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SPAC: Game Studio Jam City Calls Off $1.2B Merger Deal

Jam City , a mobile games studio with a bevy of hits, has withdrawn its plans to go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's called off its earlier-agreed with DPCM Capital (NYSE: XPOA), a SPAC formed by ex-Uber executive Emil Michael. The reasons for calling off the merger are uncertain and unspecific. Vaguely, both firms said in a joint statement that it is "the best path forward...in light of current market conditions." Now, DPCM Capital will have to find a new merger target. Originally, DPCM and Jam City sought to combine in a deal valuing the latter at $1.2bn . As part of their combination, Jam City was supposed to use money from DPCM to finance a $175mn purchase of Canada-based mobile game publisher Ludia . Now, it's unclear if that acquisition will go through. It may be that Jam City has sought to remain privately-held, or it's found an alternative path onto the public markets. The company could seek a traditional IPO in

Deal: Indian Gaming Startup PlaySimple Sold For $360M

One of India's low-key makers of casual mobile games has sold for a huge sum, spurring surprise in the industry. It's PlaySimple , which has been sold to  Modern Times Group (MTG) , a publicly-traded Swedish game company.  MTG is buying PlaySimple for an upfront amount of SEK 3.1 billion ($362mn) and then conditional earn-out payments worth  SEK 1.3 billion ($151mn). Making an aggregate of $513mn, it's one of the largest exits ever for a gaming startup in India. MTG's payment for PlaySimple is a mix of cash and stock. The $362mn upfront price tag is a very big one for a startup that raised barely $5mn in venture funding, with its last round in 2016. It happens that PlaySimple built a sustainable and solid business for itself that brought in $83mn in sales last year. PlaySimple has a portfolio of nine casual games, including popular ones like Word Trip , Word Jam , and Word Wars . It's one of the few cases of an Indian startup developing successful mobile games for

IPO: PUBG Maker Krafton Cuts Down Offering Size

Krafton (formerly Bluehole), the South Korean developer of the hit game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) , has cut down the size of shares it's selling in its initial public offering on the Korean markets. It's cut down its target from the equivalent of $5bn at the top range now to $3.8bn, ending a bid for what could have been the biggest IPO in South Korea. In a revised filing to Korean regulators, Krafton indicated it had cut down its IPO size and also removed valuation comparisons to firms like Warner Music Group and Disney after it drew criticism for being over-reliant on one product, PUBG , for revenue and therefore not as diversified as those firms. PUBG, the popular 'battle royale' game, makes up the vast majority of Krafton's revenue, 96.7% in the first quarter of this year. Reading the writing on the wall that it's risky to be over-reliant on one product, Krafton has invested in other games and ventures but its efforts are yet to pay off. On its

Deal: EA Buys Warner Bros. Games' Playdemic For $1.4B

Gaming powerhouse Electronic Arts (EA) has added another digit to its string of weighty acquisitions over the past year. It's agreed to buy Playdemic , a mobile gaming unit of Warner Bros. Games' that's best known for the game Golf Clash . EA will pay $1.4bn in cash to buy Playdemic. The deal comes just months after the company paid $2.1bn for Glu Mobile , another mobile game developer. Apparently, EA is going the way of acquisitions to build up a strong mobile gaming business, outside its major expertise of console gaming. This marks the third time that Playdemic is getting acquired in a decade. It was first sold in 2011 to RockYou  and then bought back by its founders that same year, who then sold the company to Warner Bros. Games in 2017. 2017 was the year when Playdemic released Golf Clash , the game it's best known for. It's a multiplayer golf game with over 80 million downloads globally.  Playdemic is getting sold just as the parent firm of its owner, WarnerM

