Tencent takes 10% stake in Universal Music to boost presence in the record industry- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Tencent has announced it is investing USD$3.36 billion into Universal Music Group (UMG) for a 10% stake.
The Chinese tech giant is leading a consortium to invest in the Vivendi-owned company as it seeks to continue to dominate the Chinese market which has seen consumers quickly adapting to streaming and showing a willingness to pay.
It also hopes this deal will help Tencent counter the rise of competitor TikTok globally, which was credited for helping Lil Nas X’s country rap single “Old Town Road” achieved viral popularity.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the stake sale allows the Vivendi to cash in on a music industry revived by Spotify and Apple Music, and enables UMG to accelerate its development in Asia.
Tencent also added that it is working on a separate deal to allow its streaming business to buy a minority stake in UMG’s Chinese operations.
UMG recently partnered with AirAsia to form a new label signing, developing and breaking new Asian artists.
The label, called RedRecords, ultimately wants to elevate Asian pop (A-pop) throughout the region and globally by focusing on discovering and developing talent from South East Asia and throughout the wider continent to form a clear and unique sound that reflects the diverse and rich musical culture of the continent.

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Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG’s global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, Calif…
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Porsche increases stake in electric car maker Rimac Automobili to 15.5% – gpgmail


Porsche AG is increasing its stake in Croatian electric vehicle components and hypercar company Rimac Automobili. The increased stake is the latest effort by Porsche to invest more into electric mobility, particularly in battery technology.

It was just 14 months ago that Porsche took a 10% stake in Rimac. Now, the German automaker is pushing that to 15.5%, according to an announcement Friday.

Porsche intends to intensify its collaboration in the field of battery technology, Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of Porsche’s executive board. Porsche, which just introduced its all-electric Taycan sports car, has said it will invest more than $6 billion into electric mobility through 2025. The automaker spent more than $1 billion developing the Taycan, a cost that included expanding its factory.

For the unfamiliar, Rimac was founded by Mate Rimac in 2009 and is perhaps best known for its electric hypercars such as the two-seater C Two that it debuted in 2018 at the Geneva International Motor Show.

The vehicle produces an extraordinary 1,914 horsepower, has a top speed of 256 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds. That’s faster than Tesla’s next-generation Roadster prototype that CEO Elon Musk unveiled in November 2017. The Rimac’s battery is no slouch either and gets 404 miles to a single charge under the more generous NEDC estimates. Still, that blows away other EVs on the market. 

But Rimac, which is based in Zagreb and employs around 550 people, does more than produce hypercars. The company focuses on battery technology within the high-voltage segment, engineers and manufactures electric powertrains and develops digital interfaces between humans and machines. The company also develops and produces electric bikes. This strand of the business was established in 2013 in the form of the sister company Greyp Bikes.

“Gaining Porsche as a stakeholder was one of the most important milestones in our history. The fact that Porsche is now increasing its stake is the best form of confirmation for our collaboration and represents the foundation for an even closer relationship,” Mate Rimac, the company’s founder said in a statement. “We are only at the start of our partnership – yet we have already met our high expectations. We have many collaborative ideas that we aim to bring to life in the future. The fundamental focus is creating a win-win situation for both partners and offering our end customers added value by developing exciting, electrified models.”

Porsche isn’t the only automaker interested in Rimac. The company has already worked with Renault, Jaguar, and Aston Martin. And in May 2019, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors jointly invested €80 million, or around $90 million, into Rimac. Under that deal, the three parties agreed  to collaborate on the development of high-performance electric vehicles.


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Starboard Value takes 7.5% stake in Box – gpgmail


Starboard Value, LP revealed in an SEC Form 13D filing last week that it owns a 7.5% stake in Box, the cloud content management company.

It is probably not a coincidence that Starboard Value looks for undervalued stocks. Box stock has been on a price roller coaster ride since it went public in 2015 at a price of $14 per share before surging to $23.23 per share. It had a high share price of $28.12 in May 2018, but the price dipped into the teens in March and was at $14.85 as we went to press. It has a 52-week low price of $12.46 per share.

