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Khosla Ventures Forms Three SPACs To Raise $1.2B

The venture capital firm Khosla Ventures is the latest institutional investor to tap into the boom of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) by filing for three successive SPACs to raise a collective $1.2 billion. Khosla Ventures has filed for three eponymous SPACs;  Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. ,  Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. II , and  Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. III to raise $300 million, $400 million, and $500 million respectively. The three SPACs are each seeking to raise their targeted amounts by selling tens of millions of share units for $10 each. According to their filings, Khosla Ventures' three SPACs won't focus on any particular industry when seeking merger targets. This is a bit surprising given that Khosla Ventures is primarily known for investments in the technology sector. As it seems, Khosla Ventures' SPACs will likely merge with technology companies or perhaps a few out of the many companies that it's backed as a venture capital firm.

LinkedIn, Zynga Founders Form Third SPAC To Raise $850M

The founders of the tech companies LinkedIn and Zynga, by names Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus respectively, have formed their third special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) after debuting their second only three months ago. Their new SPAC, Reinvent Technology Partners Y , has filed to raise $850 million in an initial public offering. The filing for a new SPAC from Hoffman and Pincus comes even as their two previous SPACs haven't formally announced merger deals. Though, there have been rumors of the both of them having respective merger discussions with the insurance startup Hippo and electric aircraft startup Joby Aviation. As expected, Hoffman and Pincus's new SPAC will target to merge with a technology company.  It seems that Hoffman and Pincus are each looking to make their mark in the SPAC world after having previously founded and built major technology companies. Hoffman founded LinkedIn and built it from its infancy through a blockbuster $26 billion sale to Microsoft

South Korean E-Commerce Giant Coupang Files For US IPO

The South Korean e-commerce giant and Amazon archnemesis Coupang has filed for an initial public offering in the US, paving the way for a blockbuster tech listing to come from the country likely this year. Coupang has unveiled its S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO, noting its intention to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "CPNG". Coupang is the biggest online retailer in South Korea, offering a service that provides quick deliveries of millions of items to households just like Amazon. Often dubbed the "Amazon of Korea", Coupang is a ten-year-old company that leveraged its locality to conquer the e-commerce market in South Korea to a number 1 position and has thrived very well since. From its S-1 filing, Coupang indicates that it posted sales of $12 billion in 2020, nearly double its sales of $6.3 billion in 2019. The company has grown astronomically over the past few years, multiplying annua

New SPAC Deal: Health App Sharecare

Amid the recent explosion of SPAC deals, the latest company to tap into the booming market is the health app Sharecare, which has announced an agreement to merge with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:FCAC) in a deal that values the company at $3.9 billion. Falcon Capital Acquisition Corp is a SPAC led by Alan Mnuchin, a finance industry veteran who's notably the brother of Steve Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary that served under President Trump. Alan Mnuchin just like his brother Steve is a veteran of the banking giant Goldman Sachs and is the founder of his own investment bank, AGM Partners LLC. Sharecare is a health app that provides consumers easy access to vetted health information and data. The company makes money from a stream of "knowledge partners", usually health-centric advertisers that pay Sharecare to get their answers to health-related questions listed on its platform as a method of brand awareness. Th

Telehealth Company Zocdoc Nabs $150M Growth Round

After pivoting from a site primarily used to schedule doctor visits to a platform for virtual live-video doctor appointments amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the New York-based telehealth company Zocdoc has raised a growth round of $150 million from private equity firm Francisco Partners. Being a growth round, it'll be used to expand operations for Zocdoc, which is itself already a mature company with stable revenues. The new round is the newest major round that Zocdoc has raised in the span of over five years. The company's last round before now was a $130 million Series D  that valued it at $1.8 billion, whereas the valuation that came with this new round isn't disclosed. That Zocdoc had not raised outside funding for the past five years before now is a testament to a healthy self-sustaining business for the company. Not surprisingly, the company says that it's profitable, quite a rarity in its world of venture-backed high-growth technology companies. Before the Covid-19 p

2020: Expedia's Revenue Sinks

  The online travel bookings giant Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) has posted its financial results for the fourth quarter and full 2020, showing a high revenue slump in a year that the Covid-19 pandemic widely decimated global travel. Over the year's Expedia's revenue dropped 57% to $5.2 billion in 2020 while gross bookings fell 66% to $36.7 billion.  After posting three consecutive profitable quarters in 2019, Expedia posted net losses in the entire four quarters in 2020.  For Expedia, a revenue slump was widely expected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such that in the heightened months of the pandemic last year, the company moved to raise an urgent $3.2 billion in debt and equity funding to balance its shaky finances. Now, as vaccines get rolled out globally for the Covid-19 ailment, it's expected that global travel will gradually recover and bring better fortunes for Expedia. In March 2020, a month where the Covid-19 outbreak was at freshly high levels, Expedia's share price

Self-Driving Truck Startup Plus Nabs $200M Round

Plus, an American-Chinese self-driving truck startup that formerly bore the name , has announced  that it's raised a fresh funding round of $200 million led by new investors Guotai Junan International, CPE, and Wanxiang International Investment, three Chinese firms. Other existing backers such as the Chinese on-demand trucking giant Full Truck Alliance also participated in the round. With its new funds, Plus says that it's working to meet its goal of mass production of self-driving trucks this very year. The company already has extensive testing operations in the US and China and now plans to expand further internationally into Europe and other parts of Asia. The new funds will allow Plus to hire more employees to guide its growth. Plus has made a key partnership with the Chinese truck maker FAW, a partnership that involves the deployment of its self-driving technology on trucks mass-produced by FAW. The company aims for the mass-production deployment to kick off this y

Mike Cagney's Figure Files For $250M SPAC

Figure, a blockchain lending startup founded by Mike Cagney of SoFi fame, is the latest company to form and launch its own special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's filed with the US SEC to raise $250 million for an eponymous SPAC named  Figure Acquisition Corp. I . The SPAC formed by Figure and Mike Cagney hasn't yet indicated any areas of industry where it's seeking a merger target, but for a hint, being formed by a company rather than investment firms and individuals like most SPACs are formed, it's likely that Figure's SPAC will merge with a company with its industry, fintech and blockchain. Figure is a digital mortgage lending platform that says it adopts blockchain technology to make the lending process easier. Founded in 2018, the company has already raised over $200 million in venture funding and was valued at $1.2 billion from its most recent fundraising round. Before founding Figure, Mike Cagney founded the fintech giant SoFi first as a student lo

Disney Reports 95M Disney+ Subscribers

In its latest earnings report , the mass media giant Disney has indicated unprecedented success for its Disney+ video streaming service which was launched in November 2019. It reports now having 94.9 million paid subscribers on its Disney+ service, compared to 26.5 million at the end of 2019 when it newly launched.  The reported subscriber count strengthens the status of Disney+ as the company's fastest-growing business unit presently, as 2020 was a year that widely drove up the demand for on-demand and over-the-top video streaming services as physical cinemas have been widely placed on hold.  Disney+ isn't Disney's only division that has benefitted from the strengthened video streaming market, as another of its streaming services, the sports network ESPN+  is reported to now have 12.1 million paid subscribers compared to 6.6 million at the end of 2019. Likewise, Hulu , a popular Netflix rival, now has 39.4 million paid subscribers compared to 30.4 million at the end of 20

Dog Walking App Rover To Go Public Via SPAC Deal

Amid a frenzy of SPACs , the latest technology company to seal a deal to go public through a SPAC merger is an unlikely one, a dog walking app named Rover . Rover is not just any dog-walking app but one of the most popular, and as it seems, an app for dog walking can be a business that's lucrative enough to secure a SPAC deal that's valued at $1.35 billion. Rover will merge with Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:NEBC), a SPAC sponsored by the investment firm True Wind Capital. The merger will hand over $325 million of gross proceeds to Rover, consisting of $275 million held in trust by Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp plus another $50 million private placement from other investors. Nothing screams SPAC boom like a dog walking app sealing its own deal to go public through one. Rover is itself a marketplace that connects pet owners to people looking to offer pet care services like dog walking, doggy daycare, and grooming. Its primary focus is on dogs, the most popular pet fo

2020: Uber's Delivery Business Spikes Up

The ride-hailing giant Uber has posted its financial results for the fourth quarter wrapping up 2020, showing its stats in the quarter as well as the whole year. 2020 was the peak year of the Covid-19 pandemic that led to a large slump in Uber's ride-hailing business, but luckily for the company, its food delivery business was a lifesaver. In 2020, revenue from Uber's food delivery business spiked up over the year from $2.2 billion to $4.8 billion. Gross bookings spiked up from $14.5 billion in 2019 to $30.1 billion in 2020. This happened as Uber's ride-hailing revenue fell from $10.7 billion in 2019 to $6 billion in 2020. Overall, Uber posted $11.1 billion in revenue in 2020, compared to $13 billion in 2019. Its net losses fell from $8.5 billion in 2019 to $6.8 billion in 2020. With a Covid-19 pandemic that significantly restricted day-to-day movement but widely drove up the need for on-demand delivery services, it's not surprising that Uber's Eats food delivery b

Zillow Buys Home Tours Site ShowingTime For $500M

The publicly-traded real estate marketplace Zillow has made a big new purchase - the home tours booking site ShowingTime . Zillow will pay $500 million to buy ShowingTime, marking a big exit for the company which was founded over two decades ago. ShowingTime provides an easy way for real estate agents to schedule home tours with customers at their properties. The company says over 50 million home tours were booked on its platform in 2020 alone. With ShowingTime, Zillow is getting a service that's very crucial to its real estate business. Already, many of the agents that list properties on Zillow use ShowingTime to schedule home tours so there's already a close association between both companies. After the acquisition is completed, Zillow says that it'll continue to maintain ShowingTime as a separate platform. ShowingTime is Zillow's second-biggest acquisition to date, after its splashy purchase of the competing real estate platform Trulia in 2015. By count, it's Zil

Electric Aircraft Startup Archer Seals SPAC Merger Deal

The latest technology company to seal a deal to go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is Archer , a startup that's developing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.  Archer has announced an agreement to merge with Atlas Crest Investment Corp (NYSE:ACIC), a $500 million SPAC formed by the investment banking tycoon Ken Moelis. Moelis is the founder and CEO of his eponymous publicly-traded investment banking firm, Moelis & Co (NYSE:MC). By merging with  Atlas Crest Investment Corp, Archer will get the $500 million held in trust by the SPAC. It's also secured an additional private-investment-in-public-equity (PIPE) round of $600 million, bringing the total amount that it'll raise to $1.1 billion. It's valued at $3.8 billion from its merger deal with Atlas Crest. That Archer is looking to raise a whopping $1.1 billion from its SPAC deal isn't surprising, given that the company is looking to develop and mass-produce 

SoftBank Poaches Microsoft's Corporate VC Head

The head of Microsoft's corporate venture capital arm, M12, is leaving the company after being hired by the SoftBank Vision Fund, the mammoth $100 billion investment fund formed by the Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank. Nagraj Kashyap is leaving M12 to take on the role of managing partner at the SoftBank Vision Fund. Bloomberg News first reported of Kashyap's departure and new job on Monday. Joining SoftBank, Kayshap has made a significant step further in his venture capital and investment career that has spanned companies including Microsoft and the chipmaking giant Qualcomm. Before joining Microsoft in 2016 to head its corporate venture fund, Kayshap led Qualcomm Ventures for 12 years. Now, after long stints at the corporate venture arms of two tech giants, Kayshap is joining another venture arm of a tech conglomerate, this time a mammoth $100 billion fund that has deployed tens of billions of dollars into many technology companies. As a managing partner, Kayshap will over

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

Tesla Makes Big Bet Of $1.5B On Bitcoin

The Elon Musk-led electric car giant Tesla is the latest major company to buy a huge amount of the world's most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. It's purchased a whopping $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, as indicated by a filing  to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As it's made a big bet on bitcoin, Tesla has also said that it expects to begin accepting bitcoin as a payment option for its products "in the near future", but noted regulatory uncertainties in that area. Tesla's $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase perhaps represents the biggest-ever bitcoin purchase by a global publicly-traded company. It isn't that surprising given that the electric carmaker's CEO, Elon Musk, has been a major promoter of bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies. Tesla didn't disclose the price at which it purchased its big bitcoin haul for. With its purchase, the electric carmaker joins a few other publicly-traded companies and institutional investors that ha

2020: Strong Revenue Growth For Pinterest

Pinterest is the popular social bookmarking site used majorly by women. Since the company went public in April 2019, it's adopted the requirements of a public company by reporting its quarterly and annual financials periodically. Now, Pinterest recently released its financial results for its most recent quarter and year, being the fourth quarter closing 2020, and its results indicated strong revenue growth. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Pinterest reported a 76% yearly jump in revenue to $706 million. For the full 2020, the company posted a record $1.7 billion in revenue. In a year that brought the Covid-19 pandemic and widely drove up the usage of social platforms, Pinterest grew its number of Global Monthly Active Users 37% over the year to 459 million. With increasing usage and better monetization, it's no surprise that Pinterest reported record revenues in 2020. In the fourth quarter, Pinterest was highly profitable with a net income of $208 million, Yet, losses from the pr

