SoftBank Vision Fund in talks to invest in Germany’s used car portal Auto1

Billionaire Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., gestures while speaking during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund is in talks with Auto1 Group GmbH to invest in the German used-car portal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Vision Fund is set to invest more than 100 million euros ($116 million) in Berlin-based Auto1 at a valuation greater than 2.5 billion euros, said the person, who declined to be named as the discussions are private. No final decision has been made, the person said.

The investment would be SoftBank’s first major deal in Germany, where a burgeoning tech scene has developed in Berlin with companies including Rocket Internet SE, Zalando SE and Delivery Hero AG. Through its $93 billion Vision Fund, which counts technology giants like Apple Inc. as investors, SoftBank has invested in private companies including Slack Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos., and is finalizing plans to invest in Uber Technologies Inc.

Auto1 bills itself as an online stock exchange for used cars, buying vehicles from individuals and selling them on to dealerships. The company earlier this year raised 360 million euros from investors including Baillie Gifford & Co., Princeville Global and Target Global after doubling its sales to 1.5 billion euros in 2016.

The Financial Times had earlier reported the potential investment.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.