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Crypto Exchange Coinbase Fined $6.5M For False Reporting, "Wash Trading"

Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange that's on its way to a blockbuster IPO , has been fined to the tune of $6.5 million by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to settle charges of "reckless false, misleading, or inaccurate reporting" and "wash trading" by the crypto exchange. Coinbase has been ordered to pay a $6.5 million civil monetary penalty and cease and desist from any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC regulations, as charged. Coinbase's charges of  " reckless false, misleading, or inaccurate reporting"  stems from allegations of the company failing to disclose to the CFTC as required that it was operating more than one automated trading program and trading through multiple accounts on its own GDAX trading platform (now Coinbase Pro).   The automated trading led to perceived trading and liquidity volumes that were misleading to traders and data brokers and such was illegal. For the charges of &q

Founders Of Bankrupt Biotech Startup uBiome Indicted For Fraud

The two founders of uBiome, a San Francisco lab testing startup that drew much attention in its heyday but was later crippled with bankruptcy, have been indicted for healthcare and securities fraud among other offenses by a federal grand jury in San Francisco, opening up a serious legal case that sees both founders facing numerous years of jail time. Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte by name were the founders of uBiome, a startup that sold convenient tests for the microbiome, the community of microorganisms residing in the digestive tract and other parts of the body.  In its heyday, uBiome was a high-profile startup flush with tens of millions of dollars in venture capital funding from investors including Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz. Its fortunes though began winding down after FBI agents raided the startup's San Francisco office  in an investigation over possible insurance fraud. Jessica Richman and Zac Apte have been indicted for multiple crimes including conspiracy to co

DraftKings Taps Bond Market To Raise $1.2B

After wrapping up 2020 with soaring revenues , sports betting company DraftKings has sought to capitalize on the cheerful investor attention towards it that's sent its stock soaring over the past year to raise $1.15 billion by selling convertible bonds on the public markets. DraftKings has announced  a proposed offering of $1.15 billion in convertible notes split into $1 billion upfront for investors and an additional $150 million optional allotment for the banks underwriting its bond issue.  DraftKings will sell $1 billion of convertible notes upfront and grant its underwriters a 13-day option to purchase an additional $150 million. Convertible notes are basically bonds that can be converted into stocks by their owners. DraftKings' convertible notes are priced at 0% interest and due by 2028. The notes won't be redeemable by DraftKings at its will before 2025. For conversion to DraftKings' stock at a bondholder's will, the notes have an initial conversion rate of 1

Samsung Updates Galaxy A Series With 3 New Phones

As expected regularly, Samsung has unveiled the latest addition of smartphones to its product lineup and this time to the Galaxy A series of mid-range premium smartphones. It's unveiled three new smartphones - Galaxy A52 , A52 5G , and A72 . Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy A phones at the Unpacked event usually held by the company, following an earlier one in January where it unveiled the Galaxy S21 Series . A52 and A52 5G The Galaxy A52 is a glossy smartphone with a 6.5-inch, Super AMOLED display and high-resolution cameras of 64MP at the rear and 32MP at the front. It sports a 4,500 mAh battery that Samsung says provides up to two days of battery life for the smartphone. Other features of the A52 include: 4/6/8GB RAM and 128/256GB internal memory versions Samsung's custom Octa-Core (Dual 2.3GHx + Hexa 1.8GHz) processor Support for MicroSD of up to 1TB Infinity-O (near bezel-less) visual display On-screen fingerprint authentication Water resistance Bluetooth connectivity as us

BMW Unveils First All-Electric Sedan, i4

In a move signaling its increasing commitment towards electrification, German luxury carmaker BMW has unveiled what's its first all-electric sedan, the BMW i4 , that's scheduled to hit the roads by the end of this very year. BMW first teased the all-electric i4 concept at the digital-only Geneva Motor Show last year and has now unveiled a production version that closely matches that concept. The i4 is an electric car that'll come in different versions with the highest having a range of around 300 miles and power of around 390kW (roughly 530 horsepower), BMW says. For now, though, BMW hasn't dished out many details on the all-electric i4 but says it'll do so 'over the next weeks.' However, the car's range and power output have been revealed as disclosed above, being two important pieces of information to note. Notably, BMW has said that it'll offer an M Performance model of the i4. Another notable piece of information is that the i4 will use the late

