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Showing posts from May, 2021

Turkish E-Commerce Firm Hepsiburada Files For US IPO

The second-biggest e-commerce company in Turkey has filed for an initial public offering in the US. The company is Hepsiburada.com , formally known as D-Market Elektronik Hizmetler ve Ticaret AS. Hepsiburada has filed for an IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The filing comes after the company more than doubled its sales in 2020 compared to 2019, as the Covid pandemic led to a massive surge in online shopping. Here, we're breaking down some of the most important stats gotten from Hepsiburada's F-1 filing with the US SEC. By the Numbers In 2020,  Hepsiburada earned 6.4bn Turkish liras ($750mn) in revenue. 2020 was a very good year for the company thanks to the surge in online shopping, wherein it more than doubled its revenue from 2.6bn  Turkish liras  ($307mn) in 2019. Hepsiburada isn't profitable on a net basis, reporting a net loss of 475mn  Turkish liras ($56mn) in 2020. At least, the company's fast-growing sales justify such a loss which isn't that big relative

Earnings: Sales Soar For China's Meituan

Meituan, a fast-growing "super-app" in China, has dropped its latest earnings report for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. The report showed soaring sales at the company, with quarterly revenue more than doubling over the year. In its report, Meituan touted China's effective measures to contain the Covid pandemic as a focal point of its strong business in the first quarter of 2021.  Meituan is a "super app", a term fondly used to refer to single apps covering lots of services. In Meituan's case, its app covers online retail, food delivery, travel, logistics, advertising, and its likes.  Details Meituan reported $5.8bn in revenue in Q1 2021, up 121% year-over-year. The high growth came thanks to heavy investments that Meituan is making to expand its business, and as such, the company's net loss widened to $752mn compared to $266mn in the previous year. Meituan's business was propelled by the growth of its food delivery and hotel booking and travel se

SPAC: Auto Data Startup Wejo To Go Public In $800M Deal

It's yet another day with another SPAC merger. This time, it's Wejo , an automotive data startup backed by investors including automaker General Motors. Wejo has agreed to a deal to merge with Virtuoso Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:VOSO). Wejo is a startup that collects automotive data from manufacturer sensors and sells it as a package to companies looking to gather insights for their businesses. It's a British startup, making it stand out as one of the few startups from the UK to get a SPAC deal. Details: Wejo's SPAC deal values the startup at $800mn including debt. It'll get $330mn in gross proceeds from the merger, consisting of $230mn from Virtuoso and a $100mn PIPE round led by existing investors General Motors and Palantir. For the $100mn PIPE round, Wejo says it's holding talks with unnamed strategic investors that could add $25mn to it.  Following the close of the merger, Wejo will have an estimated $300mn of cash and $32mn of debt. The cash balance is amp

Markets: Software Startup Sprinklr Files For IPO

A software startup coming from the "Silicon Alley" in New York City is about to hit the public markets. That startup is Sprinklr , a SaaS platform designed to help enterprises monitor and interact with customers, i.e a customer experience platform. Sprinklr has unveiled an S-1 filing with the US SEC for an IPO. It's on track to list on the New York Stock Exchange.  As usual, the S-1 filing provides great insight into Sprinklr's business with information not publicly known before, mostly on its revenue stats. We've broken down some of that information here to make it an easy read. By The Numbers Sprinklr made $387mn in revenue in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2021. It made $324mn in the year before. Though with fast-growing revenue, Sprinklr isn't profitable on a net basis. It reported a net loss of $41mn in 2021 and $39mn in the previous year. In the three months ended April 30, 2021, Sprinklr brought in $111mn in sales. The bulk of Sprinklr's revenue

