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Showing posts from February, 2021

2020: DraftKings Reports Strong Revenue Growth

DraftKings, a popular sports betting site in the US, has reported its earnings results for what's its first fiscal year as a publicly-traded company after going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year. It reported $322 million in 2020 revenue, up 98% from the previous year. DraftKings' annual revenue soared high in 2020 compared to the past year as it capitalized on a stronger betting market spurred by the legalization of online sports betting in more American states for growth. The company also did well getting new customers in existing legalized sports betting markets in the US. For example, the state of Tennessee formally legalized mobile and online sports betting on the 1st of November, 2020 and saw DraftKings immediately swoop into the market. In just the first two months operating in the state, DraftKings processed over $300 million in bets, its earnings report noted. In 2021, DraftKings held successful launches in the states of

SoftBank Settles Suit With WeWork Founder Adam Neumann

The Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank has reached a settlement for a legal fight with the founder of WeWork, the office leasing company that counts as one of its biggest investments and was the subject of a  financial and operational saga that saw SoftBank record a big  $4.6 billion loss on the company and moved to buy it up in order to try to stabilize it. After the WeWork saga which saw the company's founder Adam Neumann ousted, he moved to sue SoftBank claiming entitlement to a deal where SoftBank initially laid out plans to buy up $3 billion of WeWork stock from shareholders of which nearly $1 billion would have gone to Neumann but later backed out of its plans. Now, after a fairly lengthy legal battle, SoftBank has announced that it's reached a settlement with Adam Neumann as well as WeWork's board in a Delaware court. Officially, the terms of the settlement weren't disclosed, but a Financial Times report  says it entails SoftBank committing to purchase

IPO Chatter: Hot Cybersecurity Startup SentinelOne

The latest company to get into the center of chatters and rumors of an imminent public listing is SentinelOne , a Mountain View-based cybersecurity startup that's made a mark as one of the hottest of its kind with investor attraction. SentinelOne is preparing for a soon public listing that could value it at more than $10 billion and has begun interviewing banks for potential roles in its public listing, according to a report from Bloomberg . It's said that SentinelOne could list even as soon as this very year. SentinelOne is part of a cohort of technology startups that have brought artificial intelligence to the field of cybersecurity, using AI to detect and protect companies from cybersecurity threats and breaches. The company has roots in Israel, a major cybersecurity hub, and was founded in 2013. SentinelOne has been a hot startup for venture backers, drawing around $700 million in private funding of which a majority was raised just in the past two years. The Mountain View

Exec Pay: Coinbase CEO Earned $60M In 2020

The popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently released its S-1 filing to the SEC in preparation for a public offering that's expected to come soon, with the S-1 filing providing a peek into its financials and operational stats with information not publicly known before. The core information to have been revealed by Coinbase's S-1 filing is that the company is very profitable, posting a net income of $322 million on $1.28 billion in revenue in 2020. The popular crypto exchange swung from a $30 million loss in the previous year 2019 and grew its annual revenue from $533.7 million to $1.28 billion over the year. Among the noteworthy disclosures to have come from Coinbase's S-1 filing is that the company's founder and CEO Brian Armstrong pulled in a big compensation package of nearly $60 million in 2020, precisely $59.5 million.  Brian Armstrong's $59.5 million pay package consisted of a base salary of $1 million, stock options awards of $56.7 million, and $1.

VC Firm Bessemer Raises $3.3B, Adds Amazon's Jeff Blackburn As Partner

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Bessemer enture Partners has made new major moves that include adding $3.3 billion of capital to its investment coffers and appointing Jeff Blackburn, a long-time top Amazon executive and lieutenant of Jeff Bezos who just recently announced his departure from Amazon, now as a partner at the venture firm. Bessemer raised $3.3 billion with two separate funds, the first a fund named BVP XI  that raised $2.475 billion and the second a fund named  BVP Century II that raised $825 million. The majority of the new funds will be used for early-stage investments consistent with Bessemer's practice of starting with seed and Series A rounds for companies and then following up with late-stage investments. Bessemer now counts Jeff Blackburn as a Partner, with Blackburn joining the firm after a 22-year career at Amazon where he rose to become one of the company's highest-ranking executives. Before announcing his departure just this month, Blackburn served

