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Showing posts from March, 2021

FTC Opposes Illumina's $8B Purchase Of Cancer Detection Startup Grail

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued to block the $8 billion purchase of cancer detection startup Grail  by Illumina, a publicly-traded genetic sequencing company.  Illumina has sought to acquire Grail, which's working on blood-based cancer detection tests, for $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in stock net of the 12% stake it already owns as an investor in Grail. To note, Grail was itself spun out of Illumina. With a legal case in the brews, the FTC argues that Illumina's planned purchase of Grail will "diminish innovation in the U.S. market" for multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, given that the blood-based early cancer detection test that Grail is developing depends on a type of DNA sequencing that only Illumina provides. On its end, the FTC is challenging Illumina's planned Grail purchase as one that'll give it an unfair edge in the MCED test market and has thus sued to block the purchase. A trial for the case will begin on Aug. 24, 2

NBA Top Shot Parent Dapper Labs Raises $305M, Valued At $2.6B

Dapper Labs, the company behind digital collectibles sensation  NBA Top Shot and Ethereum collectibles game  CryptoKitties , has raised a big new round of funding from what's apparently a large party of sports stars, Hollywood heavyweights, and investment firms. Dapper has raised a $305 million round led by Coatue, a tech-focused investment powerhouse. Coatue was joined by others including NBA legend Michael Jordan and current stars like Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala; musician Shawn Mendes; Hollywood stars Will Smith and Ashton Kutcher; and investment firms a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, and Venrock. Indeed many people and firms chipped into Dapper's funding round and we listed just some of them. Per reports , the round values Dapper at $2.6 billion, not bad for a company at the forefront of the recent NFT craze. Dapper's NBA Top Shot offers video highlights of NBA scenes that users can trade in the form of verifiable digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens (NF

IPO Chatter: Proptech Startup Knock

Knock, a fairly popular prop-tech startup offering people a way to buy and sell homes, is the latest company to get drawn to the center of rumors of a planned IPO. It's recruited investment bank Goldman Sachs to advise it on a bid to go public, according to a Bloomberg News report . Quoting the report, Knock is considering a plan to raise between $400 million to $500 million through an initial public offering. The prop-tech startup is also weighing a direct listing, or of course, the hot way to go public now which's a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). In an interview with Bloomberg, Knock's CEO Sean Black confirmed that his startup hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on its consideration to go public. Per chatters, Knock is aiming for a valuation in the ballpark of $2 billion on the public markets. Knock is a homebuying startup with its major offering known as Knock Home Swap, entailing lending money to customers to buy a new home while helping them sh

Market Moves: Tencent Music Kicks Off $1B Share Buyback

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the NYSE-listed music streaming service of Chinese tech giant Tencent, has embarked on its biggest share buyback program yet with an announcement that it's been authorized to repurchase up to $1 billion worth of shares in a twelve-month period commencing March 29, 2021. Tencent Music's fresh $1 billion share buyback is more than double the company's last share buyback program of $400 million . Tencent Music began trading on the NYSE after an IPO in 2018 and has undertaken just one share buyback program since then before this one marking the second. The $1 billion share buyback announcement by Tencent Music notably comes just after the company was caught up in a massive share selloff of over $20 billion  that was triggered by a group of major banks, and the share selloff triggered significant short-term slumps in the share prices of affected companies like itself. A share buyback is basically the re-acquisition by a company of its own shar

UK Online Used-Car Dealer Cazoo Rides Into $7B SPAC Merger Deal

Cazoo, an online used-car sales startup operating in the UK, has reached an agreement to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) founded by American billionaire investor Dan Och in a deal valuing it at $ 7 billion. Cazoo, a barely three-year-old startup, is merging with AJAX I, a SPAC listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: AJAX). Through the merger, Cazoo is getting $805 million of cash held in trust by AJAX I, plus an $800 million PIPE round coming from investors including BlackRock, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Fidelity, and Mubadala Capital. A barely three-year-old startup sealing an exit with a valuation of $7 billion on the public markets wildly signals booming times for the stock markets. Though it's existed for a relatively short time, Cazoo is a fast-growing startup that says it expects revenue in 2021 to approach $1 billion. Though with rapidly rising revenues, Cazoo doesn't seem to be currently profitable and hasn't disclosed whethe

New York State Launches "Vaccine Passport" App

The state of New York led by Governor Andrew Cuomo has moved to launch a "vaccine passport" offering an easy way for residents to share their Covid-19 vaccination or negative test status in accordance with state guidelines. The aim of the app, named Excelsior Pass , is to provide an easy way for organizers of mass gatherings to verify the status of their attendees in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Excelsior Pass was developed by New York state in partnership with IBM, whose blockchain platform forms the basis of the app. It works by having a secure QR code which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to get proof of vaccination or Covid-19 negative test results to permit entry for customers. The Excelsior Pass isn't that complex, being similar to a mobile airline boarding pass. Just as in the case of a boarding pass, New York state residents can either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior P