Analysis: Salesforce Drops Q1' 21 Earnings Report

CRM software giant Salesforce has unveiled its latest quarterly earnings results for its fiscal 2022 first quarter, in actuality the quarter ended April 30, 2021. “We had the best first quarter in our company’s history,” CEO Marc Benioff noted. For the first time ever, Salesforce provided the quarterly revenue breakdown for two of its biggest acquisitions, MuleSoft and Tableau Software. That breakdown offers clues about what's about to be Salesforce's biggest acquisition, its $28bn purchase of Slack. By The Numbers Salesforce had $6bn in revenue in the quarter, up 23% year-over-year. Net income was $469mn. Out of $6bn, MuleSoft and Tableau Software respectively brought in $380mn and $285mn in revenue, with MuleSoft's up 49% year-over-year.  Salesforce bought MuleSoft for $6.5bn in 2018 and Tableau for $15.7bn in 2019. Tableau and MuleSoft are its first and second-biggest acquisitions to date, about to be eclipsed by the Slack deal which hasn't yet closed. The high p

Medical Social Site Doximity Files For IPO

An under-the-radar but very successful social networking site for doctors is about to hit the public markets. It's Doximity , a site billed as the "LinkedIn for Doctors". It's filed for an initial public offering on the US markets. As expected for domestic companies holding an IPO, Doximity has unveiled an S-1 filing with the US SEC. The filing provides great insight into Doximity's business, showing that of an under-the-radar but very successful and profitable company. We're pointing out some of the most important bits from Doximity's S-1 filing, beginning with its revenue details. Revenue Details In its most recent fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, Doximity made $207mn in revenue and a net income of $50mn. In the previous year, it made $116mn and a net income of $29mn. Doximity has been profitable in its past three fiscal years, a rarity among many tech companies going public today. It has also been fast-growing, with revenues growing from $86mn in 201

China's Full Truck Alliance Files For US IPO

The biggest on-demand trucking startup in China, Full Truck Alliance , has filed for an initial public offering on the US markets. The company, also known as the Manbang Group, has unveiled an F-1 filing with the US SEC as required for foreign companies listing in the US. Full Truck Alliance (FTA) has filed to list on the New York Stock Exchange. As usual, the company's F-1 filing provides great insight into its business with information not publicly disclosed before, and we're pointing out some of that here. To start, Full Truck is a platform connecting shippers and truckers on-demand. It makes money by taking a cut of the shipping deals transacted on its platform. By the numbers: FTA made $396mn revenue in 2020, compared to $379mn in the previous year. It's largely not profitable on a net basis, reporting a $532mn net loss in 2020. FTA claims to be the world's largest on-demand digital freight platform. By its reporting, it fulfilled $27bn worth of orders in 2020 and

SPAC: Fintech Startup Acorns To Go Public In $2.2B Deal

A major savings-investing app serving Millenials in the US market is the latest in a long line of fintech startups going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. That startup is Acorns , a banking app with over 8 million users. Merger Details Acorns has agreed to merge with Pioneer Merger Corp. (NASDAQ: PACX). The merger terms value the nine-year-old fintech startup at $2.2bn. Acorns' merger comes with a private placement round from a mix of institutional investors including BlackRock, Wellington Management, and TPG's The Rise Fund. Following its close, Acorns will be a public company with a $450mn cash balance. Acorns' merger is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021. Highlights Acorns is a banking app targeting everyday consumers. It offers a way for users to save money with dedicated debit and credit cards as well as invest spare change from purchases into index funds. On the investing side, Acorns has over $3bn under management.

Markets: Investor Thomas Tull Makes Bank From Figs IPO

Earlier this month, Figs, a medical apparel startup,  filed for an IPO . It just completed its debut on the public markets and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange, with a valuation of $4.6bn.  Figs' IPO represents a very successful one for an eight-year-old direct-to-consumer startup. It built a major name for itself as a maker of fancy and fashionable medical apparel, though it's drawn some controversy for that. Before Figs' IPO, it was a privately-held startup backed by investors including Thomas Tull , a billionaire media mogul who made his fortune founding Legendary Entertainment. Legendary is a movie financier and producer with many popular titles including the Godzilla series. After selling Legendary for $3.5bn in 2016, Tull parlayed his fortune into major investments in startups, and Figs was one of his investments. He bought a majority stake in Figs with a $65mn investment in 2017. The stake was bought via his firm Tulco Holdings . With a majority stake, T

