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GlobalWafers Boosts Siltronic Takeover Bid To $5.3B

In November, the Taiwanese semiconductor wafer company GlobalWafers made an offer to acquire its German rival Siltronic for 125 Euros ($149.70) per share, a price that amounted to about  3.75 billion Euros ($4.5 billion) when the deal was announced. After GlobalWafers proposed its offer, Siltronic shortly after accepted , clinching one of the biggest deals in the semiconductor industry as of late.  Now, GlobalWafers has apparently seen fit to sweeten its takeover bid for Siltronic and boosted the proposed price from 125 euros per share to 145 euros ($176.53) per share, adding up to a price of $5.3 billion. It's a 16% increase from the previous price and a 28% premium to Siltronic's closing price on November 27, the day GlobalWafers formally announced its takeover offer for the company. As it looks, Siltronic's management team and board are cheering up to GlobalWafers' sweetened offer, stating that the company "considers the tender offer attractive". A $5.3 bil
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Enterprise Services Marketplace Globality Nabs $138M Round

Globality, a Menlo Park-based startup providing an 'AI-powered' marketplace used by enterprises for sourcing strategic services, has raised a fresh Series E funding round of $138 million from two investors; Sienna Capital and the SoftBank Vision Fund. Sienna Capital is a subsidiary of the publicly-traded Belgian holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). Sienna Capital is a new investor in Globality whereas the SoftBank Vision Fund is a returning investor.  With the new funding round, Globality has now raised a total of $310 million in venture funding. Globality provides a marketplace used by enterprises to source strategic services. The company bills its platform as AI-powered, matching companies with strategic suppliers with the help of artificial intelligence. Globality was founded in 2015. The company raised its first venture round of $10 million in March 2015, then $27.25 million in December that same year, $35 million in March 2017, and a $100 million round in Januar

Uber Trims Postmates Workforce; CEO To Depart

After acquiring its rival food delivery app Postmates in December, Uber appears to have moved to trim the company's workforce as it consolidates its operations. The company laid off 185 Postmates staff on Thursday,  The New York Times reports , with the layoffs being part of a broader shift that'll also see most of Postmates' executive team depart, including its CEO Bastian Lehmann. According to the Times, some Postmates vice presidents and other executives will leave with multi-million-dollar exit compensation packages whereas some rank and file employees may see reduced compensation packages. The 185 laid-off employees sum up to 15% of Postmates' total headcount. As it looks, while Uber has said that Postmates will remain a separate brand, much of the infrastructure behind the food delivery service and Uber's own Uber Eats service will be run by Uber's long-time Vice President of Delivery,  Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty .  The most noteworthy news from the Times&

TV Host Larry King Dead At 87

Larry King, the popular television and radio host best known for his stint at the news network CNN, has passed away aged 87. His company, Ora Media, announced King's death on Saturday, the same day he passed away at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. King made his mark as a popular television and radio host with a career that spanned over six decades. He began as a local Flordia journalist and radio interviewer in the 1950s to 1960s and gained prominence circa 1980 as host of  The Larry King Show , a radio program on the now-defunct Mutual Broadcasting System. From 1985 to 2010, Larry King hosted the nightly television program Larry King Live on CNN, where he gained the most prominence. After his CNN stint, he moved on to other platforms such as Hulu and RT America. For his work, King was famous and well-recognized with two Peabodys, an Emmy award, and 10 Cable ACE Awards. Aged 87 and with a career spanning over six decades, he made his mark in the televis

EV Charging Company EVgo To Go Public

EVgo, a company that operates a network of fast charges for electric vehicles in the US, has sealed a deal to go public through a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corporation. The merger will hand over $575 million in cash to EVgo for its operations and value the company at $2.6 billion. EVgo is the latest company from the electric vehicle industry to seal a deal to hit the public markets. The company is itself a subsidiary of LS Power, an employee-owned and independent power and energy company in the US. For its merger, EVgo will get $230 million in cash held in trust by the SPAC it's merging with plus an additional $400 million committed by private investors including PIMCO, BlackRock, and Wellington Management. The merger will see EVgo start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). EVgo is a major electric vehicle charging network in the US, with more than 800 locations across 34 states. The company

