SoftBank grabs ride-hailing opportunity

The group made a $2 billion investment in ride-hailing app Grab.
Read time 7min 30sec

Further developments regarding Facebook and several smallish acquisitions were the main stories of the international ICT market last week.

At home, EOH was in the spotlight once again.

Key local news

  • Good quarterly figures from MiX Telematics, with revenue up 14.2% and profit up 362%.
  • A positive trading update from Mustek.
  • A negative trading update from Ellies.
  • Blue Label Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, invested in Cape Town-based technology start-up Mobii Systems.
  • HAVAÍC, a Cape Town-based venture capital firm, made an investment in an early stage funding into US-based e-mail productivity software firm Sortd.
  • EOH Holdings has renamed its ICT services business iOCO.
  • EOH is selling off its stake in Twenty Third Century Systems and its subsidiaries for R122 million.
  • Facing the heat in the over-the-top space, pay-TV giant MultiChoice is looking to consolidate its digital assets.
  • A withdrawn JSE cautionary by the Huge Group.
  • The appointments of Thabo Mashegoane as president and chairman of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa; Moste Mfuleni as president of the Black IT Forum; and President Ntuli as MD of HPE South Africa.
  • The departure of Sharifa Hedy, acting MD of HPE South Africa.

Key African news

  • Kenyan-based DPO Group, the largest pan-African payment service provider, acquired SA payments company PayFast, in the biggest deal of its kind to date in Africa.

Key international news

PayPal has sued Lenmo, a little-known loans start-up, for trademark infringement.

  • Amazon acquired Israeli storage technology start-up E8 Storage.
  • Atos bought IDnomic, a European leader in digital identity management infrastructure.
  • Automation Anywhere, a robotic process automation provider, purchased France-based Klevops, a privately held company automation firm.
  • Capgemini acquired Konexus Consulting, the leading strategy and management consultancy for the energy industry in the German market.
  • EQT Partners bought a majority stake in Australian cloud and managed service provider Nexon Asia Pacific.
  • eStruxture Data Centers, a leading Canadian provider of carrier and cloud-neutral data centre solutions, purchased the assets of Shaw Communications' Calgary-1 data centre.
  • Everbridge acquired NC4, a leading global provider of threat intelligence solutions that empower businesses, government organisations and communities to assess and disseminate risk data and information to manage and mitigate the impact of critical events.
  • Japan’s Itochu Techno-Solution bought a majority in two Indonesian IT firms owned by CompNet for $74 million.
  • Microsoft purchased BlueTalon, a data privacy and governance service that helps enterprises set policies for how their employees can access their data.
  • Logically acquired Sullivan Data Management, another MSP.
  • bought OncoImmunity, a Norway-based bioinformatics company that develops proprietary machine learning software to support the fight against cancer.
  • Pensare Acquisition purchased Computex Technology Solutions, a solutions provider, for $65 million.
  • Rambus acquiredNorthwest Logic, a market leader in memory, PCIe and MIPI digital controllers.
  • SoftBank Group made a $2 billion investment in ride-hailing app Grab.
  • PayPal sued Lenmo, a little-known loans start-up, for trademark infringement.
  • The US’s Federal Trade Commission is looking into Facebook’s acquisitions as part of its anti-trust investigation, seeking to determine if it was part of a campaign to snap up potential rivals to head off competitive threats.
  • Worldpay and Fidelity National Information Services have completed their $43 billion acquisition deal.
  • Excellent quarterly results from Alteryx (back in the black), Dialog Semiconductor, Qualcomm, Twilio (back in the black) and Universal Display.
  • Very good quarterly figures from Fair Isaac, Kratos (back in the black), Paycom Software, Shopify (back in the black) and SS&C Technologies (back in the black).
  • Good quarterly numbers from Arista Networks (back in the black), Asia Image Tech, Booz Allen Hamilton, CDW, Equinix, Fortinet, Global Payments, Insperity, L3Harris Technologies, Mastercard, Mercury Systems, NCR (back in the black), Qualys, Qorvo, RealTek, Rogers, Sanmina and Unisys.
  • Good half-year figures from Chipbond Technology, GlobalData, Huawei, Sinbon Electronics and Unitech.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from ADP, Akamai, Allied Motion Technologies, Altice USA (back in the black), AMC Networks, American Tower, BCE, CGI, Cognizant, CRA International, Delta Electronics, Eaton, Elite Materials, Five9, Garmin, Gartner, Glu Mobile (back in the black), Infineon, Inovalon (back in the black), Iron Mountain, Iteq, Lattice Semiconductor (back in the black), Motorola Solutions, OpenText, PC Connection, Perficient, Radware, Sabre, SBA Communications (back in the black), Systemax, Telephone & Data Systems, Telus, TIM Participacoes, TiVo, Trimble, Tyler Technologies and Zebra Technologies.
  • Satisfactory half-year numbers from Capgemini and Spirent Communications.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from AMD, BT Group, Casa Systems, Cognex, DISH Network, Extreme Networks, IPG Phonics, Kulicke & Soffa, MKS Instruments, NetScout Systems, NXP Semiconductor, Panasonic, Rudolph Technologies, Samsung Electronics, Sensata Technologies, Sharp, Sierra Wireless, Silicon Motion Technology, Sony, TowerJazz, TTM Technologies, US Cellular, Veon, Vishay Intertechnology and WOW.
  • Mediocre half-year figures from Capita and Nuvoton.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Apple, ASE Technology Holding, Boingo Wireless, Brooks Automation, Corning, FormFactor, Forrester Research, GrafTech International, IGT, InterDigital, Leidos, LG Electronics, Monolithic Power Systems, Nintendo, Quanta Services, Sirius XM, SK Telecom, Sykes Enterprise, Verisk Analytics and Verizon Communications, with revenue up but net income down; and from Belden, Cardtronics, Cirrus Logic, Flexium Interconnect, Maxim Integrated Products, Seagate Technology, Stratasys (but back in the black) and Xerox, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Quarterly losses from 8x8, A10 Networks, Aerohive Networks, Amkor Technology, Arrow Electronics, Bandwidth, Bharti Airtel, Blackline, Coherent, CommVault Systems, Consolidated Communications, Cray, EA, FireEye, Fitbit, GoDaddy, GoPro, Groupon, I D Systems, Impinj, Innolux, Inphi, Intellicheck, Intelsat, inTest, MACOM Technology Solutions, MagnaChip Semiconductor, MicroStrategy, MobileIron, O2Micro International, Orbcomm, PDF Solutions, Pinterest, Pixelworks, PluralSight, Quad Graphics, Rambus, Rapid7, RealNetworks, RingCentral, Sequans Communications, Solar Winds, Spotify, Sprint, Square, SurveyMonkey, Tenable, Teradata, Varonis Systems, Vodafone Idea, Western Digital, Zendesk, Zix and Zynga.
  • Full-year losses from Appscatter Group, Immarsat and KCOM Group.
  • The appointments of Aman Bhutani as CEO of GoDaddy; Debashis Chatterjee as CEO of Mindtree; Yehia Maaty Omar as CEO of Curvature; Rishad Premji as chairman of Wipro; Yancey Spruill as CEO of DigitalOcean; and SN Subrahmanyan as non-executive vice-chairman of Mindtree.
  • The resignation of Scott Wagner, CEO of GoDaddy.
  • The departures of Mark Templeton, CEO of DigitalOcean; and Peter Weber, CEO of Curvature.
  • An excellent IPO on the NYSE by Dynatrace, a market-leading software intelligence platform that is purpose-built for the enterprise cloud.