Earnings: Chipmaker Nvidia On A Tear

One of the world's best-known chipmakers, Nvidia, has dropped its latest quarterly earnings results, and it shows that of a company on a tear financially. Nvidia reported record sales in the quarter ending May 2, 2021, pulled up by its strong business of selling chips for gaming hardware and data centers. By The Numbers: For the first quarter ending May 2, 2021, Nvidia reported $5.7bn in sales, up 84% year-over-year and 13% from the previous quarter. Gaming chips brought in roughly half of its sales with $2.8bn while Data Center chips pulled in $2.1bn. Save for gaming and data centers, Nvidia also has a strong business of selling chips for automobiles and professional visual rendering. Its revenue from those sectors respectively came at $372mn and $154mn.  Auto sales stayed flat year-over-year while professional visualization rose 21%. Nvidia reported a record net income of $1.9bn in the quarter. Forecast: For its next quarter, Nvidia is forecasting $6.3bn in revenue, plus or minus

Markets: Private Equity Firm Vista Forms 2 SPACs

Vista Equity Partners, a major tech-focused private equity firm, appears to have followed many firms of its kind to take interest in the market for special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). It's prepared paperwork for two SPACs, as hinted at by filings to the SEC. There have been two SPACs documented with the US SEC,  V-Acquisition I Corp. and V-Acquisition II Corp. , that trace back to Vista. In both linked filings, the business address listed is "401 Congress Avenue Suite 3100 Austin, TX 78701", the exact same address as Vista's Texas headquarters. Also, both SPACs are incorporated in the Cayman Islands, a usual incorporation territory for Vista's past funds. Both of these, along with the "V" names widely point to both SPACs being affiliated with Vista, an affiliation that we spotted by chance. The two SPACs are barely incorporated and haven't filed for their respective IPOs. They were both registered with the SEC on the 29th of April, 2021.

SPAC: EV Charger Maker Tritium To Go Public In $1.2B Deal

A company that makes fast chargers for electric vehicles is the latest one in the much-hyped EV industry that'll go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). That company is Tritium , an Australian company that'll debut on the US public markets. Tritium has agreed to merge with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II (NASDAQ: DCRN). The merger values the EV charger maker at $1.2bn. From the merger, Tritium will get gross proceeds of $403mn. Unlike most mergers, all of those proceeds will come from the SPAC, with no accompanying private placement.  The merger will provide an exit for Tritium which was founded two decades ago by some veterans of the e-mobility industry, specifically former members of a solar car-racing team at a time when electric cars weren't in vogue. Tritium makes DC fast-charging hardware for electric cars, including electric pumps the size of big refrigerators. It supplies automakers including Ford and Volkswagen

Deal: Amazon To Buy MGM Studios For $8.5B

E-commerce giant Amazon has agreed to buy one of the biggest names in Hollywood, MGM Studios . It's the film studio behind the popular James Bond series, nearly a century old in existence. Amazon has agreed to buy MGM Studios for a price of $8.5bn. It marks the e-commerce giant's second-biggest acquisition after it bought Whole Foods for $14bn in 2017.  With MGM, Amazon is coughing up much money to strong-arm its media business. MGM has a very recognized content library including the James Bond and Tomb Raider series that'll boost the prowess of Amazon Studios by a great deal. As Amazon itself notes, the secret sauce of buying MGM is "the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team".  MGM's content library now to be owned by Amazon will do much for its Amazon Prime Video streaming business. With exclusivity of many popular films, it'll be a key customer attraction for Amazon's vid

Markets: IAC Spins Off Vimeo As A Separate Public Company

Internet conglomerate IAC has completely spun off one of its prized properties, video site Vimeo , into a separate publicly-traded company. The deal was completed five months after IAC announced its intent to spin off the video site. Now, Vimeo is a separate public company run independently from IAC with its own board of directors. It's led by CEO Anjali Sud, now one of the few female CEOs of an American public company. Vimeo's market debut wasn't so receptive on the part of investors, with its stock falling down nearly 10%. It slid from $47.15 a share at the opening to $44 at market close on Tuesday. At its current share price, Vimeo has a market cap of about $8bn. Vimeo is one of the major public company spin-offs to come from IAC, the eleventh in number. IAC in its history has spun off separate public companies including online dating giant Match Group and travel site Expedia. Vimeo is a popular video site offering video hosting, marketing, and creation tools to profess