PUBG Maker Krafton Files For $5B IPO In South Korea

A top gaming company from South Korea has filed for an IPO that could break records in the country. That company is Krafton (formerly called Bluehole), the maker of the  PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) franchise. PUBG as it's fondly called is an online multiplayer "battle royale" game that's popular around the globe. It was the preceding popular battle royale game to Epic's Fornite  in the US. Krafton has filed for an initial public offering on the South Korean markets. Its offering size is listed as between $4.1bn-$5bn, with $5bn on the higher end being a record-breaking number for the Korean markets. For context, the biggest IPO by a Korean company had an offering size of $4.6bn. It was that of e-commerce company Coupang this March that set the record. Now, just a few months later, it looks like that record may be broken. According to its filing, Krafton had 1.7 trillion won ($1.5bn) in revenue and an operating income of 774 billion won ($693mn) in 20

Alert: Roblox Faces Major Lawsuit Over Music Rights

Shortly after a very successful public listing, gaming platform Roblox now has a formidable obstacle to face. It's getting sued by a group of music publishers alleging exploitation by their music being used on the Roblox platform without permission or payment. The music group suing Roblox includes Universal Music Publishing, Big Machine Records, and popular DJ Deadmau5. They're represented by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and seeking at least $200mn in damages. The major allegation against Roblox is that it sells its users the option to insert virtual music players into games they create and that play copyrighted music by artists without compensating writers and copyright holders.  As such, the NMPA asserts that Roblox is enabling piracy with its user base, which skews towards young kids. “Roblox actively preys on its impressionable user base and their desire for popular music, teaching children that pirating music is perfectly acceptable,” the complaint s

Games: Take-Two Buys Top Eleven Maker Nordeus For $380M

Take-Two Interactive, the gaming company behind the popular "Grand Theft Auto" and "NBA 2K" series, has bought a soccer game developer to add to its roster of games. It's bought Nordeus , the maker of the Top Eleven mobile soccer game. Take-Two's deal to buy Nordeus sums up to $378mn, of which $315mn will be paid upfront and the remaining $63mn as conditional earnouts. For the amount paid upfront, it's split into $225mn in cash and $90mn in stock. Buying Nordeus for $378mn marks a pace-setting deal for a mobile games maker based in Serbia. It's rare to hear of such a major acquisition coming from the Serbian tech and gaming industries. Nordeus's game, Top Eleven , is a top mobile soccer management game globally. Its Serbian developer claims the game has 240 million registered users. Take-Two has a reputation for expanding with acquisitions, especially in the mobile games space, and Nordeus is its latest target in that regard. Its last acquisitio

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

Gaming: Japan's Gree Wins $92M Verdict Against Supercell

A patent feud between two major gaming companies in Asia has resulted in a big court-ordered payment for the smaller company in the feud. That feud is between Japanese gaming company Gree and Chinese gaming giant Tencent, actually its subsidiary Supercell , that's resulted in a big monetary damages award for Gree. Although both Gree and Tencent are based in Asia, the legal feud that resulted in a verdict against Tencent was fought in the US, precisely in Texas.  Details: A federal jury in Marshall, Texas has ordered Tencent's Supercell gaming division to pay $92.2mn in damages to Gree after finding it guilty of violating Gree's patents.  Supercell is Tencent's Finland-based mobile gaming division that it acquired in a $10bn deal in 2016. It's best known for its Clash of Clans hit mobile game. The patent feud between Gree and Supercell began last year when Gree sued the Finnish game developer for allegedly infringing on its patents. The patents centered on feature

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

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

Fortnite maker Epic Games is having a court battle with Apple over the latter's App Store practices and that battle has led to several documents coming out of the shadows with valuable information about Epic Games not publicly known before.  Among the information revealed in court proceedings between Epic and Apple is the sheer scale of Epic's revenue largely gotten from its hit game Fortnite . Official documents indicate that Epic Games made respective annual sales of $5.6bn, $4.2bn, and $5.1bn in 2018, 2019, and 2020, summing up to just shy of $15bn. Epic's revenue in 2018 and 2019 was revealed in financial documents made public as part of its court battle with Apple while its revenue for 2020 was separately revealed in a court testimony by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. The vast majority of Epic's revenue comes from Fortnite while its other products like the Unreal Engine and the Epic Games Store bring in a minority of revenues. Specifically, Fortnite brought in $5.5bn a

