Energy Vault raises $110 million from SoftBank Vision Fund as energy storage grabs headlines

Imagine a moving tower made of huge cement bricks weighing 35 metric tons. The movement of these massive blocks is powered by wind or solar power plants and as a way to store the energy those plants generate. Software controls the movement of the blocks automatically, responding to changes in power availability across an electric […]

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Japan’s mobile payments app PayPay reaches 10 million users

Paytm, India’s biggest mobile payments firm, now has 10 million customers in Japan, the company said as it pushes to expand its reach in international markets. Paytm entered Japan last October after forming a joint venture with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan called PayPay. In addition to 10 million users, PayPay is now supported by 1 million […]

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Toyota partners with AI startup Preferred Networks on building helper robots for humans

Toyota is enlisting the help of startup Preferred Networks, a Japanese company founded in 2014 with a focus on artificial intelligence and deep learning, to help move forward its goal of developing useful service robots that can assist people in everyday life. The two companies announced a partnership today to collaborate on research and development […]

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Through a new partnership and $72 million in funding, LanzaTech expands its carbon capture tech

For nearly fifteen years LanzaTech has been developing a carbon capture technology that can turn waste streams into ethanol that can be used for chemicals and fuel. Now, with $72 million in fresh funding at a nearly $1 billion valuation and a newly inked partnership with biotechnology giant, Novo Holdings, the company is looking to […]

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Google’s Titan security keys come to Japan, Canada, France and the UK

Google today announced that its Titan Security Key kits are now available in Canada, France, Japan and the UK. Until now, these keys, which come in a kit with a Bluetooth key and a standard USB-A dongle, were only available in the U.S. The keys provide an extra layer of security on top of your […]

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Tencent brings cloud service to Japan in global push

The world’s largest video game publisher is looking outside its home country for growth. Tencent, the Chinese internet behemoth that operates WeChat and a few blockbuster games, announced on Friday that its cloud service has entered Japan as part of the firm’s international push in 2019. Tencent Cloud was already serving clients in Japan prior […]

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SoftBank announces AI-focused second $108 billion Vision Fund with LPs including Microsoft, Apple and Foxconn

SoftBank Group announced today that it will launch its second Vision Fund with participation from Apple, Foxconn, Microsoft and other tech companies and investors. Called the Vision Fund 2, the fund will focus on AI-based technology. SoftBank said the fund’s capital has reached about $108 billion, based on memoranda of understandings. SoftBank Group’s own investment […]

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ispace Europe tapped by the European Space Agency for mission to extract water from the Moon

Space startup ispace, which is headquartered in Japan but has a European subsidiary based in Luxembourg, will take part in PROSPECT, a program run by the European Space Agency (ESA) that intends to extreme water from the Moon’s southern pole, with a target mission date of 2024 or 2025. PROSPECT isn’t just a cool reference […]

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Toyota invests $600 million in Didi, with the two setting up a new joint venture for driver services

Didi Chuxing announced today that it has received new investment totaling $600 million from Toyota Motor Corporation. As part of the deal, the two companies will also set up a joint venture with GAC Toyota Motor to provide vehicle-related services to drivers on Didi’s ride-sharing platform. GAC Toyota itself is a joint venture between Toyota […]

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