Big Tech: D.C. Files Antitrust Suit Against Amazon

With the eyes of many US lawmakers on "Big Tech", the top lawyer of the capital city of the US has filed an antitrust lawsuit against one of the 'Big Tech' companies - Amazon .  The Attorney General of Washington, D.C., Karl Racine, has filed a formal antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that its pricing practices lead to higher costs for consumers and limit choice in America's online retail market. The lawsuit against Amazon centers on how it negotiates with third-party sellers on its platform. The D.C. AG alleges that the fees Amazon charges third-party sellers, up to 40% in some cases, end up getting passed on to consumers in the form of price increases causing higher-than-normal costs. The lawsuit also singles out Amazon's known practice of restricting third-party sellers on its platform to offer their same goods on other platforms at lower prices, with penalties incurred if violated. Such practice is termed anti-competitive. With Amazon known to do

Jobs: Peloton To Open $400M US Factory

The pandemic of last year brought about many economic changes, with some companies getting battered on one end and some getting stronger on the opposite end. One such company that got stronger is Peloton , the maker of connected fitness equipment that's built a very loyal following. It was such that Peloton found it hard to keep up with the demand for its products as more people turned towards in-home fitness during the pandemic. With that, the company had to rush to build up its manufacturing operations and bought a fitness company named Precor with strong manufacturing capabilities. Now, Peloton is making its manufacturing operations stronger with the building of its first dedicated factory in the US, the company has announced . It'll be built in the state of Ohio, a major manufacturing hub in its right. Peloton has committed $400mn to build the factory in Wood County, Ohio. It'll be referred to as the  Peloton Output Park (POP) , having over a million square feet of man

Moves: Retired US Admiral Lands Cushy Wall Street Job

In yet another move demonstrating the so-called "revolving door" between government and big business, a retired four-star admiral of the US Navy has landed a cushy job as a Senior Advisor to a major financial firm. That admiral is  William H. McRaven  and the firm is Lazard . Intro  Lazard is a financial advisory and asset management firm that's a leader in its field. It's the world's largest independent investment bank, having over $235bn of assets under management.  Details McRaven has joined Lazard effective immediately as a Senior Advisor in the firm’s Financial Advisory business. It's not an unusual step for someone retiring from a top military job in 2014 now to land a top civilian job. McRaven retired as a four-star admiral in 2014, the highest rank normally achievable in the US Navy. There, he had a 37-year career that saw him command special operations forces at every level and eventually took charge of the whole US Special Operations Command.  In ea

Alert: Hedge Fund Citadel Is Bullish On Amazon

You may have heard of Citadel during the GameStop saga as the hedge fund that stepped up to pump up a fellow hedge fund named Melvin Capital with a $2bn investment  when it saw major losses from a short position on GameStop after it was pumped up by retail investors. If you didn't follow the GameStop saga, no problem. Citadel nonetheless is a major hedge fund in the US with over $35bn in assets under management. Led by investor Ken Griffin, it's a major market mover whose investing moves many pay attention to. It happens that Citadel has dropped its latest 13F filing, the quarterly report required by the US SEC to be filed by all institutional money managers with at least $100mn in assets under management.  Citadel's latest Form 13F  has a major highlight which is bullishness on e-commerce giant Amazon. It shows that the Griffin-led firm purchased 197,751 shares of Amazon in Q1 2021, boosting its holdings by 2,407%.  For context, Amazon shares changed hands for around $3k

Media: Hedge Fund Alden Gets Nod For Tribune Takeover

Shareholders of a major newspaper company in the US have voted in approval of a takeover by a hedge fund infamous for its practice of buying newspapers and implementing aggressive cost-cutting tactics to the detriment of journalistic operations.  The company is the Tribune Publishing Company and the hedge fund is Alden Global Capital . Tribune owns a suite of newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and The Baltimore Sun Details: Shareholders of Tribune, a public company, voted in approval of a proposed takeover by Alden Global, the company has announced . The approval stamp comes after months of deliberations and hurdles that included rival bids from a moneyed consortium. Alden Global had previously built up a 32% take in Tribune. The hedge fund needed majority approval for its takeover bid from Tribune's remaining shareholders and just got that following a formal vote. Of the shareholders holding the remaining 68% stake in Tribune, 81% of them voted to ap