Databricks Raising Funds At $27B Valuation: Report

Databricks is a well-known data analytics company that grew out of the  AMPLab big data project at the University of California, Berkeley. It's a venture-backed company, with just shy of $900 million  raised in total and a valuation of $6.2 billion from its last funding round in October 2019. Now, it seems that Databricks is about to more than quadruple its private valuation. The company is in talks with investors to raise a new funding round at a valuation of $27 billion, reports tech journalist Eric Newcomer . It's said that buy-side public investors seem to be the ones in talks to invest in Databricks at a $27 billion valuation, not surprising given that Databricks is likely on its way to a public listing. As it looks, the company may raise the last round before it goes public, wherein investors would want to buy in at the last moment at a high valuation. With a $27 billion valuation, Databricks would make its mark as one of the highest-valued private software companies glo

Chinese AI Startup 4Paradigm Raises $700M

4Paradigm is a well-known venture-backed AI startup that was founded by former executives as the Chinese search giant Baidu. Now, the company has announced  that it's raised a fresh funding round of $700 million led by three investors; Boyu Capital, Primavera Capital, and HOPU Investments.  Other participants such as Sequoia Capital, Goldman Sachs, Mubadala, and the China-UAE Joint Investment Fund chipped into the new funding round for 4Paradigm. With its new round, 4Paradigm will work to expand its business. The company has now raised a total of over $1 billion in funding to carve a lucrative market share in the AI software market for itself. 4Paradigm provides a suite of AI software for enterprises. It's one of the fastest-rising Chinese AI startups, having been founded only six years ago.  With its new funding round, 4Paradigm has cemented its place as one of the highest-funded AI startups globally, a status that makes the company an ideal one to watch out for. 

Tastytrade Sells For $1B; 2nd Big Exit For Founder

Tastytrade is a popular platform that provides financial media and content for investors and traders as well as provides a platform for its users to trade options and derivatives. Now, it's the latest fintech startup to head for a big exit with a $1 billion sale to the British electronic trading company IGN Group. Tastytrade will be joining IGN in a deal valued at $1 billion net of cash held by Tastytrade. The price is split into $300 million in cash and the remainder with IGN stock. It represents a lucrative exit for Tastytrade which is backed by some $47 million in venture funding. Apparently, IGN, a British company that provides options and derivatives trading and brokerage services for professional investors, is betting that the appeal of retail investors that Tastytrade targets will boost its business. It's agreed to pay a big $1 billion for a company with more than 105,000 active trading accounts that'll then fall under its control. Tastytrade's $1 billion sale r

Patreon Considering 2021 IPO: Report

Patreon, the popular subscription and membership platform for content creators, is considering a public listing this year and has met with banks for that as well as drawn interest from special-purpose acquisition companies, according to a report from The Information . Patreon is said to have recently surpassed $100 million in annualized revenue, a rapid growth from the previous year. As reported, the company is now seeking an exit on the public markets and seems to prefer a traditional public offering for that rather than the route of a merger with a  special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to which it's drawn interest. Founded in 2013, Patreon has made its mark as a go-to membership and subscription platform for content creators to generate revenue. The company says it now serves more than 200,000 creators earning revenue from over 4 million monthly subscribers. Patreon is a venture-funded company, with some $257 million raised in total. With such kind of venture backing, it&#

Corporate Travel Startup TripActions Raises $155M, Valued At $5B

TripActions, a well-known corporate travel startup, has raised a Series E funding round of $155 million that values it at $5 billion, it's announced . The new round was led by existing investor Andreessen Horowitz and new investors Addition Ventures and investor Elad Gil. It also saw participation from Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Greenoaks Capital. The new round values TripActions at $5 billion, up from $4 billion at the time it last raised private funding before now. It comes at a time when TripActions has had to adjust largely to a Covid-19 pandemic that in its early months wrecked corporate travel. In fact, TripActions saw its business dwindle and had to raise an urgent $125 million lifeline round  in June 2020. Now, corporate travel has gradually begun to recover, making TripActions' business more stable. Since March 2020, the company pushed to launch 40 new product features, including a Covid-19 dashboard for travelers, safety reporting, and enhanced ex

