SoftBank pumps billions into world’s major tech firms
Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal and Zoom are among the 25 companies into which SoftBank has invested a total of $3.9 billion.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate most things, including the technology industry, and continues to have a significant effect on quarterly results. However, the IPO market is flourishing and acquisitions continue apace.
South African highlights
- Ayo Technology Solutions has entered into an agreement to acquire Kathea Communication and 60% of Kathea Energy for about R89.8 million.
- Datatec’s Logicalis Latin America has acquired a 30% stake in Brazil-based Kumulus, a specialist in Microsoft cloud and data managed services.
- Liquid Telecom SA has announced a strategic re-positioning as Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
- South African investigators are seeking to recover more than R400 million from SAP for two government contracts they allege were entered into unlawfully.
- Standard Bank has acquired a 35% equity stake in digital escrow company TradeSafe Escrow.
- The announcements of new CEOs at MTN Group and Net1 UEPS Technologies.
- Ethiopia’s ECA has suspended plans to privatise that country’s telecommunications industry.
- Kenya’s government has gazetted a new ICT policy, which mandates that foreign ICT companies facilitate 30% local ownership.
- Plans are afoot for MTN to exit the Middle East and focus on its burgeoning operations on the continent.
- Telkom Kenya has called off its merger with Bharti Airtel’s Kenyan unit.
- Accenture has acquired CreativeDrive, a content production specialist; and Organize Cloud Labs, a Brazil-based company operating as ServiceNow's first Elite partner in Latin America.
- Alibaba, Xiaomi and WuXi Biologics will enter the Hang Seng index next month, broadening Hong Kong's traditionally financial services-dominated index.
- Alphabet has made a $450 million investment in ADT, a home security firm.
- American Virtual Cloud Technologies and Ribbon Communications have entered into a definitive agreement for AVC Technologies to acquire Kandy Communications, an industry-leading proprietary, multi-tenant, highly-scalable cloud communications platform.
South African investigators are seeking to recover more than R400 million from SAP for two government contracts they allege were entered into unlawfully.
- Apple has become the first company to reach a market capitalisation of $2 trillion and has acquired Spaces, an AR technology start-up that was a former project of DreamWorks Animation.
- A federal judge on Monday blocked Apple from shutting down an Epic Games tool, Unreal Engine, a key graphics technology that is relied on by hundreds of other app makers but had become the subject of an anti-trust battle between the companies; although Apple was spared from having to immediately reinstate Epic Games’ Fortnite on its App Store.
- Aveva will buy OSIsoft in a $5 billion deal.
- Bain Capital has invested $750 million in Nutanix, a developer of cloud software for enterprises.
- ByteDance has acquired Caicloud, a Chinese cloud computing platform.
- Cisco has agreed to buys BabbleLabs, a provider of noise removal and speech enhancement technology.
- Cognizant has entered into an agreement to purchase Tin Roof Software, a privately held custom software and digital product development services company.
- ConvergeOne has acquired Altivon, a contact centre services provider.
- Datadog has bought Undefined Labs, a testing and observability company for developer workflows.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average will add Salesforce to its index.
- Epic games, the maker of Fortnite, has sued Apple and Google after removal of that game from their app stores.
- EQT has agreed to purchase EdgeConneX, a large data centre provider, for between $2.5 billion and $3 billion.
- Equinix has agreed to an all-cash transaction of $161 million for the Indian operations of GPX Global Systems, one of the main providers of carrier-neutral edge data centre services in Africa and South Asia.
- Facebook France has accepted paying more than €100 million in taxes, including a penalty relating to its accounting years before 2018; and has received a federal court's preliminary approval for a $650 million settlement related to a lawsuit that alleged the social media giant gathered biometric data of millions of its users without their consent.
- Genasys has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Amika Mobile, a Canada-based enterprise software provider of critical event situational awareness, communication and control products.
- Globant has acquired gA, a digital and cloud transformation services company.
- Google, Qualcomm and Nokia Technologies have invested in HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded smartphones.
- FARO Technologies has acquired Advanced Technical Solutions in Scandinavia, a Swedish-based leader in 3D digital twin solution technology.
- Insight Partners has invested in Keeper Security, a cyber security specialist; and Mural, a digital workspace for visual collaboration in the enterprise.
- Motorola Solutions has purchased Pelco, a global provider of video security solutions.
- Palo Alto Networks has agreed to buy The Crypsis Group, an incident response, risk management and digital forensics consulting firm ($265 million).
- KKR has reportedly made a binding offer for 38% of TIM’s secondary copper and fibre networks.
- Liberty Global has agreed to buy Sunrise Communications Group in a deal valued at $7.5 billion.