Autonomous Delivery Startup Nuro Adds Toyota, Chipotle As Investors

Nuro, a well-funded self-driving startup launched by ex-Google veterans, has said that it's raised new funding from investors including restaurant chain Chipotle and Woven Capital, a growth-stage fund launched by a subsidiary of Japanese automaker Toyota. The new investments in Nuro came as part of a $500 million Series C  that the company embarked on last year. It adds Chipotle as a strategic investor in Nuro and means we could see food from Chipotle getting delivered by Nuro's self-driving robots sometime in the future. With backing from an offshoot of Toyota, Nuro also has a new strategic investor in the Japanese automaker.  Nuro's new investments came on the heels of the company securing a commercial deployment permit for its autonomous delivery robots in the state of California. The permit has allowed Nuro to operate commercially in two countries near its headquarters in the California Bay Area and the company says it'll soon start delivering there with a yet-unn

TikTok Owner ByteDance Makes Big Gaming Purchase, Hires CFO

ByteDance Technologies, the high-flying Chinese technology startup that owns a suite of apps including the popular TikTok, has made a major gaming acquisition that is the company's biggest acquisition yet, paying a reported $4 billion to buy mobile game developer Moonton. Moonton is a Chinese mobile game studio that's best known for its multiplayer online battle arena game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang . It was founded just seven years ago and now has seen a big exit with a sale to ByteDance. Per publicly-known information, Moonton is known to have raised just a small amount of venture funding, making its reported $4 billion sale price very lucrative for its shareholders. Its sale signals ByteDance having big ambitions venturing into the gaming world. As it made a big gaming acquisition, ByteDance also announced the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer poached from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Shou Zi Chew, who served as Xiaomi's CFO from 2015 to 2020 will become B

Crypto Firms Blockchain.com, Chainalysis Raise Mega Rounds

Two of the latest companies in the crypto-sphere to raise a big round of funding are two well-known names, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis and cryptocurrency exchange and wallet Blockchain.com . Chainalysis has announced that it's raised a new funding round of $100 million valuing it at $2 billion, while Blockchain.com has raised a new round of $300 million valuing it at $5.2 billion. Both funding rounds add to the crypto funding frenzy that's been seen in the past year. Chainalysis's $100 million round was led by Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment firm launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Erhrsam. Other participants in the round included Lee Fixel's Addition and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff via his firm TIME Ventures. The $100 million round for Chainalysis came barely four months after the company closed a previous round of the same exact amount. The company says it's seen exceptional growth over the past year and increased its annual recurring revenue

IPO: Romanian Software Company UiPath Unveils S-1

After filing confidentially for an initial public offering (IPO) in December, UiPath, the high-flying robotic process automation (RPA) startup, has now unveiled its S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), giving a peek into its financials with information not publicly known before. With its S-1 filing made, UiPath is set to begin trading soon on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "PATH". As to financials, UiPath's S-1 filing shows $608 million revenue for its most recent fiscal year ending January 31, 2021. In the previous year, the company made $336 million in revenue. UiPath isn't profitable, showing net losses of $92 million and a much higher $520 million in its most recent fiscal year and the one before that respectively. Most of UiPath's revenue comes from its 'Licenses' segment, that is selling licenses for the use of its software to corporations. The second-highest segment after that is grouped as "Maintenan

Official: WeWork To Go Public With $9B SPAC Deal

Pertaining true to recent rumors , SoftBank-owned office leasing company WeWork has sealed a deal to become publicly-traded through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's announced that it's merging with BowX Acquisition Corp in a deal valuing it at $9 billion. BowX Acquisition Corp is a SPAC sponsored by investment firm Bow Capital Management and is advised by retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. It raised $420 million from its IPO in August last year. With its merger, WeWork is getting $483 million of cash held in trust by BowX plus an extra $800 million PIPE round committed by investors including Fidelity, BlackRock, Starwood Capital Group, and Insight Partners. Totally, it'll get $1.3 billion of cash proceeds from its merger. WeWork's past has definitely not been forgotten, being the poster child for excessive startup exuberance  under the leadership of its former CEO Adam Neumann who was then ousted by the company's board led by