Screenshot 2019 09 03 17.22.05

 

The company, which began life as a consumer storage company, made the transition to enterprise software several years after it launched in 2005. It raised more than $500 million along the way, and was a Silicon Valley SaaS darling until it filed its S-1 in 2014.

The S-1 revealed massive sales and marketing spending, and critics came down hard on the company. That led to one of the longest IPO delays in memory, taking nine months from the time the company filed until it finally had its IPO in January 2015.

In its most recent earnings report last week, Box announced  $172.5 million in revenue for the quarter, putting it on a run rate close to $700 million.

Aaron Levie href=”https://Gpgmail.com/2019/07/08/box-ceo-aaron-levie-is-coming-to-tc-sessions-enterprise/”> will be appearing at gpgmail Sessions: Enterprise on Thursday.

We emailed both Starboard Value and Box for comments, but neither has responded as we went to publish. If this changes, we will update the article.


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Amazon is acquiring a 49% stake in India’s Future Coupons – gpgmail


Amazon, which has invested over $6 billion in India’s growing internet market, just invested a little more to expand its foothold in the the world’s second largest internet market. The U.S. e-commerce giant is acquiring a 49% stake in Future Coupons, a group entity owned by India’s second largest retail chain Future Group, the latter said in a regulatory filing Thursday evening (local time).

In a statement to gpgmail, an Amazon spokesperson said, “Amazon has agreed to invest in Future Coupons Limited, which is engaged in developing innovative value-added payment products and solutions such as corporate gift cards, loyalty cards, and reward cards primarily for corporate and institutional customers. This investment will enhance Amazon’s existing portfolio of investments in the payments landscape in India.”

“Pursuant to these agreements, Amazon has agreed to make an equity investment in Future Coupons Limited for acquiring a 49% stake comprising both, voting and non-voting shares. As part of the agreement, Amazon has been granted a call option,” Future Retail said in a filing (PDF) to the local stock exchange.

As part of the agreement, Amazon has the option to “acquire all or part of the promoters’ shareholding in Future Retail Limited” between the third and tenth year in “certain circumstances, subject to applicable law.” Future Coupons owns about 7.3% stake in Future Retail, according to past regulatory filings.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The Promoters have also agreed to certain share transfer restrictions on their shares in the Company for same tenure, including restrictions to not transfer shares to specified persons, a right of first offer in favour of Amazon, all of which are subject to mutually agreed exceptions (such as liquidity allowances and affiliate transfers). The transaction contemplated above is subject to obtaining applicable regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions,” Future Retail added.

It is interesting that Amazon is indirectly acquiring stake in Future Retail. Future Retail runs over 2,000 stores, including “Big Bazaar” retail stores, across 400 cities in India.

This is a developing story. More to follow…


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UPS takes minority stake in self-driving truck startup TuSimple – gpgmail


UPS said Thursday it has taken a minority stake in self-driving truck startup, TuSimple, just months after the two companies began testing the use of autonomous trucks in Arizona.

The size of minority investment, which was made by the company’s venture arm UPS Ventures, was not disclosed. The investment and the testing comes as UPS looks for new ways to remain competitive, cut costs and boost its bottom line.

TuSimple, which launched in 2015 and has operations in San Diego and Tucson, Arizona, believes it can deliver. The startup says it can cut average purchased transportation costs by 30%.

TuSimple, which is backed by Nvidia, ZP Capital and Sina Corp., is working on a “full-stack solution,” a wonky industry term that means developing and bringing together all of the technological pieces required for autonomous driving. TuSimple is developing a Level 4 system, a designation by the SAE that means the vehicle takes over all of the driving in certain conditions.

An important piece of TuSimple’s approach is its camera-centric perception solution. The system has a vision range of 1,000 meters, the company says.

The days of when highways will be filled with autonomous trucks are years away. But UPS believes it’s worth jumping in at an early stage to take advantage of some of the automated driving such as advanced braking technology that TuSimple can offer today.

“UPS is committed to developing and deploying technologies that enable us to operate our global logistics network more efficiently,” Scott Price, chief strategy officer at UPS said in a statement. “While fully autonomous, driverless vehicles still have development and regulatory work ahead, we are excited by the advances in braking and other technologies that companies like TuSimple are mastering. All of these technologies offer significant safety and other benefits that will be realized long before the full vision of autonomous vehicles is brought to fruition — and UPS will be there, as a leader implementing these new technologies in our fleet.”

UPS initially tapped TuSimple to help it better understand how Level 4 autonomous trucking might function within its network. That relationship expanded in May when the companies began using self-driving tractor trailers to carry freight on a freight route between Tucson and Phoenix to test if service and efficiency in the UPS network can be improved. This testing is ongoing. All of TuSimple’s self-driving trucks operating in the U.S. have a safety driver and an engineer in the cab.

TuSimple and UPS monitor all aspects of these trips, including safety data, transport time and the distance and time the trucks travel autonomously, the companies said Thursday.

UPS isn’t the only company that TuSimple is hauling freight for as part of its testing. TuSimple has said its hauling loads for for several customers in Arizona.  The startup has a post-money valuation of $1.095 billion (aka unicorn status).


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India’s Reliance to buy majority stake in Google-backed Fynd for $42.3M – gpgmail


Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is acquiring 87.6% stake in Fynd, a seven-year-old Mumbai-based startup that connects brick and mortar retailers with online stores and consumers, for 2.95 billion Indian rupees ($42.33 million), the two said in a brief statement late Saturday.

Fynd, which was founded in 2012, helps offline retailers sell their products to consumers directly through its online store, and also enables them to connect with other “demand channels” such as third-party e-commerce platforms Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart.

More than 600 brands including Nike, Raymond, Global Desi, and Being Human, and 9,000 stores are connected through Fynd’s platform, Harsh Shah, co-founder of Fynd, told gpgmail in an interview. Many brands also use Fynd’s products to ramp up sales on their own respective e-commerce businesses.

Since Fynd works directly with brands, it offers a wider selection of items and newer inventories to consumers, as well as faster delivery, Shah claimed.

Fynd’s website

Reliance Industries, the largest industrial house in the nation that owns the country’s biggest physical retail chain Reliance Retail, has been a customer of Fynd for more than six years, Shah said. “Reliance runs a few major brands in the country. 25 of our existing brands are owned by them. Our Find Store product has helped their stores plug a lot of sales,” he said.

Fynd, which counts Google as one of its early investors, will continue to operate its existing business and has an option to secure an additional 1 billion India rupees ($14 million) by end of 2021 from Reliance Industries, Shah said. He declined to reveal how much capital his startup had raised prior to this week’s announcement. According to Crunchbase, the amount was about $7.3 million.

“Reliance is taking the majority stake in Fynd, but at the end of the day, for us it is like any other investor coming in. We will still continue to work separately, we have our own independent roadmap, and we have own clients and products that we plan to grow. So things continue as it is,” he said.

Fynd, which takes a small commission on each transaction that occurs online, is already profitable on an operating level and expects to be fully profitable in the coming quarters, Shah said.

It will continue to build and scale its existing products, including OpenAPI that allows merchants to quickly list their products on either their own stores or third-party sites and manage their inventories and sales.

Despite tens of billions of dollars of investment in India’s e-commerce market in recent years by Amazon India and Flipkart, physical retail dominates much of the sales in the country. But e-commerce businesses are growing, too.

The nation’s e-commerce space is estimated to scale to $84 billion by 2021, up from $24 billion in 2017; compared to India’s overall retail market that is estimated to be worth $1.2 trillion by 2021, according to a recent study by Deloitte India and Retail Association of India.

Reliance Industries, run by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani (pictured above), additionally has its own plan to enter the e-commerce business in what could eventually become the biggest headache for Amazon since entering the nation more than six years ago. Earlier this year, Ambani announced that his telecom operator Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail are working on an e-commerce platform.

Reliance Jio, which began its commercial operations in the second half of 2016, recently became the nation’s biggest telecom operator with more than 331 million subscribers at the end of June.

Separately, Amazon.com is in talks with Reliance Industries to buy more than a quarter stake in Reliance Retail, a person familiar with the matter told gpgmail. News outlets Reuters and Economic Times were the first to report this development.


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