Qualcomm Closes $1.4B Purchase Of Chip Startup Nuvia

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

Squarespace Raises $300M, Valued At $10B Ahead Of IPO

After confidentially filing for an initial public offering in January and paving its path onto the public markets in the process, it's apparent that Squarespace, the popular web building and hosting service, isn't yet done with raising money on the private markets. It's just announced the close of a $300 million funding round valuing it at $10 billion. The new $300 million round is likely Squarespace's last before it debuts on the public markets, mimicking that of several other tech companies that have closed big funding rounds just on the cusp of their initial public offerings, such as UiPath  and Instacart . Squarespace's $300 million round came from a mix of new and existing investors including General Atlantic, Accel, D1 Capital Partners, Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price. With it, Squarespace has now raised a total of nearly $600 million of private venture funding. The $10 billion valuation for Squarespace with this round is noticeably high

Trading Platform eToro To Go Public In $10B SPAC Deal

eToro, a popular online platform for trading stocks and cryptocurrencies, is the latest technology company to take the SPAC route towards an exit on the public markets. It's sealed an agreement to merge with  special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC)  FinTech Acquisition Corp. V (NASDAQ: FTCV) in a deal valuing it at $10.4 billion. FinTech Acquisition Corp. V is a SPAC launched by female business veteran Betsy Cohen. eToro is on a path to go public after nearly a decade and a half of existence, wherein it's grown into a major online trading platform that drew $605 million in gross revenue in 2020. Particularly, 2020 was a very good year for eToro, wherein it says it added 5 million new registered users. In 2020, eToro says that it executed 27 million trades each month on average, compared to an average of 8 million trades per month in 2019. Now in 2021, the company reports having added 1.2 million new registered users and executing 75 million trades in January alone. Altogethe

Dealmakers Sam Altman, Michael Klein Team To Form $1B SPAC

As it looks, many big names in the business and technology world don't want to get left out of the boom of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and thus have moved to launch their own SPACs or take directorship positions at those formed by others.  Many of such big names from the technology world have launched and collectively raised billions of dollars for their respective SPACs, among them Peter Thiel of Palantir, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, and Zillow Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff.  Likewise, many in the finance world have launched big SPACs, among such hedge fund tycoon Bill Ackman who holds the record for the biggest amount ever raised by a SPAC, and investor Michael Klein whose SPAC recently sealed a deal to merge with ambitious electric car startup Lucid Motors  in what's the biggest-ever SPAC merger deal by market value. Now, two big names from the finance and technology world have crossed over and teamed up to form a SPAC, being Mich

Swedish EV Battery Startup Northvolt Gets $14B Order From VW

It's definitely a good day for Northvolt, a Swedish startup making batteries for electric vehicles and a highly-funded one at that with some $3.3 billion in equity and debt financing.  Northvolt has sealed a big contract with German automaker Volkswagen to supply $14 billion worth of lithium-ion batteries for the automaker's electrification efforts over the next 10 years, with Northvolt becoming the strategic lead battery supplier to the Volkswagen Group in Europe. The $14 billion battery deal is a landmark one for Northvolt and brings the total value of supply contracts under its belt to $27 billion, quite unprecedented for a five-year-old startup in its early stages. As part of its supply deal with Northvolt, Volkswagen which was already an investor in Northvolt before now has increased its stake in the company to 20%. As an anchor investor, it'll also be Northvolt's biggest customer marking a significant tie-up between both companies. Northvolt is currently building

Stripe Raises Fresh $600M, Valued At $95B

Hot payments startup Stripe has closed a big new round of funding, announcing that it's raised a $600 million Series H round that values it at a whopping $95 billion, whereby such valuation makes Stripe now the most valuable private technology company in the US. Stripe's new round came from a mix of existing and new investors including Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), Allianz X, Axa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, and Sequoia Capital.  With the new round, Stripe says that it'll bolster its European operations, particularly in Ireland where the company's two sibling founders, Patrick and John Collison, hail from. It's then no surprise that  Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency  which's an investment fund of the Irish government chipped into Stripe's new funding round. Europe is a major market for Stripe, with 31 out of the 42 countries that the company is currently present in being from the continent. Over there, Stripe powers onlin