Gaming: Sony Invests In And Partners With Discord

Sony Interactive Entertainment, the gaming giant famous for making the PlayStation consoles, has bought a stake in one of the current hottest gaming startups and partnered with the startup. That startup is Discord, the VoIP and chat platform popular with gamers around the globe. Details: Sony has moved to make a minority investment in Discord as part of a tie-up between both companies. The investment, of undisclosed size, is part of Discord's Series H round which opened with a $100 million raise  last December at a valuation of $7bn. The tie-up between Sony and Discord that brought about the investment entails the Discord chat and messaging app getting integrated on the PlayStation Network early next year.  The integration is beneficial to both companies, as the user base of Discord substantially overlaps with that of PlayStation console owners. Discord is the biggest gaming chat app of its kind with more than 140 million monthly users as reported by the company, and with that, a

TikTok Owner ByteDance Makes Big Gaming Purchase, Hires CFO

ByteDance Technologies, the high-flying Chinese technology startup that owns a suite of apps including the popular TikTok, has made a major gaming acquisition that is the company's biggest acquisition yet, paying a reported $4 billion to buy mobile game developer Moonton. Moonton is a Chinese mobile game studio that's best known for its multiplayer online battle arena game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang . It was founded just seven years ago and now has seen a big exit with a sale to ByteDance. Per publicly-known information, Moonton is known to have raised just a small amount of venture funding, making its reported $4 billion sale price very lucrative for its shareholders. Its sale signals ByteDance having big ambitions venturing into the gaming world. As it made a big gaming acquisition, ByteDance also announced the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer poached from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Shou Zi Chew, who served as Xiaomi's CFO from 2015 to 2020 will become B

EA Buys Games Maker Glu Mobile For $2.1B

After sealing a deal to buy the UK-based game developer Codemasters in December, the American gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) is back with another big acquisition, this time Glu Mobile , a publicly-traded mobile games developer that's behind popular titles like Covet Fashion and Design Home .  EA will pay $12.50 per share for Glu Mobile, summing up to $2.1 billion in total. Combined with Glu's current cash balance of $364 million, the deal sums up to $2.4 billion. EA's acquisition price represents a 36% premium to Glu's closing share price on Friday, the 5th of February 2020. With Glu, EA will be getting a mobile gaming powerhouse with more than 100 million monthly active players across its games. Combined, EA's and Glu's mobile games will have produced $1.3 billion in bookings over the last 12 months. Glu has a team of 800 employees that'll join EA following the completion of its acquisition. 500 of its employees are developers, a significant talent bas

Mobile Game Studio Nexters To Go Public Via SPAC Deal

Nexters Global, a Cyprus-based developer of mobile games whose flagship title is the action-RPG game Hero Wars , is the latest company to seal a deal to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's announced  that it's reached a deal to merge with Kismet Acquisition One Corp (Nasdaq: KSMTU), a SPAC led by the Russian tycoon Ivan Tavrin. The merger with  Kismet Acquisition One Corp will result in Nexters becoming publicly-traded on the  Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker "GEDV". It's a deal that'll split $300 million equally between Nexters and some of its shareholders who will be cashing out. The $300 million consists of $250 million raised by Kismet Acquisition in its IPO and an additional $50 million from the SPAC's sponsor, Kismet Capital Group. The merger deal values Nexters at $1.9 billion. Nexters is an 11-year-old mobile game developer that was founded in Russia as one of the pioneers of social and mob

