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Deal: Bill.com Buys Utah Startup Divvy For $2.5B

A startup from Utah has agreed to one of the biggest startup exits seen in the region, strengthening the state of Utah's appeal as a locality for building successful technology companies. That startup is Divvy , an expense management platform for small businesses. Divvy's acquirer is Bill.com, a provider of cloud-based accounting software. It's traded on the public markets with a current market value of nearly $11bn. Details: Bill.com has agreed to acquire Divvy  for a sum of $2.5bn to be paid with a mix of cash and stock. The acquisition is ideal and strategic to Bill.com, giving it a fast-growing startup in its field of accounting software to latch onto. Bill.com is paying $625mn in cash and $1.9bn in stock to buy Divvy, summing up to $2.5bn. It's the company's biggest acquisition to date, and the deal is expected to be finalized in Q3' 21. Highlights: Divvy is a five-year-old startup based out of Utah, a state that's positioned itself stronge

Gaming: Zynga Posts Strong Earnings, And A Major Acquisition

  Zynga is the gaming company that made its name developing those social, addictive games that you likely played back when young people were largely on Facebook. After the mania for Facebook Games died down, the company re-invented itself in the market for mobile gaming. A public company, Zynga is mandated to release quarterly earnings reports and has done so this time for the first quarter of this year 2021. The company had record quarterly revenue, driven by strong engagement with older games like  Words With Friends and Empires & Puzzles as well as newer games like  Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells . In Q1, Zynga also made a major acquisition. By the numbers: Zynga reported $680mn in Q1' 21 revenue, up 68% year-over-year. It's a record quarterly revenue for the company in its history. Out of the $680mn, revenue from mobile made up the vast majority at $661mn. Zynga makes money primarily from ads on its games and in-app purchases, with the latter bringing in the major

Crypto: BitGo Sells For $1.2B In Cash, Stock To Galaxy Digital

A hot crypto startup is headed for a big exit with a sale to Galaxy Digital, a leading crypto-focused financial services firm. That startup is BitGo, a crypto custodian platform for institutional holders and large investors. Details: BitGo has agreed to be bought for a price of $1.2bn by Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused merchant bank with its shares traded on the public markets. The price will be paid with a mix of $265mn in cash and 33.8mn newly issued units of Galaxy Digital common stock, summing up to $1.2bn based on the firm's closing share price on May 4, 2021. The deal comes as Galaxy Digital is gearing up for a listing on the US markets this year. Currently, the company trades on the Canadian stock market. Before now, BitGo reportedly got an acquisition offer of as much as $750mn from PayPal but didn't go through with it. Now with an agreed $1.2bn offer, it doesn't seem like a bad decision. With BitGo's crypto custodian service, Galaxy Digital is increasing its

Deal: Verizon Sells Yahoo And AOL To PE Firm For $5B

Telecoms giant Verizon has found a buyer for its Verizon Media Unit which includes veteran internet properties like Yahoo and AOL, and that buyer is a major private equity firm. To note, though Yahoo and AOL have long faded from their glory days, they aren't exactly dead properties but ones still with a great deal of users bringing in a few billion in revenue annually. Details: Verizon has struck a deal to sell 90% of Verizon Media to private equity firm Apollo which will pay $5 billion for it, while Verizon retains a  10%  minority stake in the business. The deal takes off many internet properties off Verizon's hands, including bigger ones like Yahoo and smaller ones like technology news site TechCrunch operating under the AOL umbrella. Though it's selling for a seemingly huge price of $5 billion, Verizon paid a combined $9 billion to buy the web properties making up its Verizon Media unit so it doesn't come out on top financially from the sale.  Verizon paid $4.4bn t