Real Estate Giant Cushman & Wakefield Forms $250M SPAC

The latest big name to get into the boom of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) by launching its own SPAC is Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate services giant. It's formed its own SPAC named  C&W Acquisition Corp that's looking to raise $250 million from an initial public offering. C&W Acquisition Corp has filed an S-1 document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), making known its intent to raise $250 million by selling 25 million share units for $10 each. Its IPO is being underwritten by Citigroup and BofA Securities. As it's sponsored by a real estate services firm that's one of the biggest of its kind, it's no surprise that C&W Acquisition Corp is targeting to merge with a business in the property-tech and real estate sector as indicated by its S-1 document. It doesn't seem that the SPAC will have a problem finding a merger target thanks to the influence of its sponsor Cushman & Wakefield. Cushman &a

Instacart Names Snowflake's CEO, Tech IPO Veteran To Board

Barely two weeks ago, on-demand grocer Instacart announced a $265 million funding round that valued it at $39 billion, with the round coming ahead of an expected IPO for the company.  Now, Instacart has further hinted at IPO plans by naming a new board member who's well-versed in seeing tech companies through IPOs and is currently the CEO of one of the hottest public software companies, Snowflake Computing. Instacart has announced that it's appointed Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman to its board. He'll join six other members on the board, including Instacart's Founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta and representatives from investment firms Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and D1 Capital Partners. Frank Slootman. Slootman is a tech veteran who has seen three big tech companies through IPOs as a CEO, first at Data Domain Inc, then ServiceNow, and currently at Snowflake. It's likely that Instacart has added him to his board thanks to his experience of seeing tech companies t

Electric Carmaker Canoo Unveils New Pickup Truck

Fresh off a public listing through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), electric car startup Canoo has unveiled what's its third vehicle, this time a bubbly-looking electric pickup truck. Canoo's newly-unveiled electric pickup truck sets the company as a contender in the American electric truck market which is one that's predicted for huge growth over time . Now, Canoo will be getting head-on with the likes of Tesla, Rivian, Ford, and Lordstown Motors to capture market share in the American pickup truck market as it's set to transition towards all-electric models over time. Canoo's new electric pickup truck is pictured above. It measures six feet and can extend to a fully enclosed eight feet to give way for more space, thanks to a pull-out bed extension that's demonstrated in the image below. At its front, Canoo's pickup truck features a cargo storage area that can hold tools or gear and also includes a fold-down worktable with electri

Zhihu, "China's Quora", Files For US IPO

The latest Chinese tech company making a push to list on the US public markets is Zhihu, a popular Q&A website in China that's fondly referred to as the country's version of Quora, which is the leading Q&A site in the American market. Zhihu has submitted an F-1 filing  for an IPO to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as usual for foreign companies looking to list securities on a US stock exchange. That F-1 filing provides a peek into the company's business with information not publicly known before. Zhihu will sell American Depositary Shares to investors on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to become publicly-traded in the US. Three banks, namely Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan are the underwriters for the company's imminent IPO. From its F-1 filing, it's indicated that Zhihu generated the equivalent of $207 million in revenue in 2020, double what it made in the previous year 2019. Though, the company isn't profitable, reporti

SoFi Buys Small Bank To Hasten Bank-Charter Process

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

Dropbox Buys Doc-Sharing App DocSend For $165M

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

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

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

New SPAC Deal: Bill Gates-Backed Crowd-Safety Company Evolv

Amid a rush of SPAC merger deals  as of late, the latest company to tap into the hot market for SPAC mergers is Evolv Technology, a company that makes security screening hardware adopted in crowded places like airports, malls, and museums and is backed by investors including Bill Gates.  Evolv has announced an agreement to merge with NewHold Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: NHIC) in a deal valuing Evolv at $1.7 billion. Evolv will receive roughly $470 million in gross cash proceeds from its merger, consisting of money held in trust by NewHold Investment Corp along with a committed PIPE round. Under the terms of their merger, NewHold Investment Corp will hand over $172.5 million of cash it currently holds in trust to Evolv. Then, Evolv has secured commitments for an extra $300 million PIPE round from a mix of investors including investment firms like UBS O’Connor and Eldridge as well as sports stars and executives like Andre Agassi, Theo Epstein, and Tony Ressler, part-owner of pro Baseball t

