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Showing posts with the label Fintech

Deal: Stripe Buys Indian Fintech Startup Recko

Privately-held payments giant Stripe has ventured into India for its latest acquisition and its first in the country. It's reached a deal to buy Recko , a platform for online retailers to track and automate "payments reconciliation", a process that entails comparing accounting records against bank statements to make sure they are correct and in agreement. Stripe is buying Recko for an undisclosed amount .  Recko is a good value-add to Stripe's suite of payments software for online retailers. It'll be integrated with Stripe's platform, giving its customers another tool to make processing payments as easy as possible. Since its inception, Stripe has used strategic acquisitions to buff up its payments products keeping its customers satisfied. Its acquisitions have come from across the globe, including the US, Ireland, Nigeria, and now India. Nigerian startup Paystack was Stripe's most expensive purchase, with a $200mn price tag .   Also, Stripe has invested

Markets: Korea's Kakao Pay Delays $1.3B IPO To November

In South Korea, Kakao is one of the leading tech giants, best known for its  KakaoTalk messenger app. But like many tech companies, it's long branched out from messaging into other sectors such as gaming and fintech and made strides there. In fintech, Kakao has a separate digital bank ( KakaoBank ) and mobile payments and wallet app ( Kakao Pay ). The Korean tech giant took KakaoBank public this July with an IPO that raised $2.2bn and didn't just stop there. It then sought to take Kakao Pay public in a separate IPO but has hit some obstacles trying to do so. Just as it sought to take Kakao Pay public, the South Korean government toughened regulations on fintech apps. It made Kakao Pay suspend some services like insurance though the suspended services accounted for a minor part of its revenue. Then, Kakao Pay adjusted its IPO fundraising target to $1.3bn , 6% lower than it previously sought. But even with the hiccups, Kakao Pay still sought to go public by October this year

SPAC: Legal Case Threatens Israeli Startup Pagaya's $9B Merger

Among the major SPAC deals of the past week was that of Pagaya , an Israeli fintech startup that agreed to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company at a valuation of $8.5bn . It's merging with  EJF Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: EJFA), a SPAC that raised $288mn from its IPO this February. But now, Pagaya's merger has met the hurdle of a potential lawsuit from some shareholders that are being pushed by two American law firms - Brodsky & Smith and Levi & Korsinsky . The firms said they're probing whether EJF's board failed to conduct a 'fair' process for the deal especially in the hefty dilution of ownership interest if the merger finalizes. Notably, the amount of cash held in trust by EJF Acquisition Corp is $288mn, barely 3.4% of Pagaya's projected valuation of $8.5bn. That means that after all is said and done, the investors that bought into EJF during its IPO would hold just 3.4% of Pagaya's shares, implying major share dilution and thi

Deal: Goldman Sachs Buys Digital Lender GreenSky For $2.2B

It's another big deal in the digital lending space in the span of a few weeks. GreenSky (NASDAQ: GSKY), a specialty digital lender for home improvement services, is getting acquired by banking giant Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) for $2.2bn . Goldman has confirmed that it's acquiring GreenSky in an all-stock transaction worth $2.2bn. Obviously, it's a strategic acquisition for the banking giant to strengthen its position in the consumer lending market. Per deal terms, GreenSky shareholders will receive an equivalent of $12.11 in Goldman shares for each Class A common stock of GreenSky they hold. The deal values GreenSky at $2.2bn, inclusive of a $446mn adjustment tied to taxes. While big at face value, purchasing GreenSky for $2.2bn isn't a blockbuster deal but rather a lifesaver for a company that went public in 2018 at a value nearly double that figure. GreenSky was valued at $4bn with its IPO when it began trading at $23  but lately had been trading around $6 . Goldman

Deal: PayPal Buys Japanese BNPL Startup Paidy For $2.7B

Back again with another big acquisition, it appears that the payments processing giant PayPal is keen on growing its business by acquiring smaller players. This time, the company's acquisition seems out-of-the-norm, not in the traditional payments processing space but in the emerging field of "buy now, pay later (BNPL)" and then in Japan . PayPal has agreed to buy Paidy , a Japanese BNPL startup, for the sum of $2.7bn in cash. It marks one of the biggest acquisitions of a Japanese tech startup in recent history, elevating the country's status in the tech startup scene. Paidy is a popular 'buy now, pay later' service in Japan, facilitating loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments, usually with little or no interest and no late fees. Without interest or late fees, BNPL startups like Paidy make money by charging online retailers for using its service, concocting the function of traditional credit cards but with a different business