Velodyne Lidar's Founder Ousted, Fights Back

Velodyne Lidar, the leading maker of lidars for autonomous vehicles in the US, is in the midst of a leadership tussle that's seen its founder and biggest shareholder David Hall pushed out from his position of Chairman at the company along with his wife Marta Hall who held the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Velodyne. David and Marta Hall were pushed out from Velodyne after a board investigation that brought accusations of the couple behaving "inappropriately" and acting without "respect, honesty, integrity and candor” when interacting with other officers and directors at Velodyne as claimed by the company's board. As they were pushed out, Velodyne named a new Chairman and another new board director. In response to his ouster, Velodyne founder David Hall put out a press statement  accusing his company of staging a "boardroom ambush" to reprimand him and his wife "based on an opaque, secret investigation into baseless, unfounded claims".

German Shoe Maker Birkenstock Sells To Private Equity Firm L Catterton

The American-French private equity firm L Catterton is back with yet another big deal in the fashion industry after leading a $115 million investment round for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty brand just a few weeks ago. The firm has just announced an agreement to buy a majority stake in Birkenstock, a well-known German shoemaker that was founded 25 decades ago. L Catterton is buying a majority stake in Birkenstock along with some affiliates including Financière Agache which is the family holding company of LVMH boss and European fashion titan Bernard Arnault. Arnault is a major investor in L Catterton whose company LVMH and personal holding company Groupe Arnault hold a collective 40% stake in the private equity firm so it's no surprise that he's chipping into the Birkenstock deal. The price that L Catterton is paying for a majority stake in Birkenstock isn't formally disclosed, but a report from Reuters citing sources   familiar with the deal says it values Birkenstock at 

AT&T Sells DirecTV Stake To Private Equity Firm TPG

AT&T, the American telecoms giant and parent company of mass media giant WarnerMedia, has reached a deal to sell a stake in one of its most notable properties, satellite broadcaster DirecTV, to private equity firm TPG. AT&T and TPG have agreed to a business deal that'll see both parties establish a new company to control AT&T’s U.S. video business unit consisting of the DirecTV , AT&T TV , and U-verse video services. AT&T will hold a 70% stake while TPG gets the remaining 30% stake in the new company to be formed as DirecTV's parent. The deal agreed between both companies values DirecTV's new parent at $16.25 billion. Notably, AT&T is taking a big loss from its DirecTV deal with TPG given that it paid $48.5 billion excluding debt for the broadband satellite provider in 2014. Now with a deal valuing the business at $16.25 billion, it's apparent that AT&T is taking a big loss from its DirecTV business in what's a testament to the decline

Airbnb, DoorDash Post First Earnings Results

After going public in 2020, the online rentals company Airbnb and food delivery company DoorDash have respectively posted their first earnings results as public companies, with both showing healthy growth though with increasing losses. Airbnb In Q4 2020 which was Airbnb's first quarter as a publicly-traded company, it reported $859 million in revenue, down 22% from $1.1 billion in Q4 2019. The yearly drop wasn't unexpected as the global travel and rentals market is still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Q4, Airbnb reported a huge net loss of $3.9 billion which mostly came from a $2.8 billion stock-based compensation expense that the company recorded after its IPO and also an $827 million non-cash 'mark-to-market adjustment' charge related to Airbnb share purchase warrants. For clarity, mark-to-market adjustment refers to the accounting practice of adjusting the value of an asset to reflect its value as determined by current market conditions. Due to

