Uber back in the driver's seat

The ride-hailing company bought Careem Networks, its Dubai-based rival, for $3.1 billion.

Read time 5min 30sec
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

Uber's acquisition of its Dubai-based rival and a consortium buyout of Inmarsat made headlines in the international ICT market last week.

At home, the Naspers new listing news was the main local story.

Key local news

* A full-year loss from 4Sight Holdings.
* A positive trading update from Ayo Technology Solutions.
* DMP South Africa, the local branch of the European data management company DataManagement Professionals, launched its data centre in SA.
* Naspers intends to form a new global consumer Internet group, yet unnamed, comprising its international Internet assets that will be listed on Euronext Amsterdam, with a secondary listing on the JSE.
* The appointment of Keabetswe Modimoeng as acting chairman of ICASA.
* The resignation of Setumo Mohapi, CEO of SITA.

Key African news

* The appointments of Bethwel Opil as enterprise sales manager for Kaspersky Lab in Kenya; and Foster Plender as MD of Ghanaian ISP AfricaOnline, a Gondwana International Networks subsidiary.

Key international news

* Alibaba acquired Israeli start-up Infinity Augmented Reality, a company that it invested in three years ago.
* A private equity-led consortium, which includes UK-based Apax Partners, US-based Warburg Pincus, and two Canadian pension funds, bought Inmarsat, the British satellite operator, for $3.4 billion.
* Daimler Trucks purchased a majority stake in self-driving truck software maker Torc Robotics, as part of a broader push to develop autonomous vehicles.
* ON Semiconductor acquired Quantenna Communications, an innovator of high-performance WiFi solutions.
* Progress Software bought privately held Ipswitch, a leading producer of award-winning and easy-to-use secure data file transfer and network management software, for $225 million.
* Spotify Technology purchased Parcast, a premier storytelling-driven podcast studio.
* Uber acquired Careem Networks, its Dubai-based rival, for $3.1 billion.
* Alibaba made a $171 million investment in Qutoutiao, a leading mobile content platform company in China.
* Activist investor Elliott made an additional investment in German 3D printing firm SLM Solutions, raising its stake to 29.8%.

Look out for developments regarding the Lynch Autonomy/HP trial, the largest UK fraud case.

* A strategic partnership between Infosys and ABN AMRO, the third-largest bank in the Netherlands. As part of the announced partnership, Infosys will acquire 75% of the shareholding in Stater, a wholly owned subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank, which offers pure-play, end-to-end mortgage administration services in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
* Split decisions by a US government panel in acrimonious patent disputes between iPhone-maker Apple and chip supplier Qualcomm left their battle lines largely unchanged ahead of a US Federal Trade Commission ruling and a major trial next month.
* The EU has passed a new Internet copyright law.
* Very good year-end numbers from Hiwin, Huawei and Microgen.
* Good quarterly numbers from Red Hat (back in the black) and Synnex.
* Good year-end numbers from Scisys.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Accenture, BlackBerry (back in the black), Cheetah Mobile, FactSet Research and Verint.
* Satisfactory year-end figures from Chinesegamer (back in the black), CMC Magnetics (back in the black), E Ink, Hutchison 3G UK, Quanta Computer, Simplo Technology and Soft-World International.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Progress Software and Smart Global Holdings.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Foxconn, IHS Markit and Paychex, with revenue up but net income down; and from Partner Communications (back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
* Mixed year-end figures from SMIC, with revenue up but net income down; and from Canon and Clevo, with revenue down but net income up.
* Quarterly losses from Audio Eye, Boxlight, eMagin, iClick Interactive Asia, Payment Data Systems, SAIC, SecureWorks, SITO Mobile and voxeljet.
* A full-year loss from Cloudcall Group, Genesis Photonics and ZTE.
* The appointment of Shin Jung-ho as co-CEO of Line Corp.
* A US IPO filing from Yunji, a Chinese social e-commerce platform.
* A good IPO on Nasdaq by Lyft, the ride-hailing firm.

Research results and predictions

According to IDC:
* Worldwide smartphone ODM/EMS assembly shipment volumes dropped 6.2% year-over-year during 4Q18, with total shipments of 356.7 million.
* Worldwide shipments of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets are forecast to reach 8.9 million units in 2019, up 54.1% from the prior year. Strong growth is expected to continue as global shipments climb to 68.6 million in 2023, with a CAGR of 66.7% over the 2019-2023 forecast period.
* Vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, grew 28% year-over-year in 4Q18, reaching $16.8 billion.
* The worldwide market for PC monitors experienced an overall year-over-year decline of 2.1% in 4Q18. However, quarterly growth remained unchanged, with worldwide monitor shipments totalling 31.4 million units.
* The global market for smart home devices is expected to grow 26.9% year-over-year in 2019 to 832.7 million shipments.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.6%
* FTSE100: Up 1%
* DAX: Up 1.4%
* NYSE (Dow): Up 1.7%
* S&P 500: Up 1.2%
* Nasdaq: Up 1.1%
* Nikkei225: Down 1.9%
* Hang Seng: Down 0.2%
* Shanghai: Down 0.4%

Look out for

* Developments regarding the Lynch Autonomy/HP trial, the largest UK fraud case.

South Africa:
* Further information regarding Naspers' new company that will be listed overseas.

Final word

CRN recently published its Next Gen 250 list, which recognises standout IT solution providers that have successfully transformed their businesses to meet the demands of emerging technologies.

Included in the list are:
* Ameri100, a company that provides a range of cloud, enterprise and digital services, including AI, analytics, big data and IOT technologies.
* Animodus, a managed IT services provider.
* ArcTouch, which designs and develops applications for iOS, Android and Xamarin; and bot software for conversational platforms such as Alexa.
* Cantey Tech Consulting, a managed IT and tech services consulting business.
* Fishtech Group, which focuses on next-generation, data-driven cyber security solutions.
* goCloudOffice, which focuses on helping small businesses stay connected through the cloud.
* Innovapptive, a developer of mobile workforce management solutions.
* Logic Supply, a global industrial PC manufacturer.
* Nerdery, a provider of digital business transformation consulting services.
* River Point Technology, a provider of big data solutions.
* Xgility, a provider of services regarding business transformation initiatives.

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