Sports E-Tailer Fanatics Raises $320M, Doubles Valuation To $13B

Fanatics, the popular online retailer of sports merchandise, has raised a new funding round of $320 million that values it at $12.8 billion, per CNBC . The round more than doubled the company's valuation from $6.2 billion as of its last round now to nearly $13 billion. Fanatics' new round came from a mix of investors including private equity firm Silver Lake, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Investments, Neuberger Berman, Thrive Capital, and Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball is a major sports merchandise partner of Fanatics so it's no surprise that chipped cash into the company's $320 million round. Per CNBC , Fanatics' global sales are up 30% year over year and the company expects to surpass $3 billion in sales this year. It's then ideal that the sports merchandise e-tailer has sought new funds to double down on expanding. With its new round, Fanatics has now raised a total of $2.4 billion in venture funding, and that makes it one of the highest-funded

News Corp Pays $275M To Buy Newspaper Investor's Business Daily

News Corp, the mass media giant chaired by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News fame, has moved to buy Investor's Business Daily, a fairly popular American newspaper and news website covering the global stock market and business activities.  News Corp is paying $275 million to buy Investor's Business Daily from O’Neil Capital Management, an asset management firm that's owned the paper for a long time. The firm is chaired by William J. O’Neil who's himself the founder of the paper. As part of News Corp,  Investor's Business Daily will be housed under Dow Jones, a News Corp subsidiary that also operates the famous Wall Street Journal . It's an ideal acquisition for Dow Jones which's a leading global provider of business news and information. Investor's Business Daily, IBD for short, owns business website Investors.com which's a digital outlet generating the most revenue for the company. It's monetized primarily with subscriptions, subscriptions that News Cor

Zillow Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff Has A New Billion-Dollar Startup

Spencer Rascoff is a well-known serial tech entrepreneur with several successes to his name. Early in his entrepreneurial career, he founded Hotwire.com, an internet travel startup that sold to InterActiveCorp (now IAC) for nearly $700 million. He then co-founded Zillow which grew to become the leading online real estate platform in the US. Rascoff stepped down from Zillow in April 2020 and apparently still had the entrepreneurial bug biting him hard despite his previous successes. He moved to form two new companies, tech news site dot.LA and real estate startup Pacaso , which's where it gets interesting. Barely five months after launching, Pacaso has said that it's raised a $75 million equity round  valuing it at an unprecedented $1 billion. Take note that this is a startup that's existed for only five months.  Pacaso said it closed a $75 million equity round alongside a $1 billion debt round for its business. The equity round was led by VC firms Greycroft and Global Foun

Under New CEO, Intel To Spend $20B Building Two New Chip Fabs

Shortly after recruiting Pat Gelsinger from VMware to be its new CEO , chipmaking giant Intel has announced plans  to spend $20 billion building two new semiconductor fabrication plants "fabs" in the state of Arizona.  The new fabs are aimed at boosting the company's manufacturing capacity locally in the US, whereas the US has over the past years lost a significant percentage of its chip manufacturing capacity to other countries such as China. Intel will spend $20 billion building its two new fabs over the next three years with plans for both to have become operational sometime in 2023. The company's plan puts it in major competition with Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC which's also building a semiconductor fab in Arizona. Likewise, Korea's Samsung is also building one in Texas. With its new fabs, Intel aims to boost manufacturing capacity for its own processors in the 7nm range and smaller. The company has also detailed plans to create a new division called 'Int

Big Startup Funding Rounds: Ro, GoPuff, Airwallex, And More

This year has been a spectacular one regarding big funding rounds for startups. It's a year when you just sleep for a night and lo and behold wake up to the news of big funding rounds that were announced just in the few hours you slept. Just on Monday in this new week, several $100 million+ rounds for startups were announced, with some rounds amounting to around $100 million and others going to as high as over $1 billion. In this piece, we present to you a summary of the biggest new funding rounds of this week. They include; Ro - Ro, an online pharmacy startup, has raised $500 million in Series D funding that values it at $5 billion. It's now raised a total of nearly $900 million in outside funding with the addition of the new round. GoPuff - Food, snacks, and alcohol delivery app GoPuff has raised a whopping $1.15 billion  in a new funding round valuing it at $9 billion, double its valuation from a previous round five months ago. GoPuff's new round came from a mix of ne

"Rigged Tax Code": Zoom Pays $0 Federal Income Tax On $660M Annual Profit

Zoom, the popular video-conferencing platform, was one of the major beneficiaries of the pandemic as millions around the globe became dependent on video calls to stay connected and carry out their jobs. 2020 was a wild year for Zoom, wherein its annual pre-tax profit soared from just $16 million to $664 million in the span of 12 months. For that year, the company reported $2.7 billion in revenue, over 4x its revenue in the previous year. Now, it's been revealed that Zoom only had to cough out a relatively minute sum to the US taxman despite its year of record profits. The company paid $0 in federal income taxes and only $5.7 million in total taxes to the US government in 2020, an effective tax rate of just 0.8% on its profits even though the corporate tax rate was 21% for 2020. It's not that Zoom broke the law or evaded taxes to reduce its federal income tax bill to nothing and total tax bill to $5.7 million. What the company did was take advantage of a legal loophole by compen