Porsche Raises Stake In Electric Supercar Maker Rimac

Porsche, the popular maker of high-performance cars, definitely has its eyes set on transitioning to an electric future as it's already released its first all-electric vehicle, the Porsche Taycan , which sold over 20,000 units in its first year of mass production being 2020.  Along with producing its own all-electric vehicles, Porsche has also signaled its major interest in the electric car market by investing in Rimac, a Croatian maker of high-performance electric cars. The German carmaker had previously invested a sum in Rimac that gave it a 15% stake in the Croatian electric car startup and now has announced  that it's investing another 70 million Euros ($83 million) to boost its stake to 24%. Porsche's investment in Rimac indicates major confidence in the Croatian electric car startup's operations, as it's made itself Rimac's biggest outside shareholder. Porsche and Rimac are strategic partners in a not-surprising way given that Rimac specializes in making h

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US Sanctions First Crypto Exchange For Alleged Ransomware Ties

The US government has moved to blacklist a Russian crypto exchange in what seems to be the first time the government is taking such an action against a crypto exchange; The US Treasury Department has announced sanctions against a crypto exchange named  Suex  for allegations of facilitating transactions for ransomware operators based in Russia. The department therein claims that over 40% of Suex's known transaction history was associated with illicit and criminal operations. The US has faced a wave of ransomware attacks over the past year with victims including a major oil pipeline company ( Colonial Pipeline ) that paid a $5mn ransom and a major food supplier ( JBS ) that paid an $11mn ransom . Both attacks are suspected to have been carried out by Russian criminal groups, making it a major point of concern that US President Joe Biden pressed Putin to address  in a July phone call; Out of many, the most infamous ransomware group globally appears to be a Russian organization name

Law: Ex-Quant Analyst Indicted For Front-Running Employer's Trades

Insider trading is like the most common crime on Wall Street or the crime most prosecuted. Every now and then, there's always a new insider trading case pursued by the appropriate American authorities; the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Justice Department (DOJ). To the unaware, insider trading is deemed as trading a public company's stock or other types of regulated securities based on material, nonpublic information about the company. The latest insider trading saga now making the rounds is that of a former quant analyst who has just been indicted for front-running his employer's trades and making a killing to the tune of over $8mn. Sergei Polevikov , the former quant analyst, allegedly bought securities he knew his employer ordered in large blocks on behalf of clients and then profited from little price bumps of the securities that typically occurred when the large orders were executed. He's said to have done this with a brokerage account opened in his

Deal: DraftKings Bids $22B For UK Betting Giant Entain

A certain American company has been on a tear ever since going public last year. It's DraftKings , a sports betting company that's riding the high waves of increased legalization of mobile sports betting in the US and tearing its way into more business as time goes. In the US where DraftKings is based, there's been a wave of legalization of sports betting spurred by the Supreme Court striking down a federal ban on it in 2018. It's such that sports betting is now legalized in more than two dozen US states and more states are considering it. The wave has vaulted DraftKings to high growth thanks to the company being an early mover and working hard to build this growth, DraftKings has spent big money on acquisitions to expand. For example, just last month, the company bought online casino Golden Nugget in a $1.6bn all-stock deal that marked its biggest acquisition to date. Right now and shortly after making its biggest acquisition, it appears that DraftKings is even push

Antitrust: US Sues To Block JetBlue-American Airlines Alliance

American antitrust actions against big companies have been brewing under President Biden, particularly against big tech companies like Faceboo k and Google . But the latest one from the government is targeting an industry far away from tech, the airline industry; The US Justice Department (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit  seeking to block an alliance between American Airlines , a major transnational and domestic airline, and JetBlue , a low-cost domestic airline. The alliance was for JetBlue to handle domestic flights between  Boston and New York City  on behalf of American Airlines with ticket sharing between both airlines. Now, the DOJ appears to be very opposed to the alliance along with the Attorneys General of six US states plus Washington, D.C. