[INSIDERS] Coinbase, EV Hive and SoftBank, Brigad, Sharp and Toshiba …
California startup Coinbase announced on a blog note the opening of an office in Japan. Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, operates in 32 countries, serving more than 20 million customers. The company still needs to obtain a license from the authorities before deploying to the archipelago.
Nao Kitazawa, former investment banker at Morgan Stanley Japan, has been appointed CEO of the subsidiary. Japan has 3.5 million investors in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, or 2.7% of the total population, according to a study by the Japanese Financial Services Agency published in April 2018.
The largest Indonesian co-working operator has just announced a fundraising of 20 million dollars. This round of funding is led by SoftBank Ventures Korea (a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank), H&CK Partners and Tigris Investment. Among the investors are also H&CK Partners, Tigris Capital, STIC Investments, the Korean internet portal Naver, and Line Ventures, the investment vehicle of the Japanese messenger Line.
This A Series aims to grow the company and its brand in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. EV Hive, based in Jakarta, plans to open 100 sites outside of its home market, notably in Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.
EV Hive was founded in 2015, and currently operates 21 workspaces in Indonesia, covering an area of over 30,000 square meters. Ev Hive claims 3,500 tenants per month, and around 5,000 customers on the daily pass. It plans to open two additional centers in the Indonesian capital. The startup had raised $ 800,000 in May 2017, then $ 3.5 million in September of the same year.
The coworking and collaborative work market in Asia is booming, and major deals follow one another at a sustained pace, with millions of dollars: raising of 3 million dollars from its rival ReWork from the Chinese UCommune ( ex-UrWork), takeover of Woo Space and New Space by the same UCommune, then merger of UCommune with its rival WorkingDom, raising of $ 177 million for the Singaporean JustCo, etc. The American unicorn WeWork, which is backed by the parent company of SoftBank Ventures Korea, also announced the opening of new spaces in Jakarta.
Toshiba is offloading much of its PC business to another Japanese company, Sharp. Following the transaction, which amounts to 4 billion yen (31 million euros at the price retained by the group) Sharp will own 80.1% of Toshiba Client Solutions (PC, mobile computing for professionals and on-board recorders ). Toshiba will keep the remaining 19.9%.
Toshiba’s PC division, which was once world number one, is now in deficit. In 2017-2018, the operating loss reached 65 million euros. For its part, to face a difficult period, Sharp had abandoned its PC business. Since then, the company has been bought by the Taiwanese Hon Hai, better known under the trade name Foxconn, and wishes to combine its technologies, screens, various sensors and computer platforms, with those which belonged to Toshiba.
Brigad, the French platform specializing in connecting businesses and staff in the hotel and catering industry, is expanding with the opening of an office in London. The startup was already present in Paris and Lyon.
This announcement is part of the company’s international expansion strategy. Upstream of its installation across the Channel, the company has already established partnerships, in particular with the Caravan restaurant chain. Brigad’s solution was launched in 2016.
Interview with Florent Malbranche, co-founder of Brigad, conducted in September 2017.