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Showing posts from July, 2018

Enterprise software startup Freshworks nabs $100 million in funding at $1.5 Billion Valuation

    image credit : Freshworks California headquartered enterprise and cloud based software startup Freshworks has now raised $100 million in a Series G funding round from Accel, Sequioa and Alphabet's CapitalG with the investment giving the 8 year old startup a valuation north of $1.5 Billion marking another entrant from the enterprise software space into the unicorn club with Freshworks now looking to expand its global footprint and further invest more into its Software-as-a-Service product ecosystem. This valuation marks a double from the company's most previous $750 million valuation when its raised $55 million in a Series F funding round from Accel and Sequioa who returned to lead this round along with notable tech investor Tiger Global. Freshworks now says it makes over $100 million in annual recurring revenue which represents a very remarkable milestone for the enterprise software startup which has already made 9 acquisitions since its start and offers several

Returns optimization tech company Optoro raises $75 million more for its service

Image credit : Optoro Washington based logistics technology company Optoro has now raised $75 million from several firms consisting of Franklin Templeton, Generation Investment Management, Revolution Growth and Tenfore Holdings in a funding round which brings the total raised by the company which provides software for both online and offline retailers to manage the re-sale of returned inventory by customers to a figure of $200 million. Optoro which was founded 8 years ago makes use of in-depth data analytics and online marketing via different channels to maximize recovery of items returned by customers with the company providing various methods of handling the returned goods which include taking them back to manufacturers, discount sales on its e-commerce website Blinq.com  and several other methods. Optoro's client list now include the likes of Groupon, Target, Staples, Home Depot, Best Buy, Jet.com, and several others some of which are not made public by the company which

WeWork gets biggest design deal yet from wealth management firm UBS

image credit : WeWork Co-working startup WeWork has inked a design deal with wealth management giant UBS which will see WeWork refit its 30 year old office overlooking the Hudson River with this deal representing the largest yet for WeWork’s Powered by We service which was established last year to provide office management and design services to large companies and enterprises. As reported by Bloomberg , WeWork presented a clear vision to UBS which consisted the need of "a juice bar, meditation room and a lot more greenery." WeWork's shared workspaces has garnered a lot of users and positive reviews with the company since its establishment 8 years ago with the company now providing workspaces for the likes of Salesforce, Microsoft, Pinterest, Standard Chartered, General Electric, Bank of America, HSBC and several others. Construction on the UBS space is set to begin mid-next year as WeWork takes on an important effort of providing a more suitable workspace

Indian Health and Fitness start CureFit raises $120 million from Accel, IDG and others

                  image credit : CureFit Bangalore based health and fitness startup CureFit has raised $120 million in Series C funding from notable tech investors Accel, IDG and Kalaari Capital who led the investment along with participation from Chiratae Ventures and Okatree Capital Management. This round which brings the total raised by the 2 year old fitness startup to over $170 million counts as the second largest Series C funding ever in the Indian startup space only being beaten by ad-tech unicorn InMobi's $200 million Series C funding and also counts as a very notable investment marking the continuous growth in the Indian startup ecosystem. CureFit is making use of this funding to development of its health technology with a focus on Artificial Intelligence for health planning in addition to launching into foreign markets and looking to produce its own fitness devices. The Bangalore based startup was kicked off by popular Indian e-commerce service Myntra'

A new leak suggests the new iPad Pro to come with trimmed bezels and no headphone jack

According to a new report from Japanese supply chain blog Macotakara as reported by 9to5Mac , Apple could be making notable changes to its new line of iPad Pros which would reportedly include a slash in the size of its bezels, The elimination of its headphone jack and the use of its Face ID feature. As stated by the report, The 10.5 inch models may come at 247.5mm x 178.7mm x 6mm in comparison with its current 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 6.1mm with Apple's 12.9 inch models said to come at 280 mm x 215 mm x 6.4 mm in comparison with its current 305.7 mm x 220.6mm x 6.9 mm dimension. The ditch if the headphone jack was first made by Apple in 2016 with its iPhone 7 release and will now be reportedly repeated with its new iPad Pro models with this time coming with quite not too good news of Apple not including its Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter with the iPad Pro. This is reportedly not coming with the new iPad Pro Apple As several earlier reports indicated, The Face ID f