Twitter Aims To Double Annual Sales By 2023 End

The popular social networking company Twitter has announced plans indicating that it has its eyes set on growing its user base and, in turn, revenue base in the forthcoming years.  In a recent SEC filing , Twitter noted that it's targeting to at least double its annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion in 2023, with its plans propelled by a complementary target of growing its monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) count to 315 million by the end of 2023. Twitter's growth target was formally announced at the company's 2021 Analyst Day event where it pitched itself to investors and public market stakeholders with the aim of encouraging positive investor sentiment towards Twitter. As it looks, the social media company got positive attraction from investors with the announcement of its revenue doubling aim as Twitter's stock shot up by over 5% during trading on Thursday. Over the past few years, Twitter has recorded healthy growth but that not on par with ot

Cloud Platform DigitalOcean Unveils S-1 Filing For An IPO

The latest technology company to speed up on the route onto the public markets is DigitalOcean , a popular cloud infrastructure provider for developers and enterprises.  The company has unveiled its S-1 filing for a public listing with the US SEC and given a peek into its finances and business operations with information not publicly known before. DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure and hosting provider for developers and enterprises to deploy their apps and online services. Though based in New York, the company operates data centers spread across the globe.  As indicated by its S-1 filing, DigitalOcean pulled in $318.4 million in revenue in 2020, compared to $254.8 million in the previous year, 2019. The company's annual sales grew by over 100% from $203 million in 2018 to roughly $318 million in 2020. Though, DigitalOcean isn't profitable and hasn't been in the past successive years, posting respective losses of $43.6 million, $40.4 million, and $36 million in 2020, 2

Crypto Company Coinbase Unveils S-1 Filing For Direct Listing

After confidentially filing for a public offering in December, the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has now unveiled its S-1 filing  with the US SEC to the public, giving a peek into the company's financials and operational information not publicly known before. Coinbase's S-1 filing shows $1.28 billion in revenue in 2020, more than double its $533.7 million revenue in 2019. The crypto exchange is very profitable with a net income of $322.3 million in 2020, compared to a $30.4 million loss in 2019. With its just-revealed financial stats, it should then be no surprise that investors were recently reported to have driven up the market value of Coinbase, which was valued at $8 billion from its last formal financing round, to over $100 billion in a private market share sale ahead of the company's listing. As it is, technology stocks have been hot as of late and generally seen great favor from public market investors. The crypto markets have been even hotter, with Bitc

Taiwan's Foxconn To Build Cars For EV Company Fisker

After becoming a public company last year through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), electric carmaker Fisker has taken a bold and crucial step towards its planned manufacturing of electric cars with a partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing powerhouse famously known for assembling Apple's iPhones. Fisker has announced a partnership with Foxconn that'll see the Taiwanese manufacturing giant build electric cars bearing Fisker's name with projected annual production volumes of 250,000+ units. The vehicle to be manufactured by Foxconn will be Fisker's second electric vehicle and hasn't yet been unveiled. Fisker says that the new electric vehicle to be built by Foxconn is planned to go into production by Q4 2023, roughly a year after the scheduled launch of Fisker's first vehicle, the Ocean SUV . Already, over 12,000 reservations have been booked for the Ocean SUV, wherein Fisker has grand plans to get into a competitive elect

New SPAC Merger: Air Taxi Startup Joby Aviation

Every new day or so brings new SPAC mergers and today's new merger happens to be Joby Aviation , a maker of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft, a.k.a air taxis. Joby has announced an agreement to merge with Reinvent Technology Partners (NYSE:RTP), a SPAC formed by a group including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus. With its merger, Joby will become a public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Joby's merger deal values the company at $6.6 billion. Through the merger, the company will get roughly $1.6 billion in cash proceeds consisting of $690 million held in trust by the SPAC it's merging with, an extra $835 million from a private placement, and then a $75 million convertible note purchase from the ride-hailing company Uber that's being made under the terms of a  recent deal of Uber selling its flying taxi business to Joby . Joby's $835 million private placement will come from investors inc

GameStop's CFO To Depart, With Big Exit Package

Barely a month after a stock trading frenzy that sent the shares of video games and electronics retailer GameStop soaring high and highly volatile to then become the talk of the town, the company's chief financial officer (CFO) Jim Bell has announced his resignation from the company, with the reason behind his departure not stated. Bell who has served as GameStop's CFO for less than two years will step down from his role formally on March 26, 2021, and leave the company. He noticeably held the role of CFO for a short period and it's unclear if GameStop's recent stock market frenzy is a contributing factor to his departure. As Bell is resigning from GameStop, he isn't leaving on shaky grounds or at least monetarily-wise. According to filings, he'll be getting an upfront $15.8 million pay package when he departs, split into $2.8 million in severance and an immediate payout of restricted shares worth $13 million once he leaves.  Then, Bell could still collect an

Next SPAC Deal: EV Metals Company DeepGreen Metals?