Chinese E-Tutor Huohua Siwei Heads For US IPO

Huohua Siwei, a Chinese e-tutoring company backed by investors including the Chinese tech giant Tencent and private equity firm KKR, appears to be on its way towards a public listing that could come this year. The company has picked banks including Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to work on a public offering in the US, Bloomberg reports . Huohua Siwei, or Spark Education in English, is a major e-tutoring provider in China, serving children aged 3 to 12. It's backed by some $443 million in venture funding from investors including Tencent, KKR, The Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital, and GGV Capital. 2020 was a great year for e-tutoring services as the Covid-19 pandemic largely increased the demand for online learning activities. As such, it seems that Huohua Siwei is looking to ride that boom all the way to the public markets. The company is said to be seeking to raise as much as $500 million from a US public offering. Just like Huohua, another major Chinese e-tutor

Coinbase Buys Crypto Startup Bison Trails

Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, has confirmed that it's reached a deal to acquire Bison Trails, a startup that provides software infrastructure for blockchain and crypto companies. Bison Trails' platform helps power critical infrastructure for crypto exchanges, custodians, and funds. The financial terms of Coinbase's latest acquisition weren't disclosed. But for a hint, rumors have it that it's Coinbase's biggest-ever acquisition and before now, Coinbase's biggest acquisition was known to be the crypto trading company Tagomi, for a reported $75 million+. Bison Trails is backed by some $31 million in venture funding, with one of its investors being Coinbase. Other notable investors in the company include Initialized Capital, Blockchain Capital, Galaxy Digital, and Kleiner Perkins. Bison Trails was founded in 2018 as a platform to make it easier for crypto companies to power their crypto services and applications. With its infrastructure, cry

Medtronic Backs Former CEO's $750M SPAC

Medtronic, the publicly-traded medical devices giant, has backed a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) set up by its former CEO Omar Ishrak who's also the current Chairman of the chipmaker Intel. Compute Health Acquisition Corp is a new SPAC formed by Ishrak and has filed to raise $750 million from investors. In its filing , Compute Health indicated that Medtronic has expressed interest to purchase 1.5 million share units for a price of $15 million and may later determine to purchase even more than that. Compute Health  Acquisition Corp  is offering 75 million shares for $10 each and has drawn interest from Medtronic to purchase 2% of the shares it's issuing. With the SPAC boom over the past year and the prowess of its founder Omar Ishrak, it looks like  Compute Health won't struggle to raise the entire $750 million. Apart from Ishrak, other people involved with  Compute Health  Acquisition Corp include  Medtronic executive Jean Nehme and hedge fund manager Joshua F

Mercedes-Benz Unveils New Electric SUV

The German premium auto brand Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new all-electric SUV, the EQA . It's an electric SUV that bears resemblance to the popular GLA brand of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. It's priced starting at 47,540 euros ($57,550) in Germany and expected to go on sale in the first half of 2021. The EQA is the smallest electric SUV to be unveiled by Mercedes-Benz. Its specifications and features include; 265 miles (426km) of range for the standard EQA 250 option Output -  188 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds Drag coefficient of 0.28 Lithium-ion battery with 200 cells, DC fast charging Assisted driving Both in its exterior and interior, the EQA bears much resemblance to the GLA brand of Mercedes-Benz SUVs but in its case is all-electric. It seems ideal for customers that prefer the GLA vehicles but are looking to switch to an eco-friendly option. The EQA is the second electric SUV unveiled by Mercedes-Benz after the EQC , which like the EQA bore res

Wattpad Sells For $600M+ To South Korea's Naver

Wattpad, the popular social storytelling platform, is the latest Canadian startup to get a big exit, having just been sold to the South Korean search engine and internet services giant Naver. Naver has agreed to pay over $600 million in cash and stock to buy Wattpad, a press statement from the company notes. The acquisition of Wattpad is strategic to Naver and will see the popular story publishing site aligned with Naver's own Korean-focused publishing portal Webtoon. Together, Wattpad and Webtoon will have a global monthly audience of 160 million people, Naver says. A $600 million+ exit represents a good price-wise exit for Wattpad, a company that's backed by a total of $118 million  in venture funding. Investors in the company that'll see significant returns from Wattpad's sale include Khosla Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Kickstart Ventures, and the Chinese tech giant Tencent. Upon the completion of its sale, Wattpad will continue to be headquartered in Canada where

