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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 , 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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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