Special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have been on a tear as of late, with 2020 and just two months into 2021 collectively drawing hundreds of SPAC listings that have raised tens of billions of dollars. With a SPAC boom, it's such that investors are betting on the use of SPACs to buy into promising companies and looking to make profits from them, and one of the industries to have drawn high positive interest from investors has been electric vehicles. Many companies in the electric vehicle industry, most recently the electric carmaker Lucid Motors , have sealed big SPAC deals and drawn a lot of attention with them. The whole industry is being propped up with electric carmakers taking the lead and complementary businesses such as battery makers and charging network companies following suit. Now, it seems that the latest company in the EV industry to be targeting a SPAC deal is DeepGreen Metals , a company that plans to produce metals with a minimal environmental impact that&#

Payments Company Square Buys More Bitcoin, Draws Big Gains

Just after the electric carmaker Tesla revealed a purchase of a whopping $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin , another publicly-traded company has seemingly followed suit, this time the Jack Dorsey-led payments company Square (NYSE:SQ) with a $170 million purchase of 3,318 bitcoins that supplements a previous $50 million purchase of the same cryptocurrency. With its newly bought bitcoin haul added to its previous, Square now holds approximately 5% of its entire cash and short-term investments in the popular cryptocurrency. In a statement, Square pitched cryptocurrencies as "an instrument of economic empowerment" as a rationale for betting big on the area. For most companies that are buying bitcoin, Square may be the least surprising as it's a payments company that draws a significant percentage of its revenue by facilitating the trading of bitcoins on its widely-used Cash App. For context, Square just posted its financial results for the full 2020 and declared $4.57 billion in

Bill Gates-Led Clean Energy Fund Raises Fresh $1B

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a clean energy-focused investment firm led by entrepreneur Bill Gates, has raised $1 billion for a new fund after deploying most of the first $1 billion fund that it raised in 2015. The new fund drew investments from big names in the business world including Shopify founder Tobias Lütke and Abigail Johnson, the CEO of American investment giant Fidelity, reports Bloomberg . Bill Gates founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, BEV for short, in 2015 as part of his investment efforts to prop up the clean energy sector and raised an initial $1 billion fund from an all-star team of business titans that included Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Alibaba's Jack Ma, Bloomberg L.P. founder Michael Bloomberg, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and India's Mukesh Ambani. In a six-year span since its launch, BEV has backed many clean energy and technology companies including notable names like QuantumScape, a maker of electric car batteries; Redwood Materials, an electric ca

New SPAC Merger: Cannabis Company Parallel

The latest privately-held company to tap into the boom of mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies as a route towards the public markets is Parallel , a cannabis company founded by an heir to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.  Parallel will merge with Ceres Acquisition Corp , a SPAC traded on the Canadian stock market that's backed by entertainment mogul Scooter Braun. Ceres Acquisition Corp trades on the  Canadian NEO stock exchange under the ticker symbol "CERE.U". Through its merger, Parallel will get $120 million in cash held in trust by Ceres Acquisition Corp and then an additional $225 million public-investment-in-private-equity (PIPE) round that it's received commitments for. Upon the completion of its merger, Parallel says that it'll have $430 million in cash at hand. After its merger, Parallel will continue to be led by its founder and CEO William "Beau" Wrigley Jr, whose Wrigley surname rings a bell for the popular chewing gum of the s

