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SoftBank Vision Fund Resumes Business with View and Zume Investment

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The massive SoftBank Vision Fund, which has financial support from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) among others, announced plans to invest US$ 1.1 billion into View Inc. View is a Silicon Valley-based company that raised money from investors such as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, TIAA Investments, and Madrone Capital Partners. View is a glass manufacturer for windowpanes that aims to save buyers on energy costs. Customers of View include Facebook Inc., FedEx Corporation, USAA, and the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

SoftBank Vision Fund, the US$ 93 billion tech-focused investment fund, also sank US$ 375 million into Zume, a pizza delivery startup. Zume was formed in 2015 and owns a patent for delivery trucks that can cook food while in transit.

SoftBank Capital NY participated in a Series A round in Domio, a New York-based travel technology platform. The round raised US$ 12 million and was led by Tribeca Venture Partners. Loric Ventures also invested in the Series A round.

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Mubadala and SAMI Forge Ties to Explore Areas of Collaboration

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Mubadala Investment Company and Saudi Arabia Military Industries Company (SAMI), which is a defence company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), agreed to a deal to partner and co-invest in defense manufacturing. This partnership grows defence ties between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Cryptocurrencies Creep into the Middle East

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Banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase disclosed its own digital currency called JPM Coin. The digital token will be used to settle payments between clients. JPM Coin will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and be based off Quorum. Quorum is J.P. Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. JPM Coin plans to compete with Ripple, which created XRP, another digital currency that is used for settlements. Ripple’s main target market is cross-border payments and remittances.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have unveiled their plans for Aber, an interbank digital currency. Both banks have indicated that Aber will be limited to financial settlements using distributed ledger technologies. It will be rolled out on a probational basis, and used by select banks within the two countries. A date for rollout has not yet been declared. A joint statement hinted at a broader application of the currency in the days ahead. If “no technical obstacles are encountered, economic and legal requirements for future uses will be considered.”‏ Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies will be employed. The plan is for ‘Proof-of-Concept’ testing, which involves studying and fully comprehending the ways modern technologies can achieve practical applications. The digital currency has the potential to become a reserve system for central payments.

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CPPIB Inks Partnership Vehicle with La Française and its Shareholder CMNE

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La Française and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) formed a strategic partnership for the launch of a real estate investment and development vehicle: Société Foncière et Immobilière du Grand Paris. The joint venture between CPPIB (80%) and Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) (20%), La Française’s shareholder, will invest in major real estate projects linked to the Grand Paris infrastructure in the Greater Paris area. The parties will initially allocate €387.5 million in equity to the venture. The partnership will target regeneration and infrastructure-led investments.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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