Electric Car Startup Rivian Raises Fresh $2.65B Round

Just six months after closing a funding round of $2.5 billion , the electric car startup Rivian has closed a fresh funding round of $2.65 billion led by T. Rowe Price Associates, with participation from Fidelity, Amazon, Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners.  The new round reportedly values Rivian at a whopping $27.6 billion, making it the most valuable electric car startup globally even before delivering its first product. With the round, Rivian has now raised a total of $8 billion in venture funding since the start of 2019, an unprecedented amount for a private auto company of its kind.  With two vehicles in the pipeline set to be launched this year, the  R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV, Rivian has apparently raised a new big round to strengthen its push into a competitive electric car market. The company is targeting US deliveries of its R1T pickup in June and for its R1S SUV in August. As it's set to launch its cars, Rivian will be heading into a competitive and increasingly cro

Microsoft, Honda Back GM's Cruise In Fresh $2B Round

A group of investors including the software giant Microsoft and the automaker Honda have participated in a $2 billion round for Cruise, a well-known self-driving company controlled by the automaker General Motors (GM). Both companies participated along with GM and other unnamed institutional investors, with the round valuing Cruise at $30 billion post-money. The fresh $2 billion investment cements Cruise's position as one of the highest-funded autonomous driving companies. With the new round, Cruise has now raised a whopping $7.3 billion in venture funding since it was founded. Under the terms of the investment, Cruise and its parent General Motors have entered into a commercial partnership with Microsoft to work towards the commercialization of self-driving vehicles. To that, Microsoft's Azure cloud will be adopted as the primary cloud provider for  Cruise and General Motors '  self-driving efforts. Another participant in the new round, Honda, already had a working relatio

Vista Buys Wrike For $800M, Flips For $2.25B To Citrix

In 2018, the tech-focused private equity firm Vista Equity Partners bought a majority stake in the project management software company Wrike for a reported $800 million. Now, just under three years later, it's flipped the company for a price of $2.25 billion, nearly triple what it paid for it. The software giant Citrix was the acquirer. Citrix has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Wrike for $2.25 billion in cash, clinching a sweet profit for Vista. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Wrike as a company was founded in 2006 and bootstrapped for a few years before taking venture funding later on. Prior to being acquired by Vista in an $800 million deal, the company had raised a relatively paltry  $26 million in venture funding. With a big exit to Vista, it continued to grow and ended 2020 with a $140 million annual run rate and says it expects a 30% jump to between $180 million and $190 million this year. To help fund Wrike's acquisiti

Cisco Gets China Nod For $4.5B Acacia Takeover

Just a while after sweetening its Acacia takeover deal from $2.6 billion to $4.5 billion, Cisco has gotten the required approval from China's antitrust regulator to go ahead with its proposed takeover, clearing the hurdle for the deal to go through.  The approval came from China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the country's antitrust regulator. Before now, Cisco made an earlier $2.6 billion bid for Acacia but later got rebuffed by the company on the grounds that it didn't gain the required approval from China's antitrust regulator in the stipulated time. Now, with a takeover deal that was hiked from $2.6 billion to $4.5 billion, the hurdle appears to have been cleared for Cisco to buy Acacia, which is a major producer of optical communications equipment. It marks a big deal for Cisco to open 2021 with. As it looks, Cisco first struck a deal to buy publicly-traded Acacia Communications in July 2019 but will complete its acquisition in 2021. The

Intel Chairman Plans $1B Health-Tech SPAC

Omar Ishrak, a business veteran who is the Chairman of the chipmaking giant Intel and was previously the CEO of the medical device company Medtronic, has laid out plans to raise up to $1 billion for a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focused on the health-tech sector, Bloomberg reports . According to reports, Ishrak's SPAC is planning to raise between $750 million to $1 billion from its initial public offering (IPO). Also involved in the SPAC apart from Ishrak is Medtronic executive Jean Nehme and hedge fund manager Joshua Fink, who is notably the son of Larry Fink, the CEO of the asset management giant BlackRock. The investment bank Goldman Sachs will lead the public offering for Ishrak's SPAC, Bloomberg reports. Ishrak is a technology veteran who served as the CEO of Medtronic, a publicly-traded medical device company, from June 2011 to April 2020. He was appointed as the Chairman of Intel's board in January 2020. Before joining Medtronic, Ishrak was the Presi

Ride-Hailing Company Grab Ponders $2B IPO This Year: Report

Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant, is exploring a listing in the US this year that could raise at least $2 billion, Reuters reports . Grab is a major ride-hailing service in the Southeast Asian region and also operates businesses in many other areas such as payments, food delivery, and on-demand courier services. The reports of Grab looking to go public comes on the heels of reports of its major rival, Gojek, seeking to merge with another Southeast Asian internet giant, Tokopedia , and then heading for the public markets. Grab is one of the biggest-funded technology companies in Asia and globally at large, with a whopping $10 billion in venture funding raised. It's valued at over $16 billion by its investors, making it the most valuable private technology company in Southeast Asia. A US IPO for Grab would make it one of the few Southeast Asian technology companies to trade on a US stock exchange. For now, the only tech company with major operations in Southeast Asia th

Hike Messenger Wounds Down Operations

Hike Messenger, a fairly popular Indian chat app that sought to rival Facebook's WhatsApp in the world's second-most populous nation, appears to have wound down its operations and disappeared from app stores. It isn't surprising, as earlier this month Hike announced that its app will be pulled off from stores without explanation. As it seems, Hike failed to establish itself in the midst of strong competition and has pulled the plug. The company burned through some $261 million in venture funding, with its funding last round coming in 2016; a $175 million round co-led by Tencent and Foxconn that valued Hike at $1.4 billion. Hike was founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal, an internet entrepreneur who is notably the son of the Indian billionaire businessman Sunil Bharti Mittal. The name Bharti Enterprises is well known in the Indian business world, having diversified interests in many industries and most famously the telecom operator Bharti Airtel. At its peak, Hike Messenger is kn

UK Food Delivery Startup Deliveroo Raises $180M, Valued At $7B+

The UK-based on-demand food delivery startup Deliveroo has raised a fresh funding round of over $180 million that values it at over $7 billion, a press statement from the company notes. The new round was led by Durable Capital Partners and Fidelity, both American investment firms. Deliveroo says that the new round precedes a potential public listing, not unexpected given that the company is widely considered to be an imminent IPO candidate. As it seems, the latest round of funding could be the last that Deliveroo raises before it hits the public markets. Deliveroo made its mark as one of the biggest food delivery services in the UK and further expanded into many other European countries. The company now operates in almost 800 towns and cities globally working with 140,000 restaurants and 110,000 courier drivers. By its accounts , Deliveroo posted £771.8 million ($1.05 billion) in revenue in 2019, up 62% from the previous year. Due to hefty and costly expansion investments, the company

GitLab, Valued At $6B+, Eyes Public Listing

After hitting a valuation of over $6 billion from a secondary funding round this December, the Git repository company GitLab now has its eyes set on a public listing. The San Francisco-based company is exploring options to go public soon, either through a public offering or a SPAC merger, its CEO Sij Sijbrandij noted in a statement to CNBC . “There are a lot more options and we’re following the market,” Sijbrandij said, adding that SPACs present an “interesting alternative that’s also on our radar”. GitLab could go public by selling shares on the public markets through a traditional offering or merging with an already public special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is a route that many tech companies have taken over the past year. According to  Sijbrandij,  GitLab reached $150 million in annual recurring revenue in 2020 and grew its revenue by 74% in its most recent quarter, stats that'll likely draw investors if confirmed in the case of a public offering.  GitLab has mad

Capital One Fined $390M For Money Laundering Violation

The credit card-focused banking firm Capital One has been hit with a $390 million fine by US authorities for money laundering violations but will end up paying $290 million out of that amount.  In a statement , the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) noted that Capital One admitted to 'willfully failing' to implement an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program required by law and thus has been billed for a $390 million civil penalty. Out of the $390 million, FinCEN agreed to give Capital One credit for a $100 million penalty it paid to the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency over the same issue in 2018, meaning the bank will end up paying a fresh $290 million fine. As charged by FinCEN and admitted by Capital One, the bank failed to file thousands of transaction reports with respect to a particular business unit known as the Check Cashing Group and thus caused millions of dollars of suspicious funds to flow through its bank fr

Online Dating Company Bumble Files To Go Public

After confidentially filing for a public offering this December, the online dating company Bumble Inc has publicly released its S-1 filing , shifting its public market debut nearer. Bumble Inc consists of the popular women-focused dating app Bumble and Badoo, another popular dating app. Bumble's S-1 filing gives an outlook into its finances. The company reported $376.6 million in revenue in the nine-month period from January 29 to September 30, 2020 and posted a net loss of $84 million in that same period. In 2019, Bumble posted $489 million in revenue and a net loss of $85.8 million. In the past three years, Bumble wasn't profitable. Bumble consists of the popular eponymous dating app which was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, an entrepreneur who also co-founded the popular dating app Tinder, along with Badoo, a popular dating app founded by the Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev.  Andreev was an early backer of Bumble and merged it with his own dating app Badoo before cashing

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Medtronic Backs Former CEO's $750M SPAC

Medtronic, the publicly-traded medical devices giant, has backed a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) set up by its former CEO Omar Ishrak who's also the current Chairman of the chipmaker Intel. Compute Health Acquisition Corp is a new SPAC formed by Ishrak and has filed to raise $750 million from investors. In its filing , Compute Health indicated that Medtronic has expressed interest to purchase 1.5 million share units for a price of $15 million and may later determine to purchase even more than that. Compute Health  Acquisition Corp  is offering 75 million shares for $10 each and has drawn interest from Medtronic to purchase 2% of the shares it's issuing. With the SPAC boom over the past year and the prowess of its founder Omar Ishrak, it looks like  Compute Health won't struggle to raise the entire $750 million. Apart from Ishrak, other people involved with  Compute Health  Acquisition Corp include  Medtronic executive Jean Nehme and hedge fund manager Joshua F

Vista Buys Wrike For $800M, Flips For $2.25B To Citrix

In 2018, the tech-focused private equity firm Vista Equity Partners bought a majority stake in the project management software company Wrike for a reported $800 million. Now, just under three years later, it's flipped the company for a price of $2.25 billion, nearly triple what it paid for it. The software giant Citrix was the acquirer. Citrix has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Wrike for $2.25 billion in cash, clinching a sweet profit for Vista. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Wrike as a company was founded in 2006 and bootstrapped for a few years before taking venture funding later on. Prior to being acquired by Vista in an $800 million deal, the company had raised a relatively paltry  $26 million in venture funding. With a big exit to Vista, it continued to grow and ended 2020 with a $140 million annual run rate and says it expects a 30% jump to between $180 million and $190 million this year. To help fund Wrike's acquisiti

Mercedes-Benz Unveils New Electric SUV

The German premium auto brand Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new all-electric SUV, the EQA . It's an electric SUV that bears resemblance to the popular GLA brand of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. It's priced starting at 47,540 euros ($57,550) in Germany and expected to go on sale in the first half of 2021. The EQA is the smallest electric SUV to be unveiled by Mercedes-Benz. Its specifications and features include; 265 miles (426km) of range for the standard EQA 250 option Output -  188 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds Drag coefficient of 0.28 Lithium-ion battery with 200 cells, DC fast charging Assisted driving Both in its exterior and interior, the EQA bears much resemblance to the GLA brand of Mercedes-Benz SUVs but in its case is all-electric. It seems ideal for customers that prefer the GLA vehicles but are looking to switch to an eco-friendly option. The EQA is the second electric SUV unveiled by Mercedes-Benz after the EQC , which like the EQA bore res

Uber Trims Postmates Workforce; CEO To Depart

After acquiring its rival food delivery app Postmates in December, Uber appears to have moved to trim the company's workforce as it consolidates its operations. The company laid off 185 Postmates staff on Thursday,  The New York Times reports , with the layoffs being part of a broader shift that'll also see most of Postmates' executive team depart, including its CEO Bastian Lehmann. According to the Times, some Postmates vice presidents and other executives will leave with multi-million-dollar exit compensation packages whereas some rank and file employees may see reduced compensation packages. The 185 laid-off employees sum up to 15% of Postmates' total headcount. As it looks, while Uber has said that Postmates will remain a separate brand, much of the infrastructure behind the food delivery service and Uber's own Uber Eats service will be run by Uber's long-time Vice President of Delivery,  Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty .  The most noteworthy news from the Times&

Databricks Raising Funds At $27B Valuation: Report

Databricks is a well-known data analytics company that grew out of the  AMPLab big data project at the University of California, Berkeley. It's a venture-backed company, with just shy of $900 million  raised in total and a valuation of $6.2 billion from its last funding round in October 2019. Now, it seems that Databricks is about to more than quadruple its private valuation. The company is in talks with investors to raise a new funding round at a valuation of $27 billion, reports tech journalist Eric Newcomer . It's said that buy-side public investors seem to be the ones in talks to invest in Databricks at a $27 billion valuation, not surprising given that Databricks is likely on its way to a public listing. As it looks, the company may raise the last round before it goes public, wherein investors would want to buy in at the last moment at a high valuation. With a $27 billion valuation, Databricks would make its mark as one of the highest-valued private software companies glo