Palo Alto Networks Posts First $1B+ Sales Quarter

The cybersecurity software giant Palo Alto Networks has posted its financial results for its most recent quarter and revealed that it topped $1 billion in quarterly sales for the first time in its history. The company posted exactly $1.02 billion in revenue for its fiscal 2021 second quarter, a record for the company. Palo Alto Networks grew its quarterly revenue over the year from $816 million to $1 billion. Though, the company's quarterly loss also grew from $73.7 million to $142.3 million over the same period. The quarterly loss amounts to $1.48 per diluted share of Palo Alto Networks, as compared to $0.75 per diluted share in the same quarter last year. Forecast With rising sales, Palo Alto Networks has now raised its revenue guidance for its fiscal year 2021. It now expects annual revenues of between $4.15 billion to $4.2 billion, representing year-over-year growth of between 22% and 23%. On the news of its earnings reports, Palo Alto Networks saw its shares slip down a bit d

Official: Lucid Motors To Go Public Via SPAC Route

After months of rumors of electric car startup Lucid Motors looking to go public via the route of a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), it's now officially announced an agreement to merge with Churchill Capital Corp IV (NYSE: CCIV) in a deal that'll hand it over $4.4 billion in cash for its operations and value it at $24 billion Pro-forma. A $4.4 billion cash and $24 billion-value deal isn't in the normal ranges for most SPAC mergers as it's on the high end of the deals sealed by SPACs by valuation. It should be expected in this case, though, as Lucid Motors is an electric carmaker, and investors have been very positive towards publicly-traded electric carmakers as of late. Lucid Motors is one of the most-watched electric carmakers as it looks to ramp up production and begin delivering its first vehicles this year. Led by a former top Tesla engineering executive, the company is looking to establish a foothold in the American electric vehicle marke

Footwear Startup Allbirds Adds Glossier's Emily Weiss To Board

Allbirds, a venture-backed startup that's carved a lucrative market for itself selling eco-friendly footwear, has added new board members including Emily Weiss, the founder and CEO of the popular venture-backed makeup brand Glossier. Weiss was added alongside Mandy Fields, the chief financial officer (CFO) of cosmetics brand e.l.f Beauty. With Weiss and Fields joining Allbirds' board, the eco-friendly footwear brand now counts eight members on its board. Though the new board additions may seemingly hint at cosmetics ambitions for Allbirds, the company's Co-CEO Tim Brown has clarified that it has no plans to get into that market. Likely, Weiss has been tapped for an Allbirds board position thanks to her position of founding and building a venture-backed, high-growth direct-to-consumer brand. It's notably her first board seat outside Glossier, the popular cosmetics brand she founded. Weiss built Glossier from the ground up starting from a beauty blog known as " Into

LVMH Buys Half Of Jay-Z's Champagne Brand

With a popular premium champagne brand to his name, it's likely that Jay-Z always has many reasons to pop bottles every other day. Now, he should have an even bigger reason, as he's just sold a 50% stake in his premium champagne brand  Armand de Brignac to Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. After 15 years of affiliation with Armand de Brignac, Jay-Z has now likely cashed out a significant sum with a sale to LVMH, though the financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Jay-Z originally purchased a 50% stake in Armand de Brignac in 2006 and then purchased the remaining half in 2014. The premium champagne brand, famously known by its nickname "Ace of Spades" is a major premium wine seller that sold over 500,000 bottles in 2019 alone. It's been a hit in the regions of North America, Asia, and Europe. Armand de Brignac champagne bottle. With LVMH now holding an equal stake in Armand de Brignac with Jay-Z, they&#

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Cashing Out: Jeff Bezos Sells $2.5B Of Amazon Stock

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has continued his routine selling of Amazon shares to fund his other escapades. For a few years now, he's had an arranged trading plan that sees him regularly sell Amazon stock worth billions of dollars. Jeff Bezos' latest sell-off is of 739,000 Amazon shares worth around $2.5bn, SEC filings show. Another separate filing indicated that he plans to sell as many as 2 million shares that could net him nearly $7bn at current prices. This latest share sell-off from Bezos is noteworthy as one of his last in his position as Amazon's CEO which he's handing off soon to a top lieutenant named Andy Jassy. Jassy is currently CEO of AWS, Amazon's very profitable cloud computing division. Usually, a CEO offloading large amounts of stock in a company he leads draws some displeasure from investors, but as Jeff Bezos would soon no longer be Amazon's CEO, it opens up opportunities to sell larger amounts of shares than usual if the desires. Amazon's

