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Showing posts from August, 2018

Colombian on-demand startup Rappi gets $200 million round at over $1 Billion valuation

image credit : Rappi Colombia based on-demand delivery startup Rappi has now been confirmed to have raised a new $200 million round led by DST Global with participation from Andressen Horowitz and Sequioa Capital, All previous investors in the 3 year old startup now said to be valued north of $1 Billion. This will bring the total amount of funding secured by Rappi to nearly $400 million with the company notably raising $130 million in a funding round January this year from the likes of Delivery Hero, FJ Labs, Endeavor Catalyst, Redpoint Ventures and several others. This round also notably marks Rappi as the 2nd Latin American startup to join the unicorn club with Brazillian fintech startup Nubank previously occupying the main position after a $150 million funding led by DST who also led this round which gave the firm a private valuation of $2 Billion. image credit : Rappi Regardless of valuations, This marks very good growth in the Latin American startup space a

Xiaomi linked smart home appliance startup Viomi files for $150 million U.S. IPO

Xiaomi Chinese internet connected home appliance maker Viomi has now filed for a U.S. public offering targeted to raise up to $150 million through listing of its shares under the ticker "VIOT". The company notably backed by smartphone giant and recent public market debuting Xiaomi is very well connected and counts a main part of its operations through affiliation with the consumer electronics manufacturer. Based out of Guangdong, Viomi develops a IoT home platform consisting of a collection of smart products such as dishwashers, air purifiers, refrigerators and several other household appliances. It recorded revenues of $132 million for last year along with a net income of around $14 million for the same period from sales of its appliances. Notable shareholders of Viomi include Xiaomi itself, Shunwei Capital, The VC firm founded by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun and Sequia China who control respective stakes of 19.5%, 20.5% and 6.3% in the company. "Powered by adv

Huawei's P20 series inks 10 million global sales in 5 months

Huawei Consumer electronics giant Huawei has just made known of its P20 Pro and P20 units reaching 10 million units after 5 months of release marking an exceptional milestone for the smartphone maker as more consumers adopt its products. This latest flagship devices sold heavily across China and Western Europe, The company's key smartphone markets which counts a whole lot of tech-savvy citizens based in the regions. Huawei The P20 smartphone outstanding for super-quality camera was unveiled at an exclusive event which held at the iconic Grand Palais Paris museum. It features an advanced camera system, Innovative AI enabled photography features, strong performance and a sleek design for consumers. “We are humbled by the reception of our latest flagships among global consumers. By going above the 10-million mark, we have again set ourselves a high bar to clear, but we will treat it as a symbol of encouragement that will fuel us as we continue doing what we do best—put

Enterprise software Unicorn Qualtrics said to interview banks for an IPO this year

Qualtrics CEO/co-founder Ryan Smith announcing the company's experience management platform at an event March last year Qualtrics  Utah based enterprise software startup and unicorn Qualtrics has now been reported to be interviewing bankers for a public offering targeted to take place this year as the company joins the populated list of tech companies going for U.S. IPOs this year. This report of an IPO came from  Bloomberg  which citing people familiar with the matter as the software firm which has raised $400 million in total across 3 rounds while being valued at $2.5 Billion from its most recent round of funding takes to the public markets. Qualtrics provides software which makes sophisticated research simple for organizations making use of in-depth customer insights with the 16 year old company counting various notable names including Microsoft, Yahoo, Volkswagen, Allianz, Fandango and JetBlue among its customers. As of last year, The company was said to be on-track

Lyft reportedly hires advisor for aimed next year IPO

Lyft U.S. ride-hailing company and main Uber competitor Lyft has now been reported to have kicked off the process for a public offering in an effort to beat its main competitor in the public markets with a new report from Bloomberg  stating of the company hiring Class V Group LLC to work closely with its management on an IPO process. According to the report, The timing of the targeted IPO  hasn't been finalized and is subject to change. “A variety of factors will determine if and when Lyft goes public, but in the meantime we are focused on building our business, which continues to grow,” Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said in a statement. “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.” Lyft's main competitor Uber is also geared for an IPO next year with the company making several moves pointing to preparation for a public offering, It's recent hiring of a CFO  marks as a very key move for a public listing of Uber recently valued at $72 Billion from a $500 million

