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FB Roundup: Bosch, impact divesting, and Nintendo

Bosch buys stake in digital mapping pioneer Here; new study on responsible impact divestment; and Nintendo Switch beats its own sales record

Bosch buys stake in digital mapping pioneer Here

Two of Germany’s largest tech manufacturers—Continental and family-owned Bosch—have bought stakes in Here, the digital mapping service expected to be vital to the development of self-drive cars.

The companies bought 5% apiece for an undisclosed amount, with Bosch’s chairman Dr Volkmar Denner saying the deal affirmed his company was “more than cars”.

A household name due to their consumer appliances, this sector only made up 17.6% Bosch’s business in 2016, compared to nearly 44% of revenue from mobility solutions and car parts.

“Industry 4.0, smart homes, and smart cities are rapidly growing areas of business for us, in which establishing and expanding database services will result in synergies with Here,” Denner said.

Here’s maps are accurate to within centimetres, and are expected to be important as “industry 4.0”, also known as the internet of things, takes off. The internet of things is the idea that more and more devices—including appliances and cars—will become internet connected and automated.

Here was bought from Nokia by Audi, BMW and Daimler for $3.1 billion, in 2017.

Bosch is majority-owned (92%) by a family foundation, Robert Bosch Stiftung, honouring the legacy of the company’s 1886 founder, while 7% of the shares are held directly by the Bosch family. The remaining 1% is publicly owned.

New study on responsible impact divestment

New research explores a crucial phase of impact investing: How to get out.

Lasting Impact: The Need for Responsible Exit, by the Global Impact Investing Network (the GIIN), aims to guide families and other investors on how to safeguard the impact of their investments even as they pull away from them.

It includes 30 interviews with investors and entrepreneurs, including case studies on Adobe Capital’s exit from a natural gas conversion company, Lok Capital’s exit from a microfinance institution, Beartooth Capital’s sale of ranchland, and LeapFrog’s exit from an insurance provider.

The Global Family Office Report 2017, produced by Campden Wealth and UBS, found 40% of family offices plan to increase their impact investment allocations this year.

The GIIN report looks at how investors can balance liquidity requirements and impact. It looks at the lifecycle from pre-investing to divesting.

Nintendo Switch beats own sales record

Nintendo Switch has become the fastest-selling gaming console in US history, beating its own record, the same week it announced the revival of another cult game.

Nintendo Wii is the best-selling console of all time, but Nintendo said on January 4 that strong holiday sales meant 4.8 million Switches had sold in 10 months in the US, 800,000 more than Wii did in the same timeframe.

The portable Switch launched on 3 March, 2017. In the US, more than 60% of Nintendo Switch owners have Super Mario Odyssey, and more than 55% own The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This week the company announced the May release of landmark action-adventure game Dark Souls, also expected to be a top-seller.

Nintendo, with annual revenue of $4.4 billion, was founded in 1889 and is now owned by the sixth generation of the Yamauchi family.

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