Deal: PayU Owner Prosus Buys India's BillDesk For $4.7B

In the Indian tech world, there's something big to celebrate today. It's that an Indian fintech company is getting acquired for a sum marking one of the biggest exits of recent times in the country's tech industry. It's BillDesk , a payments processing company, getting acquired by Prosus , the parent firm of payments company PayU . Prosus has agreed to buy BillDesk for the sum of $4.7bn . It'll then merge it with its PayU business division, making its payments business stronger than ever.  This is the 2nd big acquisition by Prosus in recent months after it agreed to buy Stack Overflow, the famous Q&A site for software developers, for $1.8bn in June. It's apparent that Prosus is keen on spreading its wings. Prosus is a holding company for various tech businesses and with no core operations of its own, akin to a private equity firm. It's, in fact, a holding firm for the foreign portfolio of  Naspers , a South African tech giant best known for its lucra

Markets: Fintech Startup Remitly Files For IPO

Remitly , a fintech startup focused on cross-border remittance payments, has charged ahead on the IPO train. The company has unveiled an S-1 document for an IPO with the US SEC, showing its intention to list on the Nasdaq exchange. Remitly is focused on cross-border remittance payments between developed countries like the US where people tend to immigrate to and developing or underdeveloped nations where people tend to migrate from. It's very useful for immigrants looking to send money to their home countries that they earn working abroad. Right now, Remitly supports cross-border payments from 17 countries to over 115 countries, transacting in about 75 currencies. That's a niche that the company has built on since its inception. In a large fintech market, focusing on a niche like Remitly can build a big business, as proven with the company's financials. Its S-1 filing shows  $257mn in revenue in 2020, double the previous year. In the first six months of 2021, the company

Markets: BNPL Firm Affirm Partners With Amazon, Shares Soar

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of ' buy now, pay later (BNPL) ' services in online retail, with such services offering relatively easy and cheap loans for people to buy stuff online. Globally, the BNPL revolution is being led by Affirm , a US company; Klarna , a Swedish company; and Afterpay , an Australian company. In the US, Affirm is the leading BNPL lender. It financed $4.6bn in online purchases in 2020 and expects to finance over $7bn this year. The company held its IPO in January. Affirm mostly makes money by charging online retailers to use its BNPL service rather than with interest payments from users like traditional lenders. This enables the company to offer interest rates as low as 0% and also not charge late payment fees like traditional lenders. Now, Affirm has just gotten a good boost to its business by partnering with none other than e-commerce giant Amazon . It was announced on Friday that Affirm would soon be a payment option for

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

'Buy Now, Pay Later' Firm Affirm Has A Major Rival Brewing

The industry of 'buy now, pay later' online shopping has boomed as of late, both in the US and abroad. In the US, it's led by Klarna , a Swedish company of origin, and Affirm , a company set up by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin that went public early this year. Now, after just a few months on the public markets, it appears that Affirm is about to face a big rival with big cash coffers in the 'buy now, pay later' market. That brewing rival is none other than iPhone maker Apple , which is working with bank Goldman Sachs to launch a 'buy now, pay later' service, according to a Bloomberg report . According to the report, Apple's upcoming service is known internally as Apple Pay Later and will use Goldman Sachs as the lender for installment loans. Goldman has been Apple's sole partner for the Apple Card credit card since it launched in 2019, but it appears that the company's Pay Later service won't even be tied to the card, Bloomberg reports. Ap