Tesla adds $1500 limited edition Carbon Fiber surfboard to its lineup

    Tesla EV maker Tesla has outed another merch not related to its main car business to its product lineup which comes this time in the form of a limited edition $1,500 surfboard designed by Tesla in collaboration with Lost Surfboards and World Surf League Championship surfboard shaper Matt “Mayhem” Biolos. Only 200 of the surfboards will be produced as stated by Tesla who has already outsold its stock just hours after the product was put up for sale. The boards are set to ship between 2-10 weeks to its buyers who would now have a hold of another unique product from the EV company known for its several vehicles as well as its fan merhandise which sell in huge numbers around the globe.    Tesla An excerpt from the product page reads: "Designed by the Tesla Design Studio in collaboration with Lost Surfboards and Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, surfboard shaper for World Surf League Championship athletes. The Limited Edition Tesla Surfboard features a mix of the same high-q

New York City Council moves to limit ride-hailing licenses as Uber and others oppose

Uber New York's City Council has proposed for a yearlong cap on for-hire vehicle licenses in a move which aims to restrict the number of  for-hire vehicles permitted on the road whose explosive growth has been blamed for reduction in wages for yellow taxi drivers and an increase in congestion across the city. This move would affect Uber and Lyft, The two major ride-hailing services in New York as the proposed pause to the issuance of new licenses in the ride-hailing market would lead to lesser number of drivers, higher prices and longer wait times with Uber recently voicing out in an e-mail to about 5 million New York users concerning the effort which would lead to adverse effects on its service. In reaction, Several users have taken to social media to protest against the move with the hashtag #DontStrandNYC tweeted by thousands of New Yorkers in support of Uber. Uber also made a video detailing its service assisting New York residents in commuting everyday voicing its own

Apple's Piazza Liberty new retail location launches in Milan

  Apple Apple has opened a new and notable retail location in the region of Milan bringing its latest and grand retail design to Italy for the first time as the brand new location dubbed the "Apple Piazza Liberty" located off Milan's popular Corso Vittorio Emanuele street kicks off. The new retail location is now open 24hrs a day and is set to also host special Apple year-around events. Apple has upped its retail location designs and feel in recent times with the company always being known for its design centrism hiring former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts in 2014 to lead its retail efforts as Senior Vice President of Retail. Angela Ahrendts pictured here welcomes customers who waited overnight to experience the new store    Apple “There’s no better expression of our vision for Apple stores serving as modern-day gathering places than Apple Piazza Liberty,” said Angela Ahrendts, “In a city with such rich history of art, entertainment and creativity, it

Ride-hailing company Grab defends its position concerning Uber deal to competition watchdogs

    image credit : Grab Singaporean based ride-hailing firm Grab has criticized the Singaporean anti-monopoly watchdog over its assessment that the merger between Grab and Uber's South East Asian operations has "substantially lessened competition" with the company terming the assessment as “one-sided”. Just this year, Uber merged its South East Asian operators with Grab which stood as a major competitor in the area in exchange for a stake in Grab, A move which saw Grab increase its market share and operations in the region as Uber stood as the No 1 contender for the SE Asian ride-hailing market with Grab before the merger. Early this month, Singapore's Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) scrutinized the deal  stating it as being in violation of competition laws with the combined business controlling the lion share of the region's ride-hailing market which the organization says led to increased prices for consumers who have other limited

NBA Live 19 gamers would now be able to create Female characters for the first time

    EA Sports In what marks a new and notable addition to the diverse gaming ecosystem, Video game publisher Electronic Arts has just revealed its new NBA create-a-player tool which makes a plus to its last year's WNBA feature as gamers would now be able to create female characters for NBA Live 19's single player career mode which marks the first time ever players would get to use custom female characters in the video game. Female gamers would also now be able to scan themselves into the video game through the use of an iOS or Android app which would enable them to kick off virtual careers in the video game due for release on the 7th of September.  This feature stands as a very remarkable addition to the video gaming space as more females would get to embark on virtual careers modelled after their own custom imagination, stars and role models which would surely lead to more adoption of the video game by female players.    EA Sports Coming as part of NBA