Deal: Dell Sells Cloud Business Boomi To PE Firms

Tech giant Dell Technologies is selling off one of its big divisions as part of re-organizations at the company. The division, in this case, is cloud business Boomi, which it's struck a deal to sell to two private equity firms. Details: Dell has struck an agreement to sell Boomi to private equity firms TPG and Francisco Partners in a deal valuing the cloud business at $4 billion including debt.  Boomi makes software that helps applications communicate on the cloud by sharing data with each other. For example, when a sale recorded by a business on one app needs to be immediately reflected in a tax statement on another app, software like Boomi is crucial to that.  Dell bought Boomi, then a small startup, for an undisclosed price in 2010. Now with its sale valuing the business at $4 billion, it's obvious that Boomi scaled to greater heights under Dell. After a major restructuring that began with Dell getting bought out by a group led by its founder Michael Dell in 2013, the compa

Like Uber, Rival Lyft Sells Off Self-Driving Business

The main rival of ridesharing heavyweight Uber in the US, Lyft, has followed Uber's footsteps with the sell-off of its self-driving business to an outsider. It's sealed a deal to sell its self-driving business to a subsidiary of Japanese automaker Toyota. Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota, will pay $550 million in cash to takeover Lyft's self-driving division. Out of that amount, $200 million will be paid upfront while the remaining $350 million gets split into payments over a five-year period. Lyft's deal with Toyota mimics that of its main rival Uber which agreed to a deal to sell off its self-driving business to a well-funded startup named Aurora. Unlike Uber, however, Lyft's sell-off is structured as one where it'll receive a cash payment for the sale and hand off the unit rather than taking an equity stake in the acquiring company as Uber did. When Uber sold its self-driving business to Aurora, it came out with a 26% ownership stake in the com

Deal: Affirm Buys Fintech Startup Returnly For $300M

After going public early this year, 'buy now, pay later' company Affirm has made its first acquisition as a publicly-traded company with the purchase of Returnly, a startup that handles payments collections for product returns for online retailers. Affirm is paying $300 million in cash and stock to buy Returnly making it its biggest acquisition yet. It was already an investor and shareholder in Returnly before striking a deal to acquire the company this past week. Returnly handles online returns and post-purchase payments for direct-to-consumer brands selling online. For the basics, it offers customers shopping with its merchants' instant store credit if they buy an item and decide to return them rather than wait long for cash refunds from the merchant itself. The instant store credits given to shoppers make them more likely to purchase another item from the merchant while waiting for their cash refund which's deposited once a return is confirmed by the merchant. For t

Pinterest Reportedly In Talks To Buy Photo App VSCO

It's been reported that Pinterest, the famous social bookmarking site, is holding talks to buy VSCO, a popular photography app with a social aspect. Pinterest has held talks to buy the popular photo app according to The New York Times . Though not confirmed, Pinterest is an ideal suitor in a case where VSCO is seeking to sell to another company. Both companies overlap very much, being in the social media space with a focus on high-quality images and videos. As to price, Pinterest can very much afford VSCO thanks to a large cash balance of nearly $700 million as of the end of 2020 and a market value of $49 billion if shares are used to finance the purchase.  VSCO, a ten-year-old startup, has raised about $90 million in funding and was valued at $550 million from its last funding round. Given that, a Pinterest acquisition would likely be priced in the hundreds of millions of dollars or even over a billion. VSCO is a very popular app with 100 million registered users. of which over tw

Scooter Braun Sells Media Firm Ithaca Holdings For $1B

Music mogul Scooter Braun has sealed a deal to sell his media company Ithaca Holdings to HYBE, a South Korean entertainment company that's home to the mega-popular boy band BTS.  HYBE will buy 100% of Braun's Ithaca Holdings through its wholly-owned subsidiary HYBE America. With its purchase, it'll take over Ithaca's two main businesses which are  SB Projects , a music management and marketing firm whose clients include Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande; and record label Big Machine Records . Braun pulled together a deal to buy Big Machine Records for $300 million in 2019. His company Ithaca Holdings financed the purchase with an investment from private equity firm Carlyle Group, which's now exiting all of its stake in the company to HYBE. Braun's deal to buy Big Machine Records famously saw him spar with pop star Taylor Swift who launched her storied career at the record label. Swift complained of Ithaca buying Big Machine Records which included the masters of h

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

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

Qualcomm Closes $1.4B Purchase Of Chip Startup Nuvia

Nuvia, a chip startup co-founded by Apple veteran Gerard Williams, has definitely set its place as one of the fast-rising successes of the semiconductor industry in recent years. Founded just in 2019, it took only two years to reach a big exit with a $1.4 billion sale to chipmaking giant Qualcomm that was agreed to in January. Now, Qualcomm has officially closed its agreed acquisition of Nuvia and absorbed the company, it's announced . The sale has seen Nuvia's Co-Founder and CEO Gerard Williams, a chip design legend in his right, take on a new role as SVP of Engineering at Qualcomm. Nuvia is in the business of designing data center processing chips based on the Arm architecture and it seems in this case that Qualcomm bought the company mainly for its Arm design expertise.  Nuvia on the face of it has a talented team led by Gerard Williams, the former Chief CPU Architect at Apple. Its other co-founders, Manu Gulati and John Bruno,  are veterans of both Apple and Google.  For a

SoFi Buys Small Bank To Hasten Bank-Charter Process

  In a bid to speed up its push to secure a national bank charter, digital finance company SoFi has reached a deal to buy a community bank in California, a publicly-traded one named Golden Pacific Bancorp. SoFi will pay $2.55 in cash for each share of the bank, summing up to an acquisition price of $22.3 million. As noted by SoFi itself, the company's play to buy  Golden Pacific Bancorp is being done to advance its efforts to  obtain a national bank charter from regulatory authorities. SoFi has applied for that and is still awaiting approval from the appropriate authority, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC). But now, by acquiring a community bank, SoFi will now  switch from applying for a new bank charter to applying for a change of control from that of Golden Pacific to itself. Basically, SoFi is buying a bank with an approved charter rather than waiting to obtain a new charter which usually takes a longer time. If it gets a bank charter, SoFi will be able to hold

Dropbox Buys Doc-Sharing App DocSend For $165M

Dropbox, the publicly-traded online file storage company, has gone shopping and purchased a new startup to increase its file storage capabilities. That startup is DocSend, a secure document sharing and analytics service targeted at enterprises. Dropbox will pay $165 million in cash to buy DocSend, marking a big exit for a startup backed by $15 million in venture funding. Its investors include the likes of August Capital, DCM Ventures, and Cowboy Ventures, investors assumedly in line for significant returns on their investment with DocSend's pricy sale to Dropbox. Dropbox will integrate DocSend into its online file storage and collaboration service once it completes the acquisition of the San Francisco-based startup. The acquisition feels similar to another previously made by Dropbox, e-signature provider HelloSign, which was integrated into Dropbox's software after its purchase. With the rapid rise of remote work over the past year, it's apparent that there'll be incre

PayPal Buys Tel Aviv Crypto Startup Curv, Reportedly For $200M

In a move that signals its increasing interest in cryptocurrencies, online payments giant PayPal has moved to acquire Curv, a Tel Aviv-based startup that provides security infrastructure for digital assets and cryptocurrencies.  PayPal has announced an agreement to buy Curv for an undisclosed price. The acquisition comes barely three years after Curv was founded and is reportedly priced at under $200 million. Curv's acquisition by PayPal signals that the online payments giant is doubling down on the cryptocurrency market at a time when it's booming. After its acquisition, Curv will be rolled into a PayPal division focused on blockchain, crypto and digital currencies that was created just last year. Curv is a startup that helps its customers to store their crypto assets securely online. It operates a cloud-based service that lets its customers access their crypto wallets without any hardware device as often done. Curv's market focus is on crypto exchanges, brokers, over-th

Jay-Z's Tidal Sells To Payments Company Square In $300M Deal

It seems that this is the season of deals for rapper-cum-businessman Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter as just barely two weeks after he reached a deal to sell half of his premium champagne brand to luxury goods giant LVMH, he's reached yet another deal to sell one of his main business ventures, the music streaming app Tidal. Tidal has agreed to be taken over by Square, the payments company led by Jack Dorsey who's more popular for his role as the CEO of Twitter. In a statement , Square said it'll pay the sum of $297 million in a mix of cash and stock to acquire a "significant majority ownership" stake in Tidal leaving the remaining minority stake will be held by Tidal's artist shareholders. The exact percentage that Square is buying in Tidal isn't disclosed but it's definitely over 50% given it's a majority stake. With Square's statement of acquiring a "significant majority ownership", one can guess somewhere between 50%-80% of the com

Okta Buys Cloud Security Startup Auth0 For $6.5B

A very big new acquisition has happened in the tech industry, with Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA), the publicly-traded cloud identity and access management software provider, announcing an agreement to buy Auth0, a fellow cloud identity software provider, for a price of $6.5 billion to be paid all with shares. A $6.5 billion exit for Auth0 marks a major win for the startup scene in Seattle, the tech hub where Auth0 is based and also a major win for the company's backers and investors. Auth0 last raised venture funding last year in July with a $120 million Series F round that valued the company at $1.9 billion. Now, it's about to sell for more than triple that amount. Auth0 has raised more than $330 million in total venture funding, with investors including the likes of Salesforce Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Telstra Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and DTCP. Salesforce Ventures led Auth0's most recent $120 million Series F round. With its acquisition of a fellow cloud identity a

German Shoe Maker Birkenstock Sells To Private Equity Firm L Catterton

The American-French private equity firm L Catterton is back with yet another big deal in the fashion industry after leading a $115 million investment round for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty brand just a few weeks ago. The firm has just announced an agreement to buy a majority stake in Birkenstock, a well-known German shoemaker that was founded 25 decades ago. L Catterton is buying a majority stake in Birkenstock along with some affiliates including Financière Agache which is the family holding company of LVMH boss and European fashion titan Bernard Arnault. Arnault is a major investor in L Catterton whose company LVMH and personal holding company Groupe Arnault hold a collective 40% stake in the private equity firm so it's no surprise that he's chipping into the Birkenstock deal. The price that L Catterton is paying for a majority stake in Birkenstock isn't formally disclosed, but a report from Reuters citing sources   familiar with the deal says it values Birkenstock at 

AT&T Sells DirecTV Stake To Private Equity Firm TPG

AT&T, the American telecoms giant and parent company of mass media giant WarnerMedia, has reached a deal to sell a stake in one of its most notable properties, satellite broadcaster DirecTV, to private equity firm TPG. AT&T and TPG have agreed to a business deal that'll see both parties establish a new company to control AT&T’s U.S. video business unit consisting of the DirecTV , AT&T TV , and U-verse video services. AT&T will hold a 70% stake while TPG gets the remaining 30% stake in the new company to be formed as DirecTV's parent. The deal agreed between both companies values DirecTV's new parent at $16.25 billion. Notably, AT&T is taking a big loss from its DirecTV deal with TPG given that it paid $48.5 billion excluding debt for the broadband satellite provider in 2014. Now with a deal valuing the business at $16.25 billion, it's apparent that AT&T is taking a big loss from its DirecTV business in what's a testament to the decline

LVMH Buys Half Of Jay-Z's Champagne Brand

With a popular premium champagne brand to his name, it's likely that Jay-Z always has many reasons to pop bottles every other day. Now, he should have an even bigger reason, as he's just sold a 50% stake in his premium champagne brand  Armand de Brignac to Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. After 15 years of affiliation with Armand de Brignac, Jay-Z has now likely cashed out a significant sum with a sale to LVMH, though the financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Jay-Z originally purchased a 50% stake in Armand de Brignac in 2006 and then purchased the remaining half in 2014. The premium champagne brand, famously known by its nickname "Ace of Spades" is a major premium wine seller that sold over 500,000 bottles in 2019 alone. It's been a hit in the regions of North America, Asia, and Europe. Armand de Brignac champagne bottle. With LVMH now holding an equal stake in Armand de Brignac with Jay-Z, they&#

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Big Pay: AT&T Shareholders Vote Against Execs Pay

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Deal: Verizon Sells Yahoo And AOL To PE Firm For $5B

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Earnings: Pfizer Rakes In Cash From COVID Vaccine

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Court Docs: Fortnite Maker Epic Made $15B In 2018-2020

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Stock Split: Bill Gates Hands Over $1.8B To Wife After Divorce

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