Alert: Robinhood Expects $15M Fine For Crypto Business

If you've been following tech and business news lately, you should be aware that Robinhood, the popular app for trading stocks and cryptocurrency, filed for an IPO  barely a week ago. The company filed for that shortly after it agreed to pay a $70mn fine  to settle allegations of improper conduct, a fine levied by the  US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) . The $70mn fine followed a $65mn fine levied by the SEC on Robinhood several months before. As it is, Robinhood has been caught up in major litigation for sidestepping usual regulations for brokers of its kind as the company grew at breakneck speed. Now, it appears that Robinhood isn't even done paying fines in the short term. Buried in the trove of text in the company's S-1 filing (which we analyzed earlier ) indicates that it has set aside $15mn as a penalty it expects to pay for an unspecified probe into its crypto business. Robinhood set aside $15mn for a settlement with the New York State Department

IPO: Key Takes From Robinhood's S-1 Filing

Yesterday on Thursday was the day one of the most anticipated IPOs of this year came to fruition. It was the day Robinhood, the popular stock and crypto trading app, unveiled its filing for an IPO . The trading app has had many eyes on it since it began making waves circa 2017 and more so in the past year, especially for its role in the "meme stock" saga . Robinhood claims to have "democratized investing" with its seemingly gamified trading app targeted at retail investors. At that, it's provided an easy way for small, retail investors to get in on the stock markets, but has also made it easy for such retail investors to trade risky assets to their potential detriment. Robinhood may both be a blessing and curse, depending on who you ask. In this piece, we're combing through Robinhood's SEC paperwork  to pick out some bits that may be interesting to you, and trust us, Robinhood's paperwork has many interesting bits. First of all, the company is earmar

Alert: Trading App Robinhood Files For IPO

Robinhood, the popular stock trading app, has filed for its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO). It's unveiled its SEC paperwork just a day after it agreed to pay a $70mn fine  to settle accusations of misconduct from regulators. Robinhood has unveiled its S-1 filing with the SEC, giving a peek into its business with information not publicly disclosed before. The company made $959mn in revenue for 2020, more than triple from $277mn in 2019. In 2020, it made a small net profit of $7.4mn, compared to a $107mn net loss in 2019. For its IPO, Robinhood is earmarking up to 35% of the shares for retail investors in its app. It'll be one of the few moments retail investors get to buy into a company at its IPO price.  Unveiling its filing for an IPO just after it agreed to settle a major regulatory case for $70mn seems like that was the hurdle Robinhood was just waiting to go through to kick off its IPO process. That particular case was from the US Financial Industry Regulatory

Markets: Mortgage Startup Blend Labs Files For IPO

One of the hottest fintech startups in the current markets is headed for a public listing soon. That startup is Blend Labs , a company that provides tools used by financial institutions to automate the process of issuing mortgage loans. Blend closed a funding round that valued it at $3.3bn early this year. Now, some months later, the company has unveiled an S-1 filing for an IPO with the US SEC. The final size of its share offering hasn't yet been set. As usual, we'll dig into Blend's S-1 filing for some important bits on its business, particularly on revenue figures. Details Blend brought in $96mn in revenue for the year ended December 31, 2020. That revenue was up 89% from the previous year. On a net basis, Blend isn't profitable, reporting a $75mn net loss in 2020 and $81mn in the year before that. But at least, it has high revenue growth rates to rationalize those losses. Blend's business model is based on charging customers, usually financial institutions, fo

Deal: Visa Buys Swedish Banking Startup Tink For $2.1B

A fintech startup from Sweden has made a big landmark for the country's startup scene, with an exit by way of acquisition. That startup is Tink , which is getting acquired by payments company Visa for a big sum.  Visa has agreed to buy Tink for a sum of 1.8 billion Euros ($2.1bn). It's buying the open banking platform after US regulators prevented its $5.3bn acquisition of Plaid , a company offering a similar service to Tink but in the American markets. Tink provides APIs that enable customers to link to different online banking services. It's a crucial tool serving the industry of digital banking. Currently, Tink is integrated with over 3,400 banks and financial institutions. Tink was founded in 2012. It has raised $308mn in venture funding and was valued at more than $800mn  from its last financing round. At that, a $2.1bn acquisition is a very big win for the company and its investors, as it's nearly 3x its last valuation. Tink's pricey sale to Visa strengthens

