Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet company SoftBank (SFTBF) is said to have been approached by, and is in early talks with, DIY robotics maker Makeblock regarding an investment.

Makeblock is backed by Sequoia Capital and is looking to raise $60 million in financing, sources told Bloomberg. Makeblock is looking to double its valuation to $400 million in the series C round.

Talks between the two companies and the figures involved are preliminary, Bloomberg's sources pointed out.

Makeblock is competing with a host of other Chinese startups, as well as established companies that all want to get into a learning industry that is focused on science, technology, engineering, and math.

STEM education could become a $15 billion market by 2020, Beijing-based consultancy JMD Education told Bloomberg.

What's Hot On TheStreet

How can we argue with this one: Shark Tank Star Kevin O'Leary is more fond of Tesla's (TSLA - Get Report) product than its stock.

"At some point it has to fall to gravity," he said told TheStreet's Scott Gamm in an interview. "It's been trading on a different planet for years and now it has to trade on Earth." Amen.

Relax Apple stock bulls: For now, reports suggest a moderate delay in the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone 8 ramp, rather than something more severe points out TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa. So far, the market has shrugged off concerns on a possible delayed iPhone 8 release (as in it misses the holiday launch window). But it's worthwhile to keep something in mind: Apple shares have lagged the S&P 500 over the past month, so some doubt may be trickling into the bull camp.

Further, key Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM - Get Report) just served up some uninspiring figures that suggest waning smartphone demand.

This beverage executive just went off the rails: Hat tip to TheStreet's Lindsay Rittenhouse for an insightful interview with SodaStream's (SODA) CEO Daniel Birnbaum, who pulled no punches in his views on PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) and Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) .

Said Birnbaum on why his company's stock has surged this year:

The company is addressing mega trends - health and wellness, convenience, consumer choice and good, important values. We have the right product at the right time. Our competition is prehistoric and that might explain the success we've seen around the world, particularly in Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Norway, all over the world. This is not a local phenomenon. This is a global mega trend. We're looking to embrace a sustainable world for our children to live in.

Birnbaum didn't shut the door on making acquisitions, either.

OK Target, we see you: It looks like shoppers are noticing some more deals scattered about Target (TGT - Get Report) stores.

The discount retailer, which has sought to slash prices this year to better compete with rivals Walmart (WMT - Get Report) and Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) , said Thursday its second quarter results would come in above the high-end of its estimates for 95 cents a share to $1.15 a share. Target credited improved traffic and sales trends through the first two months of the second quarter.

Apple and PepsiCo are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL and PEP? Learn more now.

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