Skip and Scoot awarded SF scooter permits

Skip After applications for licenses by several scooter sharing firms and operations, The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has issued 1 year licenses to just 2 companies being Skip and Scoot which stands as smaller players in the market which counts the likes of Uber, Lyft, Lime, Bird, Ofo and Spin as major competitors. The newly issued permits will allow for a maximum number of  625 scooters for each firm in the first 6 months with both firms being able to double their number after the first 6 months at the permit of the SFmTA. According to the SFmTA, Scoot and Skip's permit applications demonstrate a high capability to operate a "safe, equitable and accountable scooter share service" in addition to a commitment to meet the terms of the permit. Skip In its application, The organization says Scoot demonstrated a strong commitment to safety with a proposal to educate and train its users for safe scooter operations through safe, equitable

EA announces Battlefield V November 20 release date as it lowers fiscal year expectations

    Electronic Arts Gaming firm Electronic Arts just today announced it's revising its net bookings outlook for fiscal year 2019 driven by an update to its Battlefield™ V launch date with the new title's release being delayed to the 20th of November impacting its full year guidance with foreign exchange rates and a revised mobile forecast playing a part in this change. EA's stock dropped by as much as 9.7% as of trading on Thursday in reaction to this news as investors and Wall Street analysts respond to this change highlighting issues for gaming companies as they aim to keep up with mega titles like the current craze Fortnite which has taken the world by storm and has already grossed over $1.2 Billion in revenue since its last year July release. “We believe we’ve got one of the best Battlefield games ever coming in Battlefield V,” said Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer, Electronic Arts. “Tens of thousands of players have been hands on with the game so far, and

Apple sets September 12 for new launch event

An customer reacts to getting hold of Apple's new iPhone X after release at Apple's Union Square store Apple Apple has announced the date for its next big event with the Cupertino based giant sending out invites for a September 12 event scheduled to hold at the new Steve Jobs Theater on its newly built campus. The tech giant is expected to unveil its new iPhones and other releases on this date although as usual, It hasn't made any official comments regarding what to be showcased at the event. Renowned Apple news site 9to5mac is reporting of Apple using the iPhone XS moniker for its new phone with another leaked photo made available which the site says is a newly revised Apple Watch 4 design. With Apple's revenues rising globally as the company also broke the record of being the first $1 Trillion publicly traded U.S. firm early this month, It's expected to unveil more gadgets at the event which would be followed globally while being a major talk ac

Snap recruits Time Warner veteran Kristen O'Hara to head U.S. sales

image credit : Blogtrepreneur Camera company Snap has now hired Kristen O'Hara, AT&T executive and WarnerMedia Chief Marketing Officer as as vice president of US Global Business Solutions with this role seeing O'Hara heading the company's U.S. sales as it makes more moves to drive bigger revenues.  O'Hara has spent 16 years in total at Time Warner while holding the position of CMO at the company for 7 years now in addition to a previous stint at PR giant WPP which indicates in-depth experience in the media industry. As the new global sales chief, O'Hara will be based at its New York office while reporting to Snap Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan and overseeing three of its executives who have been reporting to Khan since February this year. This new role is key to Snap's operations with O'Hara taking on a more “consultative” role with advertisers as the company expands beyond traditional sales and apply more creative advertising methods for e

Digital design firm InVision cements strategic partnership with Atlassian

InVision NY based digital design and collaboration firm InVision has now deepened its strategic partnership with Australian software giant Atlassian with an aim to accelerate digital innovation for global organizations through seamless and effective collaboration. The 7 year old design firm whose software is used by the likes of Spotify, Airbnb, Shopify, Zendesk, SoundCloud, CitiGroup, Visa and others is intensifying its existing integrations with Atlassian's Jira, Confluence, and Trello product suite while also bringing Atlassian functionality into its InVision Studio release. Both companies would also explore strategic initiatives which tie the work of designers and developers more closely together as it aims to offer better collaboration and design services for organizations. As part of this, Atlassian is also making a strategic financial investment into InVision marking another of the Australian software firm's investments into partnering companies. InV

