SoftBank Is Funding Every Side of a Bruising Startup Battle

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All this bubblenomics makes my head hurt.


MEXICO CITY—For two years, the legendary late-night snack spot El Moro relied on Uber Eats to deliver its churros and hot cocoa to takeout customers across the capital. Then, in late 2018, it dumped the Uber Technologies Inc. app for an exclusive deal with rival delivery startup Rappi Inc.
“Rappi pursued us really aggressively,” said Santiago Iriarte, El Moro’s chief executive. The Colombian company offered to make deliveries for 10% of the price of an order, compared with Uber’s 30%.
Uber is under siege in Latin America amid a bruising price war where its ostensible rivals are Rappi and China’s Didi Chuxing Technology Co. But here’s the twist. All the combatants have as their biggest owner the same tech investor, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., which has injected a total of $20 billion into the three.
Startup investors typically don’t back competing companies. SoftBank, which runs the world’s largest venture-capital fund, has poured so much money into popular tech categories that it created a sort of circular firing squad in which SoftBank-backed companies use SoftBank cash to attack one another.


h/t SpontaneousDisorder

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