SoftBank-backed CloudMinds slashes workforce amid cash burn: sources

FILE PHOTO: The CloudMinds XR-1 robot performs for the visitors at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank-backed cloud robotics and artificial intelligence startup CloudMinds is slashing its workforce as it burns through cash after repeated attempts to list on the stock market, three people familiar with the matter said.

Headed by former China Mobile (0941.HK) research whiz Bill Huang, money-losing CloudMinds is the latest SoftBank (9984.T) portfolio company to lay off workers.

The job cuts include China, two of the sources said, where the bulk of the company’s workforce is based and from where most of its revenues originate.

All the sources declined to be identified because the information is not public.

CloudMinds did not respond to requests for comment and a

SoftBank representative declined to comment.

Valuations at the Japanese tech giant’s sprawling portfolio have come under increased scrutiny as investors question CEO Masayoshi Son’s bullish view of how quickly new technology can come onstream.

Around 175-225 people are being laid off among the 700-strong workforce in China, one of the sources said.

The layoffs will also leave the startup with only a nominal presence in the United States and Japan, two of the sources said, with the Silicon Valley office being closed and a small number of remaining staff moved to an office in Irvine, California.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by David Dolan and Susan Fenton


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