Markets: Nvidia To Split Stock 4-To-1, Shares Rise

Chipmaking giant Nvidia has made a major market move in the form of a stock split. It's said that  it'll split its shares 4-to-1, that is dividing each current share into four equal parts. Though it's already initiated, Nvidia's stock split is contingent on final approval from stockholders, which looks like no main hurdle as the split is beneficial to that party.  With a 4-to-1 stock split, the price of a single Nvidia share will be divided from its current range by 4, making it cheaper and more accessible to investors. Nvidia benefits from it as it opens up access to more investors, especially on the retail side. Nvidia's 4-to-1 split is its first stock split in nearly 14 years, after gains of over 1,600%. Before now, it had split its stock four times as a public company between 2000 and 2007, but a 4-to-1 ratio is its largest ever. On the news of its stock split, Nvidia's shares rose by 3%. The company's stock has been on a tear, gaining 12% this year afte

Diddy, Kevin Durant Invest In Crypto Wallet Startup

A group of celebrities including rapper-cum-businessman Sean "Diddy" Combs and basketballer Kevin Durant have invested in a startup whose core product is a crypto wallet app. That startup is Eco , which recently  closed a $26mn round . Eco announced that Diddy and Kevin Durant were among the investors that chipped into its $26mn round. They were joined by other celebs including Durant's fellow NBA star Carmelo Anthony and comedian Tiffany Haddish. With crypto on the boom, it's attracted major interest from entertainers and celebs who are known to always follow the money. Their investments usually bring clout for the companies they buy into and in some cases see them reap strong monetary rewards. Durant and Diddy are stars who made their names in the respective worlds of basketball and music but have branched out to become major businessmen. Durant has a VC firm of his own, Thirty Five Ventures, that's invested in companies including crypto exchange Coinbase and s

Deal: Snap Makes A Big AR Purchase

Snap Inc, the owner of the popular Snapchat app, has made a major costly purchase in the world of augmented reality. It's bought WaveOptics , a UK-based startup that makes hardware parts for augmented reality glasses.  Per CNBC , Snap paid $500mn in cash and stock for WaveOptics, $250mn upfront and another $250mn in earnouts spread over two years. Snap's purchase of WaveOptics came just as the company unveiled its first Spectacles smart glasses with AR capability. Unsurprisingly, the new Spectacles glasses use lenses made by WaveOptics. With its acquisition, it seems that Snap saw it fit to pay a big amount of money to bolster its in-house manufacturing operations. It's not unusual given Snap's normally secretive culture that will make it want to have more control of its hardware ops. Snap is betting majorly on AR to differentiate itself from numerous social media competitors. At a recent event , the company unveiled its first AR-equipped Spectacles glasses along with

SPAC: Mobile Game Studio Jam City To Go Public In $1.2B Deal

A major mobile game developer in the US has sealed a deal to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. That game developer is Jam City , one behind hit titles including  Cookie Jam and Panda Pop . Merger Details Jam City has agreed to merge with DPCM Capital, Inc. (NYSE: XPOA) to become a publicly traded company. DPCM is a SPAC formed by former Uber executive Emil Michael. It raised $300mn from an IPO in October 2020. As agreed, Jam City's merger values the mobile games studio at $1.2bn. The merger will see Jam City get $300mn held in trust by DPCM Capital plus a $100mn PIPE round from private investors. From that money, Jam City will pay $175mn to buy Ludia, a Canada-based mobile game developer. Also, part of Jam City's SPAC proceeds ($88mn) will provide liquidity to an early investor named Austin Ventures. All-in, Jam City will have roughly $115mn of cash at hand after the merger. Revenue Stats Jam City's  investor presentation  indicates bo

