Top tech news, Oct 18: SoftBank uncertain on second US$100B Vision fund

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Investors fret that SoftBank’s plans could be disrupted by the intensifying furore surrounding Saudi Arabia

SoftBank uncertain on second $100B Vision fund [Financial Times]

SoftBank has voiced its doubts about the likelihood of a second US$100 billion Vision Fund for the first time, as investors fret that its plans could be disrupted by the intensifying furore surrounding Saudi Arabia.

Marcelo Claure, Softbank’s chief operating officer, said “there is no certainty” that SoftBank will launch another Vision Fund and added that no dates have been set.

Speaking at a technology conference in San Jose, Claure added that SoftBank is “anxiously looking at what is happening” in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom became the subject of international criticism after the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Fintech law to be enacted this year [Bangkok Post]

The Fintech Act is expected to be announced and become effective by the end of this year, making it easier for the public to process information and create a fintech platform, says the Thai Fintech Association (TFA).

TFA chief executive Anon Aunsinmun said the law will make it easier for investors, financial institutions and the public to obtain information and data from government organisations, although this is not personal information.

The act allows people to apply for several services without having to re-enter their information repeatedly, Anon said.

Naspers to lead new US$900M funding round in Indian food delivery app Swiggy [VCCircle]

Online food delivery startup Swiggy is close to finalising a term sheet to raise up to US$900 million (about Rs 6,625 crore at current exchange rates) from a consortium of investors led by South African technology conglomerate Naspers, two persons directly privy to the transaction told VCCircle on the condition of anonymity.

The deal is likely to be struck at a pre-money valuation of US$2.5 billion, one of the persons mentioned above said.

UK’s Entrepreneur First sets aside US$20M to build deep-tech startups in India
[DealStreetAsia]

London-based accelerator Entrepreneur First has earmarked US$20 million to build deep technology ventures in India over the next three years, a top company executive said.

Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First helps pre-idea or pre-founder startups find the right teams and co-founders, refine ideas and raise funds from local and global investors.

Entrepreneur First, which calls itself a “company builder”, has launched a six-month programme in Bengaluru to help build 50 deep-tech startups focusing on segments such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics along with tech-focused consumer companies.

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Source: E27