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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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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

Ed-Tech Company Coursera Files To Go Public

Every new week or so brings new IPOs and a very notable company that has just hopped aboard the IPO train is Coursera, the popular massive open online course provider founded out of Stanford University.  Coursera has filed an S-1 document for an IPO with the SEC, giving a peek into its financials and business operations with information not publicly known before. By the stats: Coursera reported a record $294 million revenue in 2020, compared to $184 million in the previous year, 2019. 2020 was definitely a good year for the company as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic spurred an upsized demand for online education services. Coursera isn't profitable, reporting respective net losses of $67 million and $47 million in 2020 and 2019. The company has a high Gross Profit rate, coming at nearly 50% in both 2020 and 2019 but has high expenses making it record net losses. Its highest expense for the past two years has been attributed to sales and marketing endeavors. Coursera had 387 pa