Popular Gay dating service Grindr plans to go public

Grindr Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., The Chinese software company behind an acquisition of popular gay dating app Grindr is now planning an IPO for the unit aimed for an overseas stock exchange at a not yet specified time. As per a new stock exchange filing , A public offering for the dating app with over 3 million daily users would be determined by regulatory approval as well as capital market conditions. Kunlun first purchased a majority stake in the app 2 years ago for $93 million before completing a full buyout January this year. Grindr's users send over 228 million messages and 20 million photos each day on its service as per 2017 data indicating high usage of its service. Grindr The service which counts majority of its users across U.S. and Europe stands as one of the three major businesses operated by its parent firm Beijing Kunlun which also counts a popular gaming and entertainment service as part of its business. “Grindr’s listing won’t exert a huge i

SurveyMonkey files for $100 million public offering

SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie image credit : Flickr/Andrew Mager Online survey development cloud-based software company SurveyMonkey has now officially filed for an IPO aiming to raise $100 million as it goes public on the Nasdaq stock exchange. It officially announced the filing with the SEC today as it preps to list under the ticker “SVMK” although the number of shares and price ranges to be offered has not yet been determined. This would make an addition to the list of companies already filed for IPO this year which include the likes of Eventbrite , Farfetch , NIO , Tenable  and Cango . J.P. Morgan, Allen & Company and Merill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated stand as lead joint book-running managers for this offering with the likes of Wells Fargo, UBS and Credit Suisse also acting as book-managers for the IPO. As per its filing, SurveyMonkey which counts all of the Fortune 100 as customers did $218.7 million in revenue last year while recording $

Salesforce reports $3.3 Billion Q2 revenue

Salesforce co-CEO/Founder Marc Benioff Salesforce Cloud computing giant Salesforce just outed its Q2 results with the SF based company reporting total second quarter revenue of $3.28 billion marking a 27% year-on-year increase with subscription and support revenues coming at $3.06 billion while professional services and other revenues accounted for a remaining $221 million. Cash generated from Q2 operations stood at $458 million marking a 38% year-over-year increase with current total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities coming at $3.43 billion. “Salesforce revenue grew 27% to almost $3.3 billion in the second quarter, with excellent performance across our clouds, industry segments and geographies," said Keith Block, co-CEO, Salesforce. “With this strong quarter, we’re well on our way to our next milestone of $23 billion in revenue in FY22.”  The company expects to bring in 49 to 50 cents in earnings excluding certain items on $3.355 to 3.365 bil

Vernā Myers joins Netflix mounting newly created role as Vice President of "Inclusion Strategy"

Employees at Netflix's Los Gatos headquarters walk past a display of notable film titles offered on its platform. Netflix Renowned American author, Inclusion Strategist and Cultural Innovator Vernā Myers will now be joining streaming giant Netflix as announced by the company creating a new role of Vice President, Inclusion Strategy to help devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into aspects of its operations. Myers would be bringing a lot to the table with an experience spanning over 2 decades of consultancy with wide range of major corporations and organizations on the eradication of cultural biases for better workplace productivity. “Having worked closely with Vernā as a consultant on a range of organizational issues, we are thrilled that she has agreed to bring her talents to this new and important role,” said Jessica Neal, Netflix Chief Talent Officer. “As a global company dedicated to attracting the best p

Eric Lefkosky's Tempus gets $110 million funding pushing its valuation to $2 Billion

