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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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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