IBM is awarded $83 million by Jury over patent dispute case with Groupon

im age credit : Groupon A recent patent dispute between e-commerce company Groupon and IBM which went to the jury has now ended up in a favor on IBM's side with the jury awarding the company $83 million to be paid by Groupon following a judgement for patent infringement for International Business Machines Corp which counts as the company with the most secured patents in the U.S. over the past 25 years. In the lawsuit brought by IBM, The company's lawyers said Groupon developed its online coupon business on the foundation of IBM's e-commerce inventions, An allegation Groupon grossly denies with its spokesman Bill Roberts stating “We continue to believe that we do not infringe on any valid IBM patents, To the extent these patents have any value at all — which we believe they do not — the value is far less than what the jury awarded.” IBM initially sought $167 million in damages saying it developed technology very crucial to the formation of the web with the patents inv

Amazon reports record quarterly profit as it tops Wall Street estimates on cloud computing and advertising soar

     image credit :  Flickr/Doc Searls  Tech and e-commerce giant Amazon's shares are up about 4% hitting an all-time high as the company reported record Q2 profits of $2.5 Billion marking its most profitable quarter as a company thanks to bigger revenues from its higher-earning segment consisting mainly of its cloud computing and advertising unit. Amazon always known to invest heavily in its e-commerce and logistics startups demonstrate quality business tactics to make up for its high expenses on package delivery and video streaming by building up higher profit reaping units and also controlling its expenses. Amazon's cloud computing unit AWS has been the major leader in the cloud computing space since its start 12 years ago having grown to counting major companies as its customers including the likes of Airbnb, Adobe, Autodesk. BMW, Canon, NASA, General Electric and its video streaming competitor Netflix. Amazon's advertising business has also been on the r

Jeffrey Katzenberg's Media startup NewTV closes on $1 Billion in funding for mobile videos

  image credit : Flickr/Fortune Live Media Media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg well renowned for his stints at the likes of Disney, Paramount, Dreamworks and now WndrCO and being behind several movie hits including The Little Mermaid, Alladin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King among others has now closed on $1 Billion in funding for his new media startup NewTV which stands as part of WndrCO and counts former eBay and HP CEO Meg Whitman as current CEO and is embarking on a journey to dish out short video clips made by A-list talent for consumers in what can be dubbed as a Netflix meets YouTube platform. This $1 Billion funding round came from the likes of Warner Bros, Disney, 21st Century Fox and several institutional investors for NewTV which represents another major media initiative by Katzenberg who has been reported to be talking to several top Hollywood producers and directors about creating content for its platform which would be dished out to digital consumers. Katzenb

Twitter primes on fixing platform over user growth as shares plunge following user base decline

  image credit : Flickr/ JD Lasica Social networking company Twitter just reported its Q2 results which although topped analyst estimates with revenues showed a dip in its user base as the company has prioritized fixing its platform which saw it take down millions of accounts as it aims to make its platform more suitable and desirable for users. Twitter reported $711 million in revenue for the quarter topping analyst estimates of around $696 million while also disclosing 335 million users as opposed to analyst estimates of 338.5 million. Twitter's shares went down as much as 18% following the Q2 report as investors spark concerns over usage numbers of its platform. Twitter reported $100 million in net income for the quarter marking its third profitable quarter since its start and also under the leadership of CEO Jack Dorsey who runs the company along with major payments company Square.  Quoting Dorsey “Our second quarter results reflect the work we’re doing to ens