EV Charging Company EVgo To Go Public

EVgo, a company that operates a network of fast charges for electric vehicles in the US, has sealed a deal to go public through a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corporation. The merger will hand over $575 million in cash to EVgo for its operations and value the company at $2.6 billion. EVgo is the latest company from the electric vehicle industry to seal a deal to hit the public markets. The company is itself a subsidiary of LS Power, an employee-owned and independent power and energy company in the US. For its merger, EVgo will get $230 million in cash held in trust by the SPAC it's merging with plus an additional $400 million committed by private investors including PIMCO, BlackRock, and Wellington Management. The merger will see EVgo start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). EVgo is a major electric vehicle charging network in the US, with more than 800 locations across 34 states. The company

Electric Car Startup Rivian Raises Fresh $2.65B Round

Just six months after closing a funding round of $2.5 billion , the electric car startup Rivian has closed a fresh funding round of $2.65 billion led by T. Rowe Price Associates, with participation from Fidelity, Amazon, Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners.  The new round reportedly values Rivian at a whopping $27.6 billion, making it the most valuable electric car startup globally even before delivering its first product. With the round, Rivian has now raised a total of $8 billion in venture funding since the start of 2019, an unprecedented amount for a private auto company of its kind.  With two vehicles in the pipeline set to be launched this year, the  R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV, Rivian has apparently raised a new big round to strengthen its push into a competitive electric car market. The company is targeting US deliveries of its R1T pickup in June and for its R1S SUV in August. As it's set to launch its cars, Rivian will be heading into a competitive and increasingly cro

Tastytrade Sells For $1B; 2nd Big Exit For Founder

Tastytrade is a popular platform that provides financial media and content for investors and traders as well as provides a platform for its users to trade options and derivatives. Now, it's the latest fintech startup to head for a big exit with a $1 billion sale to the British electronic trading company IGN Group. Tastytrade will be joining IGN in a deal valued at $1 billion net of cash held by Tastytrade. The price is split into $300 million in cash and the remainder with IGN stock. It represents a lucrative exit for Tastytrade which is backed by some $47 million in venture funding. Apparently, IGN, a British company that provides options and derivatives trading and brokerage services for professional investors, is betting that the appeal of retail investors that Tastytrade targets will boost its business. It's agreed to pay a big $1 billion for a company with more than 105,000 active trading accounts that'll then fall under its control. Tastytrade's $1 billion sale r

Chinese AI Startup 4Paradigm Raises $700M

4Paradigm is a well-known venture-backed AI startup that was founded by former executives as the Chinese search giant Baidu. Now, the company has announced  that it's raised a fresh funding round of $700 million led by three investors; Boyu Capital, Primavera Capital, and HOPU Investments.  Other participants such as Sequoia Capital, Goldman Sachs, Mubadala, and the China-UAE Joint Investment Fund chipped into the new funding round for 4Paradigm. With its new round, 4Paradigm will work to expand its business. The company has now raised a total of over $1 billion in funding to carve a lucrative market share in the AI software market for itself. 4Paradigm provides a suite of AI software for enterprises. It's one of the fastest-rising Chinese AI startups, having been founded only six years ago.  With its new funding round, 4Paradigm has cemented its place as one of the highest-funded AI startups globally, a status that makes the company an ideal one to watch out for. 

Microsoft, Honda Back GM's Cruise In Fresh $2B Round

A group of investors including the software giant Microsoft and the automaker Honda have participated in a $2 billion round for Cruise, a well-known self-driving company controlled by the automaker General Motors (GM). Both companies participated along with GM and other unnamed institutional investors, with the round valuing Cruise at $30 billion post-money. The fresh $2 billion investment cements Cruise's position as one of the highest-funded autonomous driving companies. With the new round, Cruise has now raised a whopping $7.3 billion in venture funding since it was founded. Under the terms of the investment, Cruise and its parent General Motors have entered into a commercial partnership with Microsoft to work towards the commercialization of self-driving vehicles. To that, Microsoft's Azure cloud will be adopted as the primary cloud provider for  Cruise and General Motors '  self-driving efforts. Another participant in the new round, Honda, already had a working relatio