EVs: Ford, BMW Co-Invest In An EV Battery Startup

It's currently of no doubt that electric vehicles represent the future for the automobile market, and many automakers have taken heed to that. Tens of billions of dollars in spending have been earmarked for the R&D and production of electric vehicles by global automakers, with efforts spanning battery development, building new factories, charging stations et al. Now, two of the world's biggest automakers, BMW and Ford, have jointly invested in a startup working on battery technology for electric vehicles. That startup is Solid Power, a Colorado-based startup developing solid-state batteries for EVs. Details: Solid Power has raised a $130 million Series B round  co-led by Ford and BMW. The two automakers were joined by green-focused venture fund Volta Energy Technologies in the round. As part of the strategic round, Ford and BMW have expanded their joint agreements with Solid Power to develop solid-state batteries for their use. In a way, the two automakers are funding and o

Is Apple Brewing A Major Digital Health Play?

That Apple has high ambitions in the digital health space isn't foreign news to anyone following the moves of the company. In fact, its CEO Tim Cook once referred to health as Apple's “greatest contribution to mankind.” Apple's main health product is the Apple Watch for which health represents a major use case and a selling point. The latest Apple Watch series has key health features including the ability to measure ECG (electrocardiogram) and oxygen saturation level in the blood. With all its grand ambitions, the reality is that Apple is progressing very well in the digital health space but yet hasn't gotten a big foothold in it like it's done in other markets. There still exists a large gap for Apple to conquer to make waves in the digital health market and the company seems much hell-bent on covering that gap. Details: A certain revelation has come out that details Apple's grand plans in the health sector, and it's that of a UK startup working on next-ge

Big Pay: AT&T Shareholders Vote Against Execs Pay

To bring back one of our most favorite sayings, "America is the land of many things, including very enormous executive pay". Executives of publicly-traded companies in the US are familiar with very large compensation packages on a scale not seen in other countries, take recent examples including Palantir CEO Alex Karp landing a $1.1 billion payday  and former T-Mobile CEO John Legere getting a $137 million severance pay . But with all the large executive pay packages flying around, it appears that the shareholders of one public company are not okay with it and that company is telecoms giant AT&T.  Details: AT&T in a statement  revealed that the majority of its shareholders voted not in favor of the compensation of its executive officers in 2020. Just under 49% of votes were cast in favor of the compensation, leaving the remaining majority 51%, not in favor.  Last year, AT&T had large pay packages for its top brass including $21 million for CEO John Stankey and $52

Deal: Verizon Sells Yahoo And AOL To PE Firm For $5B

Telecoms giant Verizon has found a buyer for its Verizon Media Unit which includes veteran internet properties like Yahoo and AOL, and that buyer is a major private equity firm. To note, though Yahoo and AOL have long faded from their glory days, they aren't exactly dead properties but ones still with a great deal of users bringing in a few billion in revenue annually. Details: Verizon has struck a deal to sell 90% of Verizon Media to private equity firm Apollo which will pay $5 billion for it, while Verizon retains a  10%  minority stake in the business. The deal takes off many internet properties off Verizon's hands, including bigger ones like Yahoo and smaller ones like technology news site TechCrunch operating under the AOL umbrella. Though it's selling for a seemingly huge price of $5 billion, Verizon paid a combined $9 billion to buy the web properties making up its Verizon Media unit so it doesn't come out on top financially from the sale.  Verizon paid $4.4bn t