Tempus Tempus, The Chicago based startup advancing precision medicine through the collection and analysis of molecular data has now closed on a $110 million Series E financing round from several firms including Baillie Gifford, T. Rowe Price, Steve Case's Revolution Growth, New Enterprise Associates and other returning investors pushing the total amount raised by the 3 year old startup to $320 million. The company was notably started by former Groupon CEO and co-founder Eric Lefkosky who is also notable for starting Big Data unicorn Uptake along with key partner and fellow Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell. Tempus has built a comprehensive data set for its industry powered by its clinical partners and collaborators across the country, It applies machine learning, next-generation sequencing and AI-assisted image recognition to aid in real time decision making for thousands of physicians. “Our mission is to help usher in precision medicine, in the United States and abroad,” s

Facebook video platform Watch rolls out globally

Facebook Social networking giant Facebook has now rolled out its Watch video service globally making efforts to offer people around the world more ways to discover great videos and also interact with friends, creators and other users on its platform. Watch was launched in the U.S. last year and has grown to a good number of users with Facebook reporting more than 50 million people watching videos for at least a minute on its platform since the start of this year as it also works making its video experience more social through the addition of new features. Several notable shows available on the Watch platform include  Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith, beauty entrepreneur Huda Kattan’s behind-the-scenes show Huda Boss, along with live Major League Baseball games for users to enjoy. Watch offers a platform to discover new videos, catch up with creators and publishers people follow, a home for saved videos and also live videos people can participate in providing social a

Gaming startup Loot Crate gets $23 million Series B funding

image source : Loot Crate  LA based gaming collectibles subscription startup Loot Crate has secured a Series B funding round totalling $23 million from new investor Atalaya Capital Management and commerical partners NECA and Bioworld Merchandising to bolster subscription lines, improve customer experiences, and enable new product launches and distribution channels for its products. The leading subscription commerce platform for passionate entertainment and sport franchise fans is also refinancing its outstanding debt facilities while taking on incremental operational capital with this funding. The 6 year old startup which has formed partnerships with the likes of Marvel, Nickelodeon, Overwatch, WWE, Cartoon Network and the Fallout, Halo, Harry Potter and Minecraft brands has now raised over $40 million in total with this new round. "Over the past 6 years, Loot Crate has grown and evolved from a single subscription to offering multiple subscriptions spanning the best of

Lyft is offering $50,000 worth of Texas free rides for Labor Day weekend

Lyft Ride-hailing firm Lyft is celebrating the U.S. Labor Day weekend with cool perks for its users with the SF based company offering $50,000 in free rides for Texans to celebrate this event responsibly. Users of its service would be able to enjoy the fun with free rides of up to $10 each while living up the last moments of summertime. Texan users can claim their free rides here  or by applying code RIDESMARTLD on the Lyft app. “Labor Day festivities create a busy weekend for San Antonio roads,” Janet Peavy, Market Manager for Lyft San Antonio stated. “Data shows that 36 percent of Labor Day weekend fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver, and Lyft is committed to doing our part to combat this statistic and encourage responsible choices through our Ride Smart TX program.” Its Ride Smart TX program launched in May with the major ride-hailing player committing to reduce drinking and driving through its ride-sharing program. Part of Lyft's major moves to grow an

Medical equipment manufacturer Outset Medical closes $132 million Series D funding

Outset Medical San Jose based medical tech company Outset has now closed a Series D round of $132 million led by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala with participation from T. Rowe Price, Warburg Pincus, Perceptive Advisors, Baxter Ventures, Fidelity and Partner Fund Management. This brings the total raised by Outset to over $360 million marking it as one of the most funded medical tech startups on scene. Started in 2003, The company is notable for its Tablo® Hemodialysis System aimed at reducing the cost and complexity of dialysis in acute and chronic care markets. Outset is gearing this funding towards commercial expansion of this product for the U.S. region where dialysis is delivered to more than 500,000 patients several times per week for removal of waste products and excess fluid from Kidney Failure patients. “Our investment in Outset Medical represents an exciting opportunity for Mubadala, as it is aligned with our goal of improving people’s lives while meeting a

