Investment in Ustream, Inc.February 2, 2010
SOFTBANK CORP. (hereafter “the Company”) announces that on January 29, 2010, it completed its initial investment of approximately USD 20 million (approximately JPY 1.8 billion, investment ratio of 13.7%) in Ustream, Inc. (Head office: California, USA; President: John Ham, hereafter “Ustream”), operator of the Ustream.TV website, a broadcast platform offering live video distribution service via the Internet (video streaming service). Assuming all available options granted to the Company to acquire additional shares are exercised by July 2011, the Company's total investment is expected to be approximately USD 75 million (investment ratio expected over 30%) and will result in the Company becoming Ustream's top shareholder.
Ustream commenced operations in March 2007 and has been providing services to enable users to distribute and watch beautiful live videos and to watch distributed videos anytime by a PC or a smart phone. Currently, Ustream has more than 50 million monthly viewers and features distribution of a variety of premium content (movies, music, sports and more) in collaboration with media/content holders. In addition, users can communicate with each other while enjoying videos through Ustream's collaborations with Twitter and MySpace. Downloads for Ustream iPhone applications has exceeded 1.5 million and the number of users is surging, driving expectations for further growth going forward.
The SOFTBANK Group has invested in overseas companies with high potential to provide next generation services using the Internet, including the world's largest social application providers, RockYou, Inc. (about 250 million monthly users) and Oak Pacific Interactive (which operates China's largest SNS site, “RenRen”) (about 120 million users). In February 2009, the Company and RockYou, Inc. established RockYou Asia Inc., (Major capital structure: SOFTBANK CORP. 44% RockYou, Inc. 44% GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. 9%) which already offers applications in Japan and other Asian countries featuring additional new tastes tailored to the cultures and customs of each country. By leveraging this investment in Ustream and through its other efforts, the SOFTBANK Group continuously aims to generate synergies among various content and services within its group.
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