Fintech startup Flywire gets $100 million Series D investment from Temasek, Bain and F-Prime

image credit : Flywire Boston based global payments provider Flywire has now raised $100 million in a Series D round led by Singaporean national wealth fund and major tech investor Temasek Holdings with participation also from Bain Capital and Massachusetts based VC firm F-Prime Capital. Flywire is making use of this funding to accelerate its growth across the regions of North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and other markets as it aims to expand its share in the huge commercial payments and receivables space. Flywire has processed over $8 Billion so far for over 1,400 clients since its inception and has now raised a total of $143 million in addition to this investment for the fintech company which focuses on foreign currency payments for businesses, colleges, hospitals and other institutions. Flywire provides payment solutions for several institutions and began as a service dubbed peerTransfer which focused on providing easy payment solutions for students making payments for

WeWork China gets $500 million funding round at a $5 Billion Valuation to expand its presence

image credit: WeWork Co-working startup and decacorn ($10 Billion(+) valuation) WeWork's China subsidiary has now closed on $500 million in funding from several Asian investors which values the unit at $5 Billion as WeWork aims to expand and strengthen its presence in the Chinese region. This marks another addition to the company's already huge total funding as WeWork is known to have raised well above $7 Billion in equity financing across several investment rounds. This founding round for its Chinese subsidiary is led by Shanghai based private equity VC investor Trustbridge Partners with participation also from Temasek, Hony Capital, Softbank as a company and its behemoth investment entity Softbank Vision Fund which notably made a $4.4 Billion investment last year into WeWork's major business. WeWork China has now raised a total of $1 Billion across two rounds after just two years in the market which it has expanded its presence across 2 Chinese cities and a major

British gaming and virtual world startup Improbable valued at $2 Billion with strategic NetEase investment

    image credit : Improbable Virtual world and gaming startup Improbable has now inked a $50 million strategic investment from Chinese game developer NetEase with the company purchasing both existing and new shares in the 6 year old startup behind the SpatialOS cloud based gaming platform which has now doubled its valuation to $2 Billion from the $1 Billion it got after a $502 million round led by Softbank into the company May last year. The funding round represents a $50 million new equity investment along with a purchase of $50 million in already existing shares from the company's investors and employees. This makes a very strategic investment and partnership as NetEase would make use of Improbable's platform for the development of future video games as Improbable also gets a Chinese presence with this notable funding round. The partnership as stated by Improbable co-founder and CEO Herman Narula is very instrumental in taking the company's SpatialOS d

Slack acquires competing HipChat and Stride intellectual property as Atlassian's users set to migrate to Slack

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield image credit : Slack Enterprise messaging unicorn Slack has now partnered with main competitor and software company Atlassian whose competing HipChat and Stride services will now be acquired by Slack which would in turn migrate these users onto its own service as both companies team up to take on Microsoft whose teams service count more paying users although Slack has more than double the total number of organizations using its service. Atlassian is getting a stake in Slack as part of this deal with Slack paying an undisclosed amount over a period of 3 years to fully acquire HipChat and Stride's suite and software stack as both companies collaborate to increase its share in the corporate communication software space. Slack would also now offer better integration for Atlassian's software suite consisting of its Jira Server, Cloud, Trello, Bitbucket, Confluence and other of its software products with newly added functionalities and consolid

Lenovo outs first Google Assistant powered Smart Display

     Lenovo Lenovo has just launched the first Google Assistant smart display device which will start shipping this weekend in what stands as a very good smart device embedded with smart and intelligent features whose specs places it as a desirable device and good competitor for Amazon's Echo Show. This device is the first among the smart displays showcased at this year's Consumer Electronics Show by Google with LG, Sony and JBL also expected to release their own versions. Lenovo's new smart display comes in two sizes being the 8-inch and 10-inch full HD models costing $199 and $249 respectively. The smart speaker integrates well with Google's ecosystem and services providing a valuable tool for consumers who can make use of the device to perform various tasks including streaming live or recorded shows from the likes of YouTube TV, YouTube Music, HBO Now, Spotify, Google Play Music and Pandora and also listen to audiobooks and others among several other tasks.