Serial Lawbreaker: Amazon Faces 3rd Wage Theft Fine In 3 Months

  Yet again, Jeff Bezos's e-commerce giant Amazon is in hot water with regulators for messing with the wages of its workers, in this case its drivers. The company is set to pay a fresh $8.2 million penalty in a class action settlement for wage violations, as indicated by a court settlement notice  for eight former Amazon delivery driver contractors in the Seattle area in Washington state. The $8.2 million fine is yet another entry into the long list of fines that Amazon will pay as penalties for apparent wage theft, coming just a week after the state of California fined the company $6.4 million  for failing to pay overtime and and offer rest breaks to over 700 contracted delivery drivers in Southern California between 2018 and 2020. Shortly before California's fine, Amazon also agreed to pay a $62 million fine levied by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  for pocketing delivery drivers' tips. Tracing back to other years, the company has numerously landed in hot water with r

Mobile App Monetization Company ironSource To Go Public With $11B SPAC Deal

Just that moment when you start to chill after taking a break from writing about numerous SPAC merger deals, there's that new one to always pop up and crash the break, and that new one today is ironSource, a mobile app monetization company based in Israel. ironSource has announced an agreement to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. It'll merge with Thoma Bravo Advantage (NYSE: TBA) in a deal valuing it at $11.1 billion. Thoma Bravo Advantage raised $1 billion from an initial public offering (IPO) in January, money that'll now be handed over to ironSource with its merger, plus a $1.3 billion PIPE round committed to the company by a mix of investors including Tiger Global, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Wellington Group, investment firm Fidelity, and hedge fund Baupost Group. From its merger, ironSource will get $2.3 billion of cash proceeds, marking one of the biggest SPAC deals of the past year. ironS

Newly-Public Lidar Company Luminar Heads For China's Auto Market

Luminar Technologies, a company making lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles that went public through a much-talked-about SPAC merger a few months ago, has added another major lidar supply deal to its package of contracts, this time with a Chinese automaker that's known to be the biggest in the country by the name SAIC Motor. Luminar has entered into a strategic partnership with SAIC Motor that'll see it supply lidar hardware and the accompanying autonomous driving software for a new line of SAIC electric vehicles dubbed R . The contract will kick off next year, 2022, and it's noted that targets exist for Luminar to supply lidars for SAIC's entire vehicle lineup needing it. With its partnership with SAIC, Luminar will open its first office in China in Shanghai, the same city where SAIC is based. From there, the Chinese automaker will provide local support for Luminar as it gets into a foreign market it hasn't been into before. For the new R brand electric car unveil

iBuying Startup Offerpad To Merge With Zillow Co-Founder's SPAC

Offerpad, a real estate tech startup focused on iBuying, has sealed a deal to be taken public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and not just any SPAC but one formed by a co-founder of Zillow which's one of the biggest real estate tech companies globally. Offerpad has announced an agreement to merge with Supernova Partners Acquisition Company (NYSE: SPNV) and start trading on the public markets as a result. Supernova is a SPAC formed and led by Spencer Rascoff, a serial tech entrepreneur who's the co-founder and former CEO of Zillow. Offerpad's SPAC merger agreement values the six-year-old startup at $3 billion. The merger will hand over $650 million of gross cash proceeds to the startup, split into $403 million held in trust by Supernova and $250 million in additional investment commitments from firms including national homebuilder Taylor Morrison Home Corp and asset management giant BlackRock. Offerpad will be the second iBuying startup to

Deal: TPG's Rise Fund Invests $200M In Airtel Africa's Mobile Money Arm

The Rise Fund, a $5 billion impact investment fund formed by private equity giant TPG in partnership with Irish singer Bono and tech entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, has made its latest bet with a $200 million investment in the mobile money division of Airtel Africa plc. Officially, The Rise Fund will pay $200 million for a 7.5% stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV, which's the holding company for Airtel Africa's mobile money operations. The investment values Airtel Africa's mobile money business at $2.65 billion on a cash and debt-free basis. Airtel Africa announced The Rise Fund's investment in its mobile money arm with a filing to the National Stock Exchange of India . Following The Rise Fund's investment, Airtel Africa will continue to retain a majority stake in its mobile money business while the fund holds a 7.5% minority stake. With that, Airtel Africa notes that it's still in discussions with other unnamed potential investors to sell up to 25% of its mobile money

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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