2, 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal conflict with Venus Williams on Monday at the Miami Open.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams battled past Russian seventh-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to achieve the last eight.

Super Mario Run Sales Didn't Meet Nintendo's Expectations

Super Mario Run Sales Didn't Meet Nintendo's Expectations

Super Mario Run stamped Nintendo's turn into the mobile phone gaming market. It balanced itself to Apple and made Super Mario Run prohibitive to iOS for some time before finally releasing it for Android earlier this month. Notwithstanding all the development, offers of the preoccupation doesn't appear to have met the organization's cravings, says Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima.

Speaking to business dissemination Nikkei, Kimishima and a couple of other Nintendo experts revealed that while Super Mario Run had ended up being helpful for the association it didn't hit the business concentrates on that Nintendo had set.