May 17, 2020

Amazon rival Flipkart secures India's largest ever private investment from Softbank

Ecommerce
Retail
SoftBank
Flipkart
Callum Rivett
2 min
SoftBank invests in Amazon rival Flipkart
Japanesetech giant SoftBank has finally secured investment in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, with the rumoured amount in the region of $2.5bn accor...

Japanese tech giant SoftBank has finally secured investment in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, with the rumoured amount in the region of $2.5bn according to India's Economic Times.

If true, it would mean the largest ever private investment into India, beating out the previous funding round by Flipkart in April in which eBay, Microsoft and Tencent all participated.

The investment from SoftBank's Vision Fund sees Flipkart boost its balance sheet according to the company itself, stating: "After this financing round, Flipkart will have in excess of $4 billion of cash on its balance sheet."

"This deal is monumental and is recognition of India’s unparalleled potential to become a leader in technology and e-commerce on a massive scale," commented Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart.

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"We welcome Vision Fund and we will continue to build our business with a focus on serving the needs of all Indians, and driving the next phase of technology adoption in India."

Having failed to secure some of Flipkart last month when its bid to acquire Snapdeal fell apart, SoftBank has now got its hands on the Amazon rival.

Combating Jeff Bezos' new Indian arm will be a tough ask especially after the American promised extra funding in addition to the $5bn already pledged, but the boosted bank account will certainly be a welcome new weapon for Flipkart.

Masayoshi Son, Founder and Chairman & CEO of SoftBank, said: "We want to support innovative companies that are clear winners in India because they are best positioned to leverage technology and help people lead better lives.

"As the pioneers in Indian e-commerce, Flipkart is doing that every day."

 

 

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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