Huawei is upping its annual R&D budget to at least $15 Billion

  image credit : Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns China based telecom and smartphone manufacturer Huawei how made known it would be increasing its spending on annual Research & Development to between $15-$20 Billion as it aims to be a global leader in the 5G technology space. This increase moves up its ranks among the world's top R&D spenders as Huawei has put in more resources towards development of fast-pacing technology with the company spending $13.2 Billion last year amounting to 14.9% of its revenues on Research & Development. Huawei is dedicating between 20-30% of the stated amount on basic science research which comes as at least double its previous prediction of 10% as stated by the company. Almost 50% of Huawei's current staff work in R&D with the company aiming to innovate rapidly to keep up with fast-changing and newer technologies even as it has faced recent hassles in several countries notably in the U.S. over opposition of Huawei's tel

AMD posts record seven year net income amidst strong Q2 results

Semiconductor and chip manufacturer AMD definitely had an impressive Q2 as the Santa Clara based company posted record second quarter results beating analyst estimates with a 53% Q2 growth posting $1.76 Billion in revenue with net income of $116 million representing the company's highest quarterly net income in a seven year span as demand for new products have led to a boost in AMD's sales. AMD's $1.76 Billion in revenue stands as very good growth in comparison with $1.115 Q1 revenue as AMD also forecasts Q3 revenue of between the same range with Q2 amounting to around $1.7 Billion. AMD's enterprise business segment along with its computing and graphics products saw increase in sales being a main factor in revenue boost even as the company which is the 2nd largest maker of graphic processors for PC games reported of a decrease in its blockchain market where it posted less than expected revenue. During Q2 last year, AMD reported a net loss of $42 million as

GlaxoSmithKline takes $300 million stake in 23andMe and partners for drug development

23andMe Biotech company 23andMe has now partnered with drug giant GlaxoSmithKline on a 4 year deal which will see both companies collaborate and work on finding new targets and developing remedies making use of genetic data and clinical studies of which 23andMe possesses in-depth and in very valuable quantity. As part of this deal, GSK is investing $300 million into the company led by Anne Wojcicki notable in the tech industry as both a biotech leader, sister of YouTube CEO Anne Wojcicki and ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. This partnership also comes with an option to be extended for a fifth year with the proceeds and funding being split equally. GSK and 23andMe is focusing on translating genetic and phenotypic data into Research & Development that will both improve target selection for precision medicines, support identification of patient subgroups who are more likely to respond to targeted treatments and allow for more effective identification of patients fo

iRobot shares jump after earnings beat

  Roomba Shares of home robot manufacturer iRobot popped today as high as 21.4% over quarterly earnings beat with the Massachusetts based company's Q2 revenue beating analysts estimates with $226.3 million for the quarter as international sales fueled the revenue growth. iRobot enjoyed growth across several regions with sales up 51% across Europe, Africa and the Middle East and a 15% jump in the U.S. which has also led the company to increase its full year revenue prediction to between $1.06-$1.08 Billion in comparison to $883.9 million revenue last year. iRobot's most popular product, The Roomba enjoyed very high sales across several regions in part to being a featured product on Amazon's Prime Day sale along with other of its products including the Braava mopping robot whose sales climbed 50% during the quarter. iRobot was founded 1990 by 3 MIT graduates who initially designed robots for space exploration and military use and now stands as a top c

China withdraws approval for Facebook subsidiary

    image credit : Flickr/Quintano Media Just immediately after Facebook won approval for a Chinese Subsidiary , The New York Times now reports of the approval being withdrawn as the official filing has gone off the Chinese Government database with references to the Facebook subsidiary being censored across Chinese media. The New York Times states of this move which marks another of the company's hassles concerning getting into China being due to disagreements between Chinese authorities. The registered subsidiary dubbed Lianshu Science & Technology was established to provide several IT services as well as serve as an incubator earmarked to make small investments and provide guidance to local Chinese startups. According to the person familiar with the matter as reported by NY Times, This withdrawal makes of the success of the established subsidiary very less likely although it doesn't out-rightly eliminate Facebook's chance of establishing the subsidiary.