SoftBank Files For Two More SPACs

Less than two months after it filed to launch its first special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank is back with filings for two more SPACs that are seeking to raise as much as $630 million on the public markets. SoftBank's two new SPACs, SVF Investment Corp 2 and SVF Investment Corp 3 respectively, have filed to raise $200 million and $350 million respectively. If additional share purchase warrants are exercised, they'll raise up to $230 million and $400 million respectively, summing up to $630 million. Both of SoftBank's new SPACs will target companies in the technology sector, noting the sectors of mobile communications and artificial intelligence in their filings. SVF 2 is led by Munish Varna, a managing partner at SoftBank’s Vision Fund, while SVF 3 is led by Ioannis Pipilis, a SoftBank executive who was until 2019 the head of the bond training unit at the German investment bank Deutsche Bank. These two SoftBan

Private Equity Firm KKR Forms SPAC

The private equity giant KKR is the latest institutional investor to tap into the boom of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and form its own SPAC to launch and raise money from the public markets.  KKR's SPAC, eponymously named KKR Acquisition Holdings I Corp, has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public offering to raise $1 billion by selling 100 million share units at $10 each. If additional share purchase warrants are exercised, it'll raise up to $1.15 billion. The KKR-led SPAC is chaired by chief executive officer Glenn Murphy, a business veteran who's the Non-Executive Chairman of the apparel company Lululemon Athletica and not employed by KKR. Two other senior KKR employees, a partner and a managing director, serve on the KKR-led SPAC's board along with Murphy. KKR has now joined the league of big private equity firms that have launched their own SPACs. Others in that cohort include the likes of Churchhill Cap

Retired Baseball Star A-Rod Forms SPAC

The latest famous individual to join the boom of own special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and form his own is the retired professional baseball star Alex Rodriguez, famously called A-Rod, who has formed and signed up as the chief executive officer of Slam Corp, a SPAC that's seeking to raise $500 million from investors on the public markets. A-Rod's Slam has filed its S-1 prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), indicating that it's seeking to pursue businesses in the sports, media, entertainment, consumer technology, and health and wellness sectors.  Given A-Rod's status as a baseball star that's chased after acquisitions of professional sports teams in the past but to no avail, rumors abound that his SPAC may seek to merge with a sports franchise. However, in its S-1 filing, Slam Corp specified that it doesn't intend to merge with a professional sports franchise. Also backing Slam Corp along with A-Rod is Marc Lo

Oscar Health Files For An IPO

After filing confidentially for an initial public offering (IPO) in December, the health insurance startup Oscar has now publicly released its S-1 filing , giving a peek into its business and financials. Venture-backed to the tune of $1.6 billion , Oscar Health has made a name for itself as a major provider of health insurance process with a primarily digital process. The company reports having 529,000 customers buying health insurance plans on its platform, enough to generate $462.8 million in revenue for the company in 2020, down a bit from $488.2 million in the previous year, 2019. Oscar Health isn't profitable and has never posted annual profits since its inception, according to the company's S-1 filing. It posted a net loss of $406 million on $462.8 million in revenue in 2020 and a net loss of $261 million on $488 million in revenue in 2019. Oscar Health is seeking to go public after over 8 years of existence as a private company. It's a relatively fast tim

Online Grocer Good Eggs Raises Fresh $100M Round

Good Eggs, a popular on-demand grocery delivery service operating in the US, has closed a fresh funding round of $100 million led by the investment firm Glade Brook Capital Partners, with participation from existing backers including Benchmark Partners, Index Ventures, and Obvious Ventures; and new investors GV, Tao Invest, Finistere Ventures, and the food products giant Rich’s. With its new funding, Good Eggs will work to grow its reach in an American grocery delivery market that's predicted (by Goldman Sachs ) to reach $150 billion in sales by 2026. It's such that the Covid-19 pandemic has widely driven up the growth of the online grocery market and with Good Eggs being a major beneficiary of this growth. Good Eggs sources groceries from a network of partner stores and offers same-day delivery to its customers across a handful of locales in the US. The company itself is based in San Francisco, the city that's known to house many and more technology companies than any othe

Peloton Tops $1B In Quarterly Sales For First Time

Peloton is widely known as the popular maker of connected indoor exercise bikes and treadmills that can be used to live-stream fitness classes, a business that drew much interest as a Covid-19 pandemic widely shuttered physical gyms in 2020. As such, Peloton has seen good fortunes over the past year and just posted its financial results for its fiscal 2021 second quarter, showing that it surpassed $1 billion in quarterly sales for the first time ever. Peloton posted $1.1 billion in sales in its fiscal 2021 second quarter and a profit of $63.6 million in the same period. This compares to $466 million in sales and a net loss of $55.4 million in the same quarter of the previous year. Enjoying strong business growth over the past year, Peloton recently posted its first profitable quarter and has now topped $1 billion in quarterly sales for the first time ever, major milestones for the company. For a fact, Peloton has seen so much demand for its connected fitness bikes and treadmills over t