- Lumina Networks has announced it has begun the process of shutting down the business.
- Orange has signed a preliminary agreement with the Romanian government to take over the fixed-line operations of incumbent Telekom Romania.
- Pegatron has announced plans to merge with its metal chassis-making affiliate Casetek Holdings.
- Presidio has acquired Coda Global, a cloud consulting specialist.
- Qlik, a Thoma Bravo company, has acquired the assets and IP of Knarr Analytics, an innovative start-up that provides real-time collaboration, sophisticated data exploration and insight capture capabilities.
- Silver Sun Technologies has purchased Prairie Technology Solutions Group, a managed services provider.
- Smartsheet has agreed to buy Brandfolder, the creator of a digital content and brand management platform ($155 million).
- SiFive, an ARM rival and a start-up working to commercialise an open source semiconductor technology, has raised an additional $60 million in funding from investors, including SK Hynix and Saudi Aramco.
- SAP has acquired a minority stake in Vistex, an ISV partner that develops go-to-market, pricing, rights and royalty management, and other applications that work with SAP’s core ERP software.
- Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology (aka Xiao-i) has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.
- Sharp, a unit of Taiwan's Foxconn, will spin-off its low-margin liquid crystal display and camera module businesses, both of which have Apple as a client.
- The Softbank Group has invested $3.9 billion in Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal and Zoom Video Communications.
- The T2 Tech Group, an IT consulting and management services provider with a heavy focus on the healthcare industry, has acquired Plano’s patient access services business.
- Thoma Bravo has agreed to purchase Foundation Software, a provider of accounting software and payroll services for small and mid-sized construction contractors; and it has agreed to sell Ellie Mae to Intercontinental Exchange in a deal that values Ellie Mae at $11 billion.
- Take-Two Interactive Software plans to buy mobile developer Playdots for $192 million.
- Tencent Holdings has made a small investment in Voodoo, a French mobile games company.
- TTEC Holdings has agreed to acquire VoiceFoundry, a global partner of Amazon Web Services, creating an end-to-end CX delivery solution for Amazon Connect.
- Thoma Bravo-backed Veriforce has purchased ComplyWorks, a Canadian developer of compliance management software.
- Uber will buy UK-based Autocab, which sells booking and dispatch software to private hire firms.
- The UK’s Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed appeals by Huawei and ZTE in patent disputes with Unwired Planet International and Conversant Wireless Licensing.
- The Warner Music Group has acquired IMGN Media, a creator and curator of social media content focused on gaming, entertainment and related sectors.
- Zynga has entered into an agreement to buy Turkey-based Rollic, a mobile games developer and publisher.
- The announcement of new CEOs at Avnet, BlackLine, DAZAN Zhone Solutions, Infinera, Poly, SMART Global Holdings, Sanmina and Workday.
- An IPO filing in Hong Kong from the Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech arm.
- An IPO filing in Japan from Kioxia Holdings, the memory chipmaker spun out of Toshiba in 2018.
- IPO filings for China’s Nasdaq-like STAR market from the Ant Group and VeriSilicon Microelectronics, a Chinese electronics company.
- IPO filing for Nasdaq from JFrog and Sumo Logic.
- IPO filings for the NYSE from Amwell, Asana, Palantir, Snowflake and Unity Software.
- IPOs on Nasdaq by BigCommerce, Duck Creek Technologies, IBEX and Rackspace.
Stock market changes for August:
- JSE All share index: Up 0.6%
- FTSE100: Up 1.1%
- DAX: Up 5.8%
- NYSE (Dow): Up 8.4%
- S&P 500: Up 7.2% (highest close during this period)
- Nasdaq: Up 8.8% (highest close during this period)
- Nikkei225: Up 5.4%
- Hang Seng: Up 3.4%
- Shanghai: Up 2.8% (highest close since November 2017 achieved during this time)
- According to Gartner, worldwide government IT spending is forecast to total $438 billion in 2020, a decrease of 0.6% from 2019.
Fortune recently published its latest Global 500 list. Included in the top 50 are:
- 9: Amazon (was 13)
- 12: Apple (was 11)
- 19: Samsung Electronics (was 15)
- 22: AT&T (was 25)
- 26: Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) (was 23)
- 29: Alphabet (was 37)
- 44: Verizon Communications (was 43)
- 47: Microsoft (was 50)
In addition, Flex, Micron Technology and SK Hynix dropped out from the top 500; however, there were no new technology entrants.
Other key movements included:
- JD.com at 102 (was 139)
- Alibaba at 132 (was 182)
- Facebook at 144 (was 184)
- Tencent Holdings at 197 (was 237)
- Canon at 380 (was 345)
- Xiaomi at 422 (was 468)