HPE names former Sprint executive Tarek Robbiati as CFO

image credit : HPE Hewlett Packard Enterprise on the heels of just outing its financial results has also made a notable announcement involving a position change in the company as it has appointed a new CFO by name of Tarek Robbiati, A former Sprint executive and Flexigroup CEO who will now replace current CFO Tim Stonesifer who is getting ready to step down as of October end. Stonesifer is stepping down after heading to HPE 4 years ago as CFO following a nearly 3 year stint as s CFO of General Motor’s Co. Shanghai-based International Operations division. His tenure witnessed a period of significant transformation which included execution of the largest separation in corporate history in addition to spin-offs and mergers of 2 business segments delivering more than $20 Billion of transaction value. “Tim has been an incredible partner and advisor for our company and for me personally,” said HP CEO Neri. “He played a vital role during a period of tremendous change, providing str

Instagram ups its safety with new three-part plan

Instagram Instagram is making new moves in a bid to boost security on its platform as more users adapt its service with a safer environment being of positive interest to both parties. Just today, Instagram co-founder and CTO Mike Krieger detailed in a new post of three important steps its taking to offer a more secure platform for its 1 Billion global users. The social media service is launching a new feature to help users evaluate account authenticity in addition to introducing a global verification form for notable public figures and an improved two-factor authentication system which makes it easier and safer for users to securely log onto the platform. In coming weeks, Users would be able to see more information about accounts on Instagram which get to large audiences to evaluate authenticity through an “About This Account.” button to be accessed through a menu popping up after a click on a profile. Instagram By September, People who have accounts which reach large

WeWork owned Flatiron School joins forces with design school Designation

image credit : Flatiron Flatiron School, The coding school and bootcamp acquired and operated by co-working giant WeWork has now made a move to expand its service base with an acquisition of Designation, A dedicated User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) digital design program based out of Chicago notable for dishing out graduates for several big names including Facebook, Bose, Google, Apple, Capital One, Walgreens, IBM, Yelp, Uptake and several others. Flatiron was established in 2012 and currently counts 7 campuses across the U.S. and U.K. in addition to an online presence for its enrollees. After raising over $14 million across 2 rounds from the likes of Thrive Capital, Matrix Partners, BoxGroup and CRV, WeWork acquired the firm October last year adding its offerings as another perk for its members. This acquisition indicates WeWork's mission of furthering its co-working environment with new additions and features being made available to its over 200,000 members

Brazilian on-demand trucking startup CargoX gets $60 million round led by Blackstone

CargoX founder Federico Vega image credit : CargoX Sao Paulo based on-demand trucking startup CargoX has now raised $60 million in a venture round led by investment powerhouse Blackstone along with participation from other notable names including Goldman Sachs, Qualcomm Ventures, Soros Fund Management and Uber veteran and co-founder Oscar Salazar. This brings the total amount raised by CargoX to over $90 million as it aims to 'Uberize' the trucking industry and scale its operations in the huge logistics market. CargoX has already garnered notable customers including Heineken, Unilever, Votorantim and brewing giant Ambev. CargoX handles transportation for a wide range of items including foods, electronics, packaged goods, Wood, Flooring and several other commodities crucial to everyday life offering easy transportation services for customers looking to move heavy goods across regions. Previous investors in the 5 year old startup include Lumia Ventures, NXTP Labs, Agi

Apple's Newest store - The Apple Kyoto in Shijō Dori

Apple Tech giant Apple has always been making efforts towards ramping up its retail presence and this time, After opening a new location in Milan last month, The company has now opened another in Kyoto, The Japanese cultural and technological hub which has served as the city's major shopping spot since a long time ago. This new location takes inspiration from local Japanese design and materials as per the company who fitted the upper levels with a translucent envelope inspired by Japanese lanterns along with the use of lightweight timber frame and special paper on the upper facade to draw reference to the country's traditional houses. Apple The building is notably surrounded by a multi-level Atrium which is earmarked to host its  Today at Apple offering programs surrounding music, coding, photography and several other activities. Apple's first store outside the U.S. was opened in Japan 15 years ago and as it expands its retail presence is opening several