McKinsey To Pay $573M Penalty For Role In US Opioid Crisis

McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting giant, has entered into a deal to pay a $573 million penalty as a settlement with 47 US states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories over its role in the opioid crisis in the US. The settlement traces back to legal cases brought against the company concerning its work primarily with Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company known to be at the forefront of the opioid crisis. McKinsey will pay a $573 million settlement that'll be split between the  47 US states, five territories, and the District of Columbia, money that'll then be funneled to government programs tackling  opioid addiction and providing treatment. The settlement mirrors that of Purdue Pharma, which is the main company fingered for its role in the US opioid epidemic and agreed to an $8.3 billion settlement last year. McKinsey is being penalized for its consulting work wherein it advised Purdue Pharma on how to maximize profits from opioid sal

Latest SPAC Deal: Genetic Testing Company 23andMe

The genetic testing company 23andMe is the latest company to join the boom of becoming publicly-traded by merging with special-purpose acquisition companies. Barely a month after it closed an $83 million funding round , 23andMe has announced a deal to merge with VG Acquisition Corp, a SPAC formed by the famed entrepreneur Richard Branson. 23andMe will merge with VG Acquisition Corp in a deal valued at $3.5 billion. As part of the merger, 23andMe will receive $509 million held in trust by VG Acquisition plus a top-up $250 million cash infusion that'll come from investors including Fidelity, Altimeter Capital, and Foresite Capital. Branson and 23andMe's CEO, Anne Wojcicki who's the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, will reach chip in $25 million into the $250 million round. At close, the combined company of VG Acquisition and 23andMe will have a cash balance exceeding $900 million. After the merger, 23andMe will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the t

Box Buys E-Signature Startup SignRequest For $55M

Box, the publicly-traded cloud storage company, has announced its intent to buy SignRequest, a startup whose core product is a cloud-based electronic signature service. Box will pay $55 million to buy the startup, after which its e-signature services will be integrated into Box's software stack. After the acquisition, SignRequest's team is expected to take on new roles at Box. That Box is buying SignRequest doesn't come as a surprise given that e-signature software is one of the major tools offered by companies like Box that provides software for online file storage and collaboration. Box has been lacking an e-signature feature before now but will now be getting one thanks to SignRequest. Coughing up $55 million to get an e-signature feature doesn't seem cheap but has apparently been decided to be worth it by Box's management led by CEO Aaron Levie. SignRequest is a Netherlands-based startup so the $55 million price marks a good one by the country's startup exi

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Vizio, a well-known maker of smart TVs and other complementary equipment such as soundbars, has filed an S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public listing, seeking to do so for the second time after having previously filed to go public in 2015 but later withdrew its plan in lieu of a $2 billion sale agreement to a Chinese company that unfortunately didn't pan out. The market for technology IPOs has been very hot as of late and it seems that Vizio is coming in at the right time to capitalize on that hotness. A popular maker of smart TVs, Vizio has sold over 80 million TVs and 11 million soundbars since the company's inception, as indicated in its S-1 filing. The company sold 7.1 million TVs in 2020 alone. Vizio has strong revenues and is profitable, reporting $102 million in net income on over $2 billion in revenue in 2020. In the previous year, 2019, Vizio reported a net income of $23 million on $1.8 billion in revenue. Most of Vizio's revenue c

New SPAC Deal: Home Insurance Startup Hippo

Amid a flurry of SPAC mergers as of late, the latest technology company to tap into the boom and reach a deal to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is Hippo, a home insurance startup that makes use of satellite imagery and smart home sensors to gauge and offer better home insurance policies. Hippo will merge with Reinvent Technology Partners Z (NYSE:RPTZ), a SPAC formed by the respective founders of LinkedIn and gaming company Zynga, Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus. Hippo will merge with  Reinvent Technology Partners Z in a deal that'll hand it over $230 million of cash held in trust by the SPAC, plus a $550 million PIPE round to be led by existing investors  Dragoneer, Lennar, and Ribbit Capital. The PIPE round will value Hippo at $5 billion. Following the merger's completion, Hippo expects to have $1.2 billion of cash at hand, fueled by the funds from its SPAC deal plus venture funding that it's already raised. A hot insurance startup, Hippo has raised o