Health Insurer Bright Health Files For IPO

A fast-growing health insurance startup based in Minnesota has filed for an IPO. With its filing, it's set to pull off a landmark public listing for a startup based out of Minnesota. That startup is Bright Health Group , one founded by a former CEO of a major health insurance provider in the US. Bright Health today unveiled an S-1 document  with the US SEC for its proposed initial public offering. As usual, the S-1 gives great insight into the company's business with information not publicly disclosed before now. Bright Health is basically is a digital health insurance provider, a startup in its field competing against bigger giants in America's large health insurance market.  Revenue stats Bright Health's S-1 shows that of a fast-growing company that more than quadrupled its revenue from $281mn in 2019 to $1.2bn in 2020. Like most insurance providers, the bulk of its revenue comes from insurance premiums paid by its customers.  Bright Health's big revenue is pulled

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Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

The founder of embattled electric car startup Nikola Corp. has been formally indicted on fraud charges by the US Justice Department months after resigning from the company. Trevor Milton by name, he's been accused of securities and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud and mislead investors. Milton is accused of misleading investors by making false statements regarding Nikola's products and capabilities. Notably, most of the investors allegedly misled were on the retail side. The DOJ alleges that Milton made false claims regarding "nearly all aspects" of Nikola's business. Milton founded Nikola in 2014 and led it through a public listing via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year. The DOJ threw an apparent jab at SPACs in his indictment, asserting that he made 'many' of his false and misleading claims  during a period where he would not have been allowed to do so under rules that govern traditional IPOs were he

Earnings: AMD Doubles Revenue, Triples Profit

In this earnings season, companies all over are dropping their latest quarterly results and we're here equally reporting on them. We've touched on social media companies Snap Inc and Twitter , electric carmaker Tesla , and iPhone maker Apple . Now, the next is chipmaker AMD Inc . AMD has dropped its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, showing strong prospects as revenue doubled year-over-year and net income more than tripled.   Details AMD posted $3.9bn in revenue in Q2, up 99% year-over-year and 12% from the preceding quarter. For the same period, the company's net income was $710mn , up 352% year-over-year and 28% from the preceding quarter. Doubling its revenue and nearly quadrupling net income indicates AMD has a strong yet fast-growing business. It's bound to grow even more as the company is set to complete its acquisition of rival chipmaker Xilinx . AMD makes money selling high-performance chipsets used in computers, consoles, data centers, and the likes

Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company. Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It's the largest fine imposed under Europe's data protection law.  The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers' personal data in violation of the EU's famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.  In June, it was reported ( WSJ )  that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon's privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU's other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that.  Before now, the bigges

Deal: Qualtrics Buys CX Startup Clarabridge For $1.1B

Months after getting spun out of SAP into a separate public company, Qualtrics , a major provider of online survey software, has made a major acquisition. It's agreed to buy Clarabridge , a startup that does similar work to Qualtrics in the field fondly referred to as "customer experience (CX)". Qualtrics will pay $1.1bn all with shares to buy Clarabridge. The acquisition is a major strategic play for the company, pairing Qualtrics' customer survey business with Clarabridge's similar business of measuring customer sentiment from various sources like social media posts and customer support calls. Basically, Qualtrics is in the business of weighing customer surveys directly and Clarabridge in the business of doing so indirectly . Pairing both businesses represents a major strategic play for Qualtrics. In an investor presentation, Qualtrics said that Clarabridge has $100mn in annual revenue, implying an 11x multiple that it's paying to buy the company. That&#

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

It appears that this Covid era has led to a boom for companies that work on  antibodies , which are protective proteins produced by the human immune system to tackle foreign substances, usually viruses. Antibodies are very useful in the research and treatment of viruses such as Covid. There are companies that specialize in antibodies and one of them, BioLegend , was recently bought for a whopping $5.3bn . Now, another such company, Teneobio , is getting bought for a big amount. Teneobio has agreed to be acquired by Amgen , an American biotech giant. Amgen is paying $900mn upfront for the company, then an additional $1.6bn in cash contingent on the company hitting certain milestones. It sums up to a $2.5bn deal . Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotech startup working on antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmunity, and other infectious diseases. As it's still in the clinical trial stage with no viable product yet, it appears that Amgen is betting big on Teneobio's trials b