Research results and predictions


  • The EMEA server market in Q119 reported a year-over-year increase in vendor revenue of 4.1% to $4.1 billion, and a year-over-year decrease of 3.6% in units shipped to around 520 000, according to IDC.


  • Global server shipments are expected to increase 12.8% sequentially in Q319, with a flat on-year performance, according to Digitimes Research.
  • The medical wearables market is predicted to be worth $19.7 billion by the year 2024, according to DTechEx.
  • The worldwide infrastructure as a service market grew 31.3% in 2018 to total $32.4 billion, up from $24.7 billion in 2017, according to Gartner. Amazon was once again the number one vendor in the IaaS market in 2018, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and IBM.
  • Worldwide sales of smartphones to end-users will total 1.5 billion units in 2019, a 2.5% decline year over year, according to Gartner.
  • Worldwide smartphone shipments declined 2.3% year-over-year in 2Q19 for the strongest quarterly performance since 2Q18, according to IDC. Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 333.2 million phones in 2Q19, which was up 6.5% over the previous quarter.
  • The worldwide public cloud services market grew 27.4% year-over-year in 2018, with revenue totalling nearly $183 billion, according to IDC.
  • The worldwide tablet market declined 5% year-over-year during 2Q19 as global shipments fell to 32.2 million units, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 2.3%
  • FTSE100: Down 1.9%
  • DAX: Down 4.4%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 2.6%
  • S&P 500: Down 3.1%
  • Nasdaq: Down 3.9%
  • Nikkei225: Down 2.6%
  • Hang Seng: Down 5.2%
  • Shanghai: Down 2.6%

Look out for


  • Further developments regarding the ‘big tech’ investigations.

South Africa:

  • Further spectrum allocation developments.

Final word

Each year, The Africa Report publishes its ‘500’ list of Africa’s largest companies measured by revenue. The following is some further analysis, from a technology perspective.

New entrants:

  • 69: Blue Label Telecom
  • 124: Algérie Télécom Mobilis
  • 165: Algérie Télécom
  • 201: Liquid Telecom
  • 250: Sonatel Mobiles

Upward movers:

  • 169: Econet Wireless (was 196)
  • 188: Orange Burkina Faso (was 485)
  • 370: Onatel (was 397)
  • 375: Vodacom Mozambique (was 432)
  • 380: Orange Guinée (was 405)
  • 425: Orange Tunisie (was 449)

Downward movers:

  • 294: MTN Cameroon (was 254)
  • 299: Tunisie Telecom (was 245)
  • 301: Zain Sudan (was 168)
  • 305: Ooredoo Tunisia (was 264)
  • 394: MTN Benin (was 359)
  • 464: Airtel Tanzania (was 421)
  • 468: MTN Congo (was 404)
  • 498: Mauritius Teel (was 368)
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