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Okta Buys Cloud Security Startup Auth0 For $6.5B

A very big new acquisition has happened in the tech industry, with Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA), the publicly-traded cloud identity and access management software provider, announcing an agreement to buy Auth0, a fellow cloud identity software provider, for a price of $6.5 billion to be paid all with shares. A $6.5 billion exit for Auth0 marks a major win for the startup scene in Seattle, the tech hub where Auth0 is based and also a major win for the company's backers and investors. Auth0 last raised venture funding last year in July with a $120 million Series F round that valued the company at $1.9 billion. Now, it's about to sell for more than triple that amount. Auth0 has raised more than $330 million in total venture funding, with investors including the likes of Salesforce Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Telstra Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and DTCP. Salesforce Ventures led Auth0's most recent $120 million Series F round. With its acquisition of a fellow cloud identity a

John McAfee Indicted For $13M Crypto "Pump And Dump" Scheme

In October last year, John McAfee who's a controversial entrepreneur best known for founding the cybersecurity powerhouse bearing his last name McAfee was indicted for tax evasion by US authorities  with accusations of earning millions of dollars from cryptocurrency schemes and failing to report income and pay taxes as required to the US government. Now, it appears that McAfee is facing even more charges from US authorities, with the District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) having just announced  further indictments of him for fraud and money laundering coming from alleged crypto "pump and dump" schemes. McAfee along with an associate, Jimmy Watson, are accused of hyping and promoting certain cryptocurrencies on social media in order to artificially inflate their prices without disclosing that McAfee owned large quantities of the promoted crypto and intended to profit from his promotion. McAfee, Watson, and other unnamed associates are alleged to have p

Peter Thiel Cashes Out Big From Palantir

After taking his data analytics and mining company, Palantir, public last year, it seems that Peter Thiel is keen on cashing out significantly from his stake in the company after getting an opportunity to do so on the public markets.  Thiel founded and helped build Palantir from the ground up into a data analytics powerhouse with annual sales of over $1 billion.   Palantir stayed as a private company for 17 years before hitting the public markets. According to regulatory filings and records , Peter Thiel has sold over $780 million of Palantir shares since the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in September 2020.  Thiel's largest single sale transaction was an offloading of 20 million shares for $504.8 million on the 19th of February, 2020. His second-largest was the sale of 23 million shares in a transaction netting around $236 million on the 30th of September, 2020, which was the very day Palantir began trading on the NYSE. Altogether, Thiel has netted mor

New SPAC Deal: Bitcoin Mining Startup Cipher

The latest technology company to join the flurry of SPAC mergers is Cipher Mining, a newly-formed US-based bitcoin mining startup that's an offshoot of Bitfury, a leading maker of bitcoin mining hardware that's based in the Netherlands. Cipher Mining Inc will merge with Good Works Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: GWAC) in a deal valuing the bitcoin mining startup at $2 billion. The SPAC will be anchored by a $425 million PIPE round committed by investors including Fidelity, Morgan Stanley (via its subsidiary Counterpoint Global), and Cipher's parent Bitfury. Bitfury will contribute a $50 million investment to the PIPE round that's structured as purchase credits for equipment and services from it for Cipher Mining. The SPAC merger will hand over $595 million in gross proceeds to Cipher Mining, consisting of the $425 million PIPE round and $170 million of cash held in trust by Good Works Acquisition Corp. Upon completion of the SPAC merger, the investors in Cipher's PIPE rou

Deal: Twilio Bets $750M On Mobile Comms Provider Syniverse

Twilio, the publicly-traded cloud communications company, has sought to strategically team up with an old-guard provider of mobile and wireless communications technology named Syniverse, with a formal business partnership just  announced between both parties that'll see Twilio invest up to $750 million for a minority stake in Syniverse under its terms. Twilio has agreed to invest up to $750 million in cash for a minority stake in Syniverse, buying the stake from the company's current owner which is the private equity firm Carlyle Group. The partnership between Twilio and Syniverse will see both companies enter into a major business partnership that entails a wholesale agreement whereby Syniverse will process, route and deliver application-to-person (A2P) messages originating and/or terminating between Twilio’s customers and mobile network operators. On Syniverse's end of the deal, the company is getting a business boost by providing services for Twilio which is one of the

