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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

SPAC: Investor Chamath Makes Bank From SoFi Market Debut

Chamath Palihapitiya is a name that rings bells in the world of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). That's because he's like the biggest SPAC promoter out there and has participated in over a dozen SPAC deals. Personally, he's launched six SPACs on the public markets. One of Chamath's SPACs just completed a merger with fintech company SoFi and the merger was a successful one that saw SoFi's shares rise by over 10% on the first day of trading. That merger delivered a windfall for Chamath worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Precisely, Chamath's personal stake in SoFi is north of 33 million shares, according to an SEC filing. With SoFi closing up trading on Tuesday at $22.65, those shares are worth about $750mn. Chamath's personal shares in SoFi were gained as part of the shares usually granted to SPAC sponsors like him. Such sponsor shares, typically 20% of common stock, have proved lucrative for SPAC promoters like Chamath who don't even ha

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.

Fintech Startup Marqeta Files For IPO

One of the hottest fintech startups in the US just newly filed with the SEC for an initial public offering. That startup is Marqeta , one that provides backend payments infrastructure for many of the services people use ranging from food delivery apps like DoorDash to 'buy now, pay later' lenders like Affirm. Marqeta has unveiled an S-1 filing for an IPO, with the S-1 document, as usual, giving a delve into the company's business with information not publicly known before. Revenue stats: Marqeta's S-1 shows that of a fast-growing company that more than doubled its revenue from 2019 to 2020 and Q1' 2020 to Q1' 2021. The company reported respective annual sales of $143mn and $290mn in 2019 and 2020, and $48mn and $108mn in Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. Marqeta isn't profitable on a net basis, reporting respective net losses of $58m and $48mn in 2019 and 2020. In Q1 2021, the company reported a small net loss of $13mn. Emphasized risks: From its S-1, it's shown tha

SPAC: Mortgage Startup Better To Go Public In $7.7B Deal

A startup offering home mortgages online is going public in a big merger deal with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). That startup is Better.com, one that funded $24bn worth of mortgages on its platform in 2020 alone. Better.com was a major beneficiary of the hot US real estate market that came with the pandemic last year. It's in fact that it funded almost five times the mortgages it did in 2020 than in the previous year 2019. Details: Better.com has agreed to merge with Aurora Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: AURC) and become a publicly-traded company. The terms of the merger values Better at $7.7bn on a post-money equity basis. From its merger, Better is getting $220mn of cash held in trust by Aurora Acquisition Corp. plus a $1.5bn PIPE round led by SoftBank, a major investor in Better before now.  Out of the total $1.7bn cash that Better will get from its merger, $950mn will be paid out to its shareholders while it's left with $778mn for general corporate purposes. Be

Uruguay Fintech Startup DLocal Files For IPO

A major fintech startup from the Latin American region has filed for an IPO on the US markets. That startup is DLocal , which offers cross-border payment gateways for merchants doing business in emerging markets like its home region of Latin America. DLocal has filed an F-1 document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as required for foreign companies seeking to list shares on its markets. The F-1 as usual gives a great insight into DLocal's business with information not publicly known before. Details: DLocal's F-1 document shows that of a fast-growing startup with a history of profitability. It's unlike many companies in the recent crop of IPOs with little or no history of profitability. DLocal made $104mn in revenue in 2020, nearly double its $55mn revenue in the previous year. In 2020, the company reported $28mn in profit, nearly double its profit of $16mn in the previous year, 2019.  DLocal has made its mark as a fast-growing cross-border payment start

Fintech Startup Flywire Files For IPO

Flywire, a Boston-based payments startup, has filed for an initial public offering on the US markets. It's unveiled its S-1 document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The S-1 as expected provides a peek into the company's business and financials with information not publicly known before. Flywire is a payments startup serving the education, healthcare, and travel industries. It's a platform for cross-border payments which's crucial in those industries. By the numbers: Flywire's S-1 prospectus shows that of a company with healthy and steadily growing revenue over the years. It reports $132 million in revenue in 2020, compared to $95 million in the previous year 2019. Flywire isn't profitable but reports losses not out of place for a fast-growing startup backed by venture money. It posted respective net losses of $11 million and $20 million in 2020 and 2019. Flywire is backed by venture funding to the tune of over $260 million which it&#

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

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

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

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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