Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork

SoftBank has been investing globally, including in US wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and US ride-sharing service Uber. (AP)
Updated 15 November 2018
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Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork

  • SoftBank confirmed the investment but referred queries to WeWork
  • WeWork has opened 11 locations in Tokyo, and has a few more in other cities in Japan
TOKYO: American office space-sharing company WeWork has obtained $3 billion in funding from Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
The new funding comes in addition to the $1 billion raised from SoftBank last quarter, WeWork spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka said Thursday.
WeWork, which targets startups, is operating not only in the US but also India, China, Peru, Israel and other nations, as well as Japan, where real estate is relatively expensive, allowing WeWork an opportunity to grow.
SoftBank confirmed the investment but referred queries to WeWork.
In a sign the company has other sources of funding, SoftBank is carrying out an initial public offering of its Japanese mobile subsidiary, set for Dec. 19. It’s likely to be one of the world’s biggest IPOs. The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved the listing of 1.6 billion shares this week at ¥1,500 ($13) a share, which would potentially raise more than ¥2 trillion ($20 billion).
In addition to WeWork, SoftBank has been investing globally, including in US wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and US ride-sharing service Uber.
WeWork has opened 11 locations in Tokyo, and has a few more in other cities in Japan. The buildings are spacious, although they are broken into smaller cubicles for lesser paying clients, and have nice interiors.
The spaces come with wireless and other office services, and have communal areas for networking and meetings, designed to make renting attractive to ventures.


Disney again makes history with takings above $7bn for 2018

Updated 11 December 2018
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Disney again makes history with takings above $7bn for 2018

  • Box office gross marks second biggest year for Disney
  • Latest offering "Mary Poppins Returns" expected to dominate box office

LOS ANGELES: Walt Disney Studios is again ending the year on a high note, posting more than $7 billion in global box office earnings, thanks to hits such as "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War."
"This is only the second time in history any studio has surpassed the $7 billion mark, after Disney's own industry-record 2016 global gross of $7.6 billion," the company said in a statement on Monday.
"The Studios' estimated international box office gross through December 9 is an estimated $4.069 billion, marking our second biggest year and the third biggest in industry history," it added.
Disney's success comes as the studio is set to release "Mary Poppins Returns" on December 19, which is expected to top the box office during the holiday season.
"To date, four of the top eight worldwide releases of the year are from The Walt Disney Studios, including the top two global and top three domestic releases," the company said.
"Avengers: Infinity War," made by Disney's Marvel subsidiary, led the way, earning $2 billion alone. It is followed by superhero movie "Black Panther," which earned $1.35 billion worldwide.
"Incredibles 2," made by Pixar, another Disney subsidiary, earned $1.24 billion.
Other top box office earners for 2018 are "Ant-Man and The Wasp," "Solo: A Star Wars Story," and "Ralph Breaks the Internet," which has held the number one spot at the North American box office for the third consecutive week.