American Drone Maker Skydio Raises $170M, Valued At $1B+

Skydio, an American startup that makes autonomous drones, has closed a new funding round of $170 million that values it above $1 billion. The round was led by the famous venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing backers Next47, IVP, and Linse Capital, plus a new investor UP.Partners. Andreessen Horowitz led the new Series D round for Skydio from its Growth Fund, and with it, Skydio has now raised a total of over $340 million in external funding and then with a $1 billion+ valuation that makes it the highest-valued drone startup in the US. It seems that Skydio has drawn wide investor attraction after the US government placed China's DJI on a blacklist last year. DJI made its mark as the biggest drone maker globally and the largest in the US market but got placed on a government Entity List last year that barred American companies from supplying it with components. The blacklist was instituted by the former Trump administration due to alleged ties to

Carmaker Volvo To Go Fully Electric By 2030

The latest global automaker to commit to transitioning to a fully-electric production output in the future is Swedish carmaker Volvo, which has announced plans to become a fully electric car company by 2030. By then, the company says it intends to have phased out any car in its portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids, and transition to producing fully electric cars. The announcement of Volvo's grand plan comes a year after the company launched its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge , around the globe, and with just one fully electric car in its product portfolio now, it's apparent that the automaker would need to put in hard work to achieve a fully-electric portfolio in nine years time. To work towards its goal, Volvo has announced that it'll roll out 'several' additional electric car models in the coming years, the word several making the number indistinct. The Swedish automaker is aiming for fully electric cars to make up half of

Jay-Z's Tidal Sells To Payments Company Square In $300M Deal

It seems that this is the season of deals for rapper-cum-businessman Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter as just barely two weeks after he reached a deal to sell half of his premium champagne brand to luxury goods giant LVMH, he's reached yet another deal to sell one of his main business ventures, the music streaming app Tidal. Tidal has agreed to be taken over by Square, the payments company led by Jack Dorsey who's more popular for his role as the CEO of Twitter. In a statement , Square said it'll pay the sum of $297 million in a mix of cash and stock to acquire a "significant majority ownership" stake in Tidal leaving the remaining minority stake will be held by Tidal's artist shareholders. The exact percentage that Square is buying in Tidal isn't disclosed but it's definitely over 50% given it's a majority stake. With Square's statement of acquiring a "significant majority ownership", one can guess somewhere between 50%-80% of the com

Smart TV Maker Vizio Files To Go Public

Vizio, a well-known maker of smart TVs and other complementary equipment such as soundbars, has filed an S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public listing, seeking to do so for the second time after having previously filed to go public in 2015 but later withdrew its plan in lieu of a $2 billion sale agreement to a Chinese company that unfortunately didn't pan out. The market for technology IPOs has been very hot as of late and it seems that Vizio is coming in at the right time to capitalize on that hotness. A popular maker of smart TVs, Vizio has sold over 80 million TVs and 11 million soundbars since the company's inception, as indicated in its S-1 filing. The company sold 7.1 million TVs in 2020 alone. Vizio has strong revenues and is profitable, reporting $102 million in net income on over $2 billion in revenue in 2020. In the previous year, 2019, Vizio reported a net income of $23 million on $1.8 billion in revenue. Most of Vizio's revenue c

New SPAC Deal: Home Insurance Startup Hippo

Amid a flurry of SPAC mergers as of late, the latest technology company to tap into the boom and reach a deal to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is Hippo, a home insurance startup that makes use of satellite imagery and smart home sensors to gauge and offer better home insurance policies. Hippo will merge with Reinvent Technology Partners Z (NYSE:RPTZ), a SPAC formed by the respective founders of LinkedIn and gaming company Zynga, Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus. Hippo will merge with  Reinvent Technology Partners Z in a deal that'll hand it over $230 million of cash held in trust by the SPAC, plus a $550 million PIPE round to be led by existing investors  Dragoneer, Lennar, and Ribbit Capital. The PIPE round will value Hippo at $5 billion. Following the merger's completion, Hippo expects to have $1.2 billion of cash at hand, fueled by the funds from its SPAC deal plus venture funding that it's already raised. A hot insurance startup, Hippo has raised o