AutoX launches pilot autonomous grocery delivery program in San Jose

AutoX In the ever growing autonomous vehicle service industry,  Another startup is making a foray into the market with the launch of a grocery delivery and mobile store pilot program which would allow public users to order and receive fresh produce and other forms of goods to be delivered by its self driving cars. AutoX, The Silicon Valley based startup launching this service is partnering with GrubMarket, A online fresh food service also situated in its region along with local high-end grocery store DeMartini Orchard and will offer fresh foods from the likes of Chipotle, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and Amazon's Whole Foods for delivery to its users. Customers will be able to order items after downloading its app which offers a selection of goods it says would be preserved in a temperature controlled environment throughout its journey. “We are enabling two shopping experiences with self-driving cars,” explains AutoX COO Jewel Li. “You can order goods from an app and get

Uber to appeal Brazil court decision ruling drivers as employees

Uber Uber is set to appeal a decision by a Brazilian labour court which ruled in favor of a driver who demanded to be regarded as an employee of the service as per the company whose business model views its drivers as independent contractors as opposed to full employees. The company made known in a statement it will file an appeal before Brazil's top labor court with the company stating of “solid jurisprudence” to back its case. Uber has already won 123 similar lawsuits in the country as per its statement with several judges ruling that Uber has no compulsory need to treat its drivers as employees. Being its second largest market, The ride-hailing behemoth which sales its operations are profitable in the region have made efforts concerning its position and operations having fought legal battles brought about by various plantiffs regarding its service. “It’s important to clarify that it is not Uber who hires drivers, but drivers that hire Uber,” the company said in its st

VMware set to acquire CloudHealth as it makes efforts to grow cloud services

VMware CEO Patrick P. Gelsinger and parent company DellEMC founder Michael Dell at its 2017 VMWorld conference image credit : VMware Cloud software giant VMware has just announced its intent to acquire Boston based cloud service management startup CloudHealth in what would mark its 33rd acquisition and its 4th this year as the company aims to expand its services in the cloud software market. An official price has not been disclosed yet but Reuters reports VMware would pay $500 million for the 6 year old startup which has raised over $80 million in funding. VMware made its intent known during the keynote address of its annual VMWorld conference where it also made announcement of a new integration with AWS amid other  hybrid cloud focused changes. "Multi-cloud usage while beneficial to business creates a unique set of operational problems." said Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware. "With the addition of Cloud

Amazon opens a second Go store in downtown Seattle

Retail colossus Amazon is now ready to open a second location of its Amazon Go store, It's cashierless shopping experience powered by several sensory technologies which was first made available earlier this year. The company is now launching a second location near The Seattle Central Library at 920 Fifth Ave which will offer the same experience seen in its first pilot store to consumers. Just recently, Amazon rolled out the windows, turned the lights on with the layout of the building and products able to be seen by passers by. It's scheduled to open 7a.m on Monday morning. This store would feature a range of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack choices along with Amazon's own meal kits for people to purchase. Food options would me made available by Amazon chefs and various local caterers. As Amazon continues on its efforts to scale in the e-commerce market it already dominates, The company is making moves to challenge other mainstream retail competitors with Amazo

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Deal: Mindbody Buys Fitness Startup ClassPass

Mindbody , a leading maker of software for managing gyms and fitness studios, is buying one of the hot startups in its industry. It's buying ClassPass , a popular subscription platform for widespread gym access and online fitness classes. Mindbody will buy Classpass for an undisclosed amount . The company, owned by private equity firm Vista, also announced a strategic $500mn investment along with its ClassPass deal. The acquisition was all with privately held shares, Mindbody said. ClassPass is a celebrated startup in the fitness space. It began as a simple website to book fitness classes with registered studios but morphed into a subscription platform for access to such studios and their fitness classes, with many users paying recurring fees as a steady revenue source.  ClassPass was valued at $1bn from a funding round last year. Given the acquisition's pricing terms weren't disclosed, we can't say for sure if it was higher or lower than the $1bn mark, but for a hint,