Amazon Has A Video Game Problem

You should know Amazon as the tech giant that has its hands dipped in figuratively everything. With a major and mammoth e-commerce business, the company also has big operations in other areas such as movie streaming (Prime Video), game streaming (Twitch), online pharmacy (PillPack), grocery delivery (Amazon Fresh), autonomous driving (Zoox) and the likes. Amazon is a stand-out business for the fact that it's seen success in many areas. The company constantly pours billions of dollars into expansion efforts and has seen its bets reap good fruits over the years. Even with success in many areas, it appears that there's one place Amazon has had much trouble in - the development of video games. A recent report from Bloomberg  shed light on the company's troubles in the video game sector, despite spending up to roughly $500 million annually on its gaming efforts. To develop games, Amazon has spent big and hired a handful of stars in the game development sector. Its dedicated divi

RuneScape Maker Jagex Sells To US Private Equity Firm

Jagex, a British gaming studio and publisher that's best known for its  RuneScape  MMORPG game, has been sold to the American private equity firm The Carlyle Group, a press statement from the firm indicates. While the price of the sale wasn't officially disclosed, a report from The Daily Telegraph pegs the deal at $530 million+. A Jagex acquisition is a landmark one for The Carlyle Group, a well-known and major private equity firm but one that isn't known for dabbling in the gaming sector. It's in fact the first gaming studio that  The Carlyle Group has ever acquired. The Carlyle Group is a major investor in technology companies globally and has thus continued its streak with the acquisition of a major British gaming studio. Jagex in this case  is a studio with a very popular game, RuneScape, which it claims has almost 300 million player accounts and has achieved over $1 billion in lifetime revenue. Jagex employs more than 450 people in the UK. Its reported acquisitio

Roblox Raises $520M, Valued At $30B

After having filed to go public last year, the gaming company Roblox appears to still be tapping the private markets for funding and has announced  that it's raised $520 million in new funding at a share price that places its valuation at $29.5 billion.  The new round was led by the investment firms Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group, with participation from the likes of Warner Music Group and the Investment Group of Santa Barbara. With the funding raised, Roblox says that it'll now hold a direct listing on the public markets and won't raise any further funding from its public market debut.  Roblox's new funding round seems to be a very strategic play, given that last year, the company postponed its planned public listing  to adjust its pricing strategy after seeing massive first-day pops of companies like Airbnb and DoorDash.  Now, the $520 million investment at a roughly $30 billion valuation represents the amount of money that Roblox would have raised o

Morgan Stanley Bets Big On Skillz

Morgan Stanley, the well-known investment bank and financial services firm, is betting big on Skillz, a mobile gaming company that recently debuted on the public markets by the way of a reverse merger with a blank-check firm.  On the 9th of December, 2020, just a few days before Skillz completed its merger with the blank-check firm Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp, Morgan Stanley submitted a filing to the SEC that indicated it held an 18.8% stake in Flying Eagle.  With Skillz having completed its merger with Flying Eagle on Friday, Morgan Stanley's stake in the blank-check firm has been converted into Skillz stock and made it a major investor in the mobile gaming company. Skillz enjoyed a stellar debut that saw it soar high on its first day of trading. Now, the company trades at $20.92 per share with a market cap of over $7 billion. It seems that Morgan Stanley has found something very attractive in Skillz and thus secured a large stake in the company ahead of its debut. Skillz is

Discord Raises $100M At $7B Value

The popular chat service Discord has said that it's raised a fresh funding round of $100 million led by the investment firm Greenoaks Capital, which was already a previous investor in the company.  The new round brings the total amount of funding Discord has raised to nearly $500 million and is said  to have doubled Discord's valuation from $3.5 billion from a previous round now to $7 billion. The fresh round comes in a year in which Discord has pulled in a high number of users as a Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the need for virtual communications both from computer and mobile gamers, its main area of familiarity, and broader mainstream users. Discord initially started and rose to fame as a chat service for gamers. Now, it's sought to appeal to users outside the field of gaming and earlier this year poached a marketing executive from the apparel company Nike to oversee its expansion beyond gaming in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. According to a report from the Wall S

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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