High Profile Team Joins Forest Road in Pursuit of M&E Deals

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, Martin Luther King III, and former Disney executives Tom Staggs, Kevin Mayer and Salil Mehta are among those who have formed a new special-purpose acquisition company. SPACs, often dubbed blank check companies, are a popular financial tool to raise money and list a company publicly without having to file for an initial public offering. According to a Security and Exchange Commission filing, the SPAC, Forest Road Acquisition, plans to raise $250 million for new media and entertainment deals. Continue reading High Profile Team Joins Forest Road in Pursuit of M&E Deals

SoftBank Debuts Vision Fund 2, Focused on AI Investment

SoftBank Group changed technology venture capital when it launched the Vision Fund in May 2017, by setting $100 million as the minimum investment. Since then, the Vision Fund, which raised almost $100 billion, has invested in Uber Technologies, Didi Chuxing Technology and other startups. Now, the Japanese company is debuting Vision Fund 2 and jumpstarting it with its own $38 billion investment. The fund, which will focus on artificial intelligence, has already drawn investment commitments from Apple and Microsoft. Continue reading SoftBank Debuts Vision Fund 2, Focused on AI Investment

High Profile Snap IPO Could Push Other Startups to Go Public

Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. has confidentially filed for its IPO, according to sources familiar with the matter. The four-year old messaging app could go public as early as March 2017, in what is expected to be one of the highest-profile stock debuts in years, and one that could potentially convince other tech startups to test public markets. The Venice, California-based company is looking to raise as much as $4 billion, with a valuation in the $25 billion range, which could make it the largest U.S.-listed tech offering since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba went public in 2014. Continue reading High Profile Snap IPO Could Push Other Startups to Go Public

UPS and CloudDDM Experiment with New 3D Printing Service

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service recently rolled out 100 industrial 3D printers at its hub in Louisville, Kentucky. UPS is testing whether 3D printing centers could impact supply chains and its transportation business — or prove advantageous for a new local production and delivery market. The company is proceeding cautiously; it does not want to see 3D printing cause a similar disruption to how the Internet undercut overnight document deliveries. The project is being run by Atlanta startup CloudDDM with plans to add another 900 printers next year. Continue reading UPS and CloudDDM Experiment with New 3D Printing Service

Deal Update: Vodafone and Verizon Agree on Financial Terms

Last week we reported that Verizon Communications had scheduled a board meeting to discuss the possible acquisition of Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, a deal that would be the second-largest acquisition on record and potentially lead to additional mergers across the global telecom industry. Vodafone confirmed late yesterday that terms of the deal call for Verizon to pay $130 billion. If approved by both boards, the deal could be announced as early as this afternoon. Continue reading Deal Update: Vodafone and Verizon Agree on Financial Terms