Tether Fined $41M For Lying About Fiat Reserves

Tether Limited , the organization behind the eponymous Tether (USDT) stablecoin, has been fined a substantial sum for lying about the fiat reserves backing its stablecoin. It was fined $41mn by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to the CFTC's press release , Tether lied to customers that it had sufficient dollar reserves to back every issued USDT token whereas it did not for a long period of time. Over a 26-month sample period from 2016 through 2018, the CFTC said Tether only had sufficient dollar reserves for all its tokens 28% of the time, whereas it lied that it was "fully-backed" all the time. Also, the CFTC said Tether failed to disclose to customers that it had unsecured receivables and non-fiat assets in its supposed cash reserves. The organization further lied to customers that it would undergo routine, professional audits of its reserves but has failed to do any, the CFTC said. For its violations, the CFTC fined ordered Tether to pay a

Deal: Scopely Buys Sony's GSN Games For $1B

Scopely , a top-ranking mobile gaming startup, is expanding its business with a new major acquisition. It's buying GSN Games , a mobile gaming division of entertainment giant Sony, for the sum of $1bn. GSN Games makes popular social casino games such as Bingo Bash and  Solitaire TriPeaks . Social casino games are a genre where gaming studios can extract much revenue if they do it right, and GSN is one of the top contenders in the genre. Scopely will pay $1bn for GSN Games, half of it with cash and the other half with its shares, making Sony a minority shareholder in the mobile gaming company. It's said that Scopely's valuation has climbed to $5.4bn taking into account the shares it'll hand over to Sony as payment. That compares to a $3.3bn valuation when the company raised funding last year.  With GSN, Scopely is stepping up its business substantially by the way of a strategic acquisition. It's a strategy the mobile gaming startup is used to, having made 5 acqui

Microsoft CEO, Other Execs Bag Annual Pay Raises

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has raised the annual pay package of its Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella , the company's latest proxy statement reveals. Nadella enjoyed a substantial pay raise along with several other Microsoft executives. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, Nadella's compensation was $50mn , up 13% compared to the previous year. The lucrative pay package was split into a $2.5mn base salary, $33mn of stock awards, a $14mn cash bonus, and $110k in "other" compensation. Nadella's pay raise was in line with other Microsoft executives, including President Brad Smith and CFO Amy Hood. They each got annual pay raises in the 20% ballpark compared to 2020. The reported pay packages of Microsoft's top executives for the fiscal year is as follows; Satya Nadella (CEO) - $50mn. Amy Hood (CFO) - $23.5mn Brad Smith (President and Chief Legal Officer) - $20.5mn Jean-Philippe Courtois (Executive Vice President) - $17mn Christopher Young (Executive Vice

Deal: Instacart Pays $350M For A Smart Grocery Cart Startup

In a bid to expand, grocery delivery giant Instacart is making its biggest acquisition yet. It'll buy   Caper AI , a New York-based startup that makes smart grocery carts and cashier-less payments tech that complement them. Instacart will pay $350mn for the startup in a combination of cash and shares. Caper AI is a startup working on exciting stuff; smart shopping carts to make the grocery buying process at brick-and-mortar stores easier and faster. Its smart carts can recognize items placed in them with the help of cameras and weight sensors, then calculate their total cost without the need for barcodes as used in most grocery stores. Payment at the counter is then made quickly with Caper's own payments platform. Caper's "AI Cart". credit: Caper Also, Caper sells what's called a "Caper Counter," a checkout system for convenience stores that uses cameras and weight-based sensors instead of barcodes to sum the total cost of items. Caper Counter. cre

Apple Unveils New MacBook Pros, AirPods

Tech giant Apple has added a new set of products to its roster, including new MacBook Pro laptops and AirPods unveiled at a Tuesday online event.  Apple also unveiled new chipsets for the new MacBook Pros, the M1 Pro and M1 Max . MacBook Pros Apple unveiled two MacBook Pros, a 14-inch and 16-inch model. Both will come with the first chipsets designed by Apple specifically for a MacBook Pro, delivering high performance, expectedly.  Apple has brought back the HDMI port and SD card reader to the new MacBook Pro, in addition to three Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect peripherals. Removing the HDMI port and SD card reader in MacBooks had generated significant complaints by some Apple users, but it appears they'll be pleased again if they get the new MacBook Pros. Other shared features of the new MacBook Pros include; A 1080p front camera. MagSafe magnetic chargers. Six-speaker sound system. Fast charging - 50% charge in 30 minutes, Apple claims. Touch bar replaced by function keys. One

