SoftBank sells Flipkart stake to Walmart; Apple teams up with Volkswagen; Smartivity raises funds


India’s e-commerce major Flipkart announced US-based retail giant Walmart will acquire a 77 percent stake in the company for a whopping $16 billion earlier this month. What followed was speculation about whether Japanese investor SoftBank, which held a 21 percent stake in Flipkart, would keep its holding. Putting all questions to rest, the investor said it will sell its entire stake in Flipkart to Walmart. SoftBank invested more than $2 billion in Flipkart less than a year ago and will get $4 billion after the Walmart buyout.

Apple’s driverless car initiative has taken a new turn. After failed talks with German luxury carmakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Apple has teamed up with Volkswagen to build self-driving shuttles for its employees. As part of the current partnership, Volkswagen’s boxy T6 Transporter vans will be converted into autonomous shuttles for Apple employees in California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Image: Flickr)

New-Delhi based Smartivity Labs, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) toys design startup, has raised $2 million from Ashish Kacholia, an investor and Director-Research at Mumbai-based Lucky Securities. This round also saw participation from existing Smartivity investors S Chand Group, AdvantEdge Founders, and Ant Space.

Ashwini Kumar, Rajat Jain, Tushar A Amin, and Apoorv Gupta, Co-founders, Smartivity

Indonesian ride-sharing company Go-Jek announced it will invest $500 million in its international expansion strategy. The team said the company will foray into the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand over the next few months, and that it also intends to expand in Southeast Asia. Go-Jek will seek out local partners in the geographies it plans to foray in to ensure the new operations benefit from as much deep and varied market knowledge as possible.

Nadiem Makarim, Founder & CEO, Go-Jek

Ridesharing giant Uber announced that it was shutting down its self-driving programme in the state of Arizona in the US, two months after a fatal crash involving one of its autonomous SUVs killed a woman in Tempe. The company said that it plans to resume its self-driving programme in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and two cities in California later this year, even as it revealed that its revenue grew 70 percent year-on-year to $2.6 billion for the quarter ending March 31, 2018.

Image: Uber

Stacey Cunningham became the first woman President of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in its 226-year history. Stacey, who started work at the NYSE as a summer intern in 1994, became the organisation’s 67th President yesterday, as per a statement shared by NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange. She will be succeeded as Chief Operating Officer (COO) by John Tuttle.

Image: NYSE

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