Germany's SAP Fined $8M For Violating Iran Sanctions

SAP, the German software giant, has agreed to pay a fine in the US for violating sanctions imposed by the country on conducting business in Iran. It'll pay over $8 million in fines after admitting to handling thousands of exports of its software to Iran violating US law. Details: SAP admitted to exporting US-origin software to Iran beginning in 2010 up until 2017. The exports including delivering software upgrades and patches more than 20,000 times to Iranian users and offering Iranian users access to US-based cloud services. As charged, executives at SAP were aware that the company didn't have geolocation protections to block downloads of its US-origin software in Iran and turned a blind eye to the situation.  SAP was also charged with neglecting to put in place adequate export control for cloud services made by some US-based companies that it acquired and integrated into its software suite. For the charges, SAP admitted guilt and reached a  Non-Prosecution Agreement with the

IPO: Cybersecurity Startup Darktrace Debuts On UK Markets

A major cybersecurity startup from the UK has held an initial public offering (IPO) and debuted to positive investor fanfare on the domestic public markets. That startup is Darktrace, a fast-growing cybersecurity startup founded by a team of mathematicians in collaboration with British intelligence agencies in 2013. Darktrace sells cyber-defense software that's claimed to harness artificial intelligence in spotting and managing cyber threats. It listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol "DARK". By the numbers: Darktrace debuted to positive investor fanfare that saw its shares soar by 40% on its first day of trading. It raised £143 million ($198m) from the public float at a valuation of £1.7 billion ($2.3bn) which soared to almost £2.4 billion ($3.3bn) on its debut trading day. Darktrace's IPO prospectus reports $199 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. This was up from $137 million in the previous year, 2019, and $79 mill

Earnings: Pfizer Rakes In Cash From COVID Vaccine

Pfizer, one of the few pharmaceutical companies worldwide to produce an approved Covid-19 vaccine, has unveiled its earnings report for the first quarter of this year. As usual, the report provides a solid peek into the company's financials and with very noteworthy nuggets this time around. One key nugget from Pfizer's earnings report is that the company brought in $3.5bn in revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine in Q1' 21. It made up nearly a fourth of the company's total $14.6bn revenue for the period. The Covid vaccine was the biggest single source of revenue for Pfizer in the quarter. It's definitely a good time for the company in that regard, as it elected to keep the profit from the sale of its vaccines unlike some of its competitors which volunteered to waive off any profit-seeking from their vaccines. Unlike some of its competitors also, Pfizer didn't take money from the US government to fund the development of its vaccine under the Trump administration'

Earnings: Covid Vaccines Deliver Big Sales, Profit For Moderna

Moderna was among the few biotech companies that saved the day with the development of an emergency-authorized vaccine to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a breakthrough for the company, which was before then a cancer-fighting moonshot with minimal revenues and no working product. Being a publicly-traded company, Moderna is mandated to release quarterly earnings reports to the public and it has done so this time around, releasing its financial results for the first quarter of this year 2021. Moderna's latest earnings report shows that of a company that saw big success from its Covid vaccines, as it reported record revenue and its first-ever net profit as a public company. By the numbers: Moderna made $1.9bn in revenue in Q1' 21, compared to a paltry $8mn for the same quarter in 2020. The revenue came wholly from Covid vaccine sales in the US and foreign markets. Moderna reported a huge net income of $1.2bn in the quarter, compared to a net loss of $124mn for the same perio

Court Docs: Fortnite Maker Epic Made $15B In 2018-2020

Fortnite maker Epic Games is having a court battle with Apple over the latter's App Store practices and that battle has led to several documents coming out of the shadows with valuable information about Epic Games not publicly known before.  Among the information revealed in court proceedings between Epic and Apple is the sheer scale of Epic's revenue largely gotten from its hit game Fortnite . Official documents indicate that Epic Games made respective annual sales of $5.6bn, $4.2bn, and $5.1bn in 2018, 2019, and 2020, summing up to just shy of $15bn. Epic's revenue in 2018 and 2019 was revealed in financial documents made public as part of its court battle with Apple while its revenue for 2020 was separately revealed in a court testimony by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. The vast majority of Epic's revenue comes from Fortnite while its other products like the Unreal Engine and the Epic Games Store bring in a minority of revenues. Specifically, Fortnite brought in $5.5bn a