Deal: Australia's Aristocrat To Buy Playtech For $3.7B

The online gambling industry is hot this year, with billion-dollar deals now a frequent occurrence. The latest billion-dollar deal is Playtech , a London-listed online gambling company, selling to Aristocrat Leisure , an Australian gambling machine manufacturer. Playtech was founded in 1999 by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi . However, he sold off all his shares  in the company in 2018 and won't profit from this deal. Don't cry for him though, he made other shrewd investments that bestowed him with a net worth nearing $6bn ( Forbes estimate ). Aristocrat (ASX: ALL) has agreed to buy Playtech (LON: PTEC) in a deal worth £2.7bn ($3.7bn). The Australian firm will pay $2.9bn to buy all outstanding Playtech shares and assume $800mn of the firm's debt. It's paying 680 pence in cash per Playtech share, a 58% premium to the company's share price before the announcement. Following the announcement, Playtech's share price jerked up, expectedly. It rose 57% on Monday to

Fast Fashion E-Tailer Lulu's Files For IPO

Lulu's , an online retailer of women's apparel, is headed towards the public markets. It's filed an S-1 document for an initial public offering (IPO), showing its intent to list on the Nasdaq exchange. As expected from S-1 filings, Lulu's has provided great insights into its business, with information not publicly disclosed before. Something very noteworthy is that the online shopping boom of this year emanating from the Covid pandemic has largely favored the company. By The Numbers For its most recent fiscal quarter, the three months ended October 3, 2021, Lulu's brought in between $105mn to $106mn in revenue. Its net income for the same period was at the $3mn-$4mn mark. The estimations are because the final, audited results haven't yet been posted. For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021, Lulu's posted $249mn in revenue and a net loss of $19mn. It shows that the company has swung from losses to profitability this year, with the net profit of between $3m

Antitrust: Facebook Fined $70M Over Giphy Takeover Probe

The UK's antitrust agency has levied a substantial fine on social media giant Facebook related to its acquisition of Giphy , the popular GIF website. It fined the company  £50.5mn ($69mn) for flouting an order requiring it to supply information related to the agency's investigation of the $400mn acquisition. The UK's  Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)  launched a  formal probe  of the Giphy deal last June. The antitrust agency challenged the deal  after probing it,  arguing that it gave Facebook an unfair advantage over rivals that also used Giphy's GIF database. It appears that Facebook failed to comply with demands from the agency's investigation and has been penalized for it. Apparently, the UK's antitrust agency required Facebook to suspend integrating its operations with Giphy's as the agency was investigating the acquisition, but Facebook had failed to indicate it did so despite multiple warnings. "This should serve as a warning to any com

Deal: Walgreens Invests $5.2B In VillageMD, Now Majority Owner

Walgreens Boots Alliance , the giant American pharmacy chain, is doubling down on its investment in one of its healthcare peers; the primary care chain VillageMD . After a previous investment last year, Walgreens is investing an additional sum in VillageMD that'll make it the primary care chain's majority owner. Walgreens has agreed to invest $5.2bn in VillageMD, upping its stake from 30% to 63%. It'll become the primary care chain's majority owner and guide it under its belt to open hundreds of primary care clinics co-located with Walgreens drugstores across the US. The investment is really strategic, giving Walgreens majority ownership in the firm that'll operate most of the primary care clinics attached to its stores. We can refer to it as "full-stack healthcare", where you visit a Walgreens-owned clinic and get prescriptions to buy drugs at a Walgreens pharmacy, though we're aware not everyone is comfortable with one company having that much cont