Antitrust: UK Probes Facebook's $1B Kustomer Acquisition

The UK's antitrust agency has launched a probe into Facebook's latest acquisition, that of chatbot platform Kustomer Inc , which Facebook agreed to buy last November for a reported $1bn. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday, the 30th of July, released a statement  indicating it had opened an inquiry into Facebook's purchase of Kustomer, regarding if it'll result in "a substantial lessening of competition" within the market Kustomer operates in. Such probes aren't out of the norm and are routine for big acquisitions. For Facebook, it speaks to the fact that antitrust agencies are watching the company's moves, especially regarding acquisitions. To note, two of Facebook Inc's biggest products outside the main Facebook platform, Instagram and WhatsApp , were acquisitions. In fact, it's primarily acquisitions that have propelled the company's growth. As with such probes, the UK will first seek comments from the public

Hollywood: Reese Witherspoon's Media Co. Sold In $900M Deal

A media company founded by superstar actress Reese Witherspoon has sold for a large amount to a company still in its infancy that hasn't even been named yet. That company is Hello Sunshine , a media company that produces content distributed across various platforms; movies, TV shows, podcasts, et al. Hello Sunshine has been sold to a newly-formed media venture t hat's backed by investment capital from Blackstone , the private equity giant.  The venture is led by ex Disney honchos Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs .  As it is, the Blackstone-funded venture is acquiring a majority stake in Hello Sunshine from a group of external investors while anchor shareholders like Witherspoon and her founding partners will roll over and retain their equity stakes in the newly-formed venture. Officially, the deal's financial terms weren't disclosed, but a report from The Wall Street Journal says it's a $900mn deal. According to the report, the Blackstone-funded venture will pay $500mn

Earnings: Shopify Beats Estimates, Reaches Major Milestone

In this season of earnings results and we at The Techee  reporting on them, we're here with a beat on Shopify , which has released its earnings statement for the second quarter (April-June) of this year. In Q2, Shopify beat revenue expectations from analysts and as well achieved a major financial milestone by crossing $1bn in quarterly revenue for the first time. Shopify had $1.1bn in revenue in the quarter, up 57% year-over-year. Net income for the same period was $897mn , most of which was due to a $778mn gain in equity investments, likely from Shopify's stake in Affirm , a major 'buy now, pay later' lender. As usual, most of Shopify's sales ( $785mn ) came from "Merchant Solutions", which groups additional services the company offers atop recurring subscriptions charged to online retailers. Sales from subscriptions came at $334mn in the quarter. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), representing the total worth of transactions made on the Shopify platform,

Alert: Square Buys Australia's Afterpay For $29B

It's a big day in the fintech world. There's been a major acquisition with a major American fintech company, Square , buying Australia's foremost fintech startup, Afterpay , a 'buy now, pay later' lender. Square has reached an agreement to buy Afterpay for a whopping $29bn , marking one of Australia's biggest buyouts. It's a big deal that a startup founded barely seven years ago is selling for $29bn.  Square will pay the $29bn all with shares. It means that shares of Afterpay, which are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, will be exchanged for Square stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Afterpay is Australia's foremost 'buy now, pay later (BNPL)' lender in online retail. For the uninitiated, the 'buy now, pay later' business is a relatively young one providing alternatives to credit cards for consumers to shop online. It provides loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments. Usually, credi

Markets: US SEC Takes Aim At Chinese IPOs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a swipe at Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs) after regulatory hiccups in China have affected many Chinese stocks listed on US markets and American stockholders holding them. The SEC has issued new guidance on Chinese companies seeking to list shares in the US, requiring them to make certain disclosures to investors or otherwise refrain from listing in the US markets. First of all, usually, Chinese companies listing in the US don't actually sell shares of the operating companies but that of shell companies with contractual relationships with the operating companies. These shell shares, known as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) , are used to circumvent restrictions on foreign ownership of Chinese shares imposed by the country's government. Now, the SEC in a statement has made it clear that Chinese companies seeking to list in the US must provide clear descriptions of the shell operations involved in such listing