IPO: UK Fintech Startup Wise Set For Direct Listing In London

One of the foremost fintech startups from the UK has officially announced plans to hold a direct public listing in the country. That startup is Wise (formerly TransferWise), mainly a cross-border payments service. Wise has said it plans to hold a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). It did so with a regulatory filing . At that, it'll be the first major company to hold a direct listing on the London markets.  In a direct listing, a company doesn't raise fresh capital from investors and existing shareholders can immediately sell their shares on the open markets, without the usual lockup period limitations of a traditional IPO. Direct listings are fairly new globally, only tested by a few companies in the US. In the UK, it's even unheard-of, with Wise being the first to muddle those waters. As expected with direct listings, Wise's trading debut will be based on an auction, with investors, rather than with bank underwriters in a traditional IPO. The company&#

Deal: JPMorgan Buys UK Robo-Advisor Nutmeg

US-based banking giant JPMorgan has ventured into Europe to make a new major fintech acquisition. It's bought Nutmeg , an online wealth manager that's one of the biggest in the UK. Though JPMorgan didn't announce the price of its acquisition, a report from The Wall Street Journal   puts it at about $1bn. At that, it's a major exit in the UK's fintech startup scene. Nutmeg is a Robo-advisor managing investments digitally for many clients. It has 140,000 clients with a collective £3.5bn ($4.8bn) of assets under management. With Nutmeg, JPMorgan is making a play to shore up its retail banking business in the UK. Its acquisition precedes the bank's plans to launch a standalone digital bank brand in the UK later this year. Nutmeg is a testament to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon saying last year that the bank would be “much more aggressive” in searching for acquisitions to add capabilities. At the reported $1bn price tag, Nutmeg's acquisition would be JPMorgan's bi

Fintech: Sweden's Klarna Raises $640M, Valued At $46B

  Klarna, Europe's premier "buy now, pay later" financing startup has closed a big new round of funding. It's confirmed a $639mn financing round valuing it a whopping $45.6bn. The financing round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, a new investor in the company. Other existing investors including Adit Ventures and WestCap Group also chipped into the round. With a $46bn valuation, Klarna has taken the top spot as the most valuable privately-held tech startup in Europe, according to CB Insights data . Globally, it's the second-most valuable, only beaten by American payments processor  Stripe . A company based out of Sweden, Klarna has built itself into the leading "buy now, pay later" provider globally, beating out Afterpay in Australia and Affirm in America. The company reported $1.1bn in net revenue on a gross merchandise volume of $53bn in 2020. After conquering many markets in Europe, Klarna's major focus is now in the US, where it launched i

Warren Buffett Makes A Rare Startup Bet, In Brazil

Warren Buffett is a legendary investor, one known for making a huge fortune from buying and selling stakes in many companies. Via his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has led investments in many companies across many industries. Though, in his long investing career, Buffett has largely shied away from one area - tech startups and companies. Paraphrasing his own words, it's because he "didn't understand it".  As time has progressed, Buffett has somewhat become friendly with tech investments, starting with bigger names like Apple and IBM, and then Paytm , India's premier fintech startup. Now, in his latest tech bet, Buffett's Berkshire has ventured into Brazil to the country's premier fintech startup, just like it did in India.  Berkshire has bought a $500mn stake  in Nubank , a premier neobank and the largest fintech startup in Brazil and Latin America at large. The investment is part of a $750mn round for the company at a reported valuation of $30bn.  At

SPAC: Banking App Dave To Go Public In $4B Deal

In the world of special-purpose acquisition companies, there are new mergers unveiled every day. This day, the new merger on the block is Dave , a banking app backed by investors including Mark Cuban. Dave has agreed to merge with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III, Inc. (NYSE: VPCC) and become a public company. That's the SPAC sponsored by Victory Park Capital, an investor in Dave before now. The deal terms of Dave's merger value the banking startup at $4bn. The merger will see Dave get $254mn of cash held in trust by the VPC SPAC and then a $210mn PIPE round led by hedge fund Tiger Global.  As usual for SPAC deals, Dave's merger announcement came packaged with an investor presentation that provides strong insight into its business. It shows that the banking app, with 10 million users, made $122mn in revenue in 2020. Impressively, Dave was founded just four years ago and is now set for a $4bn exit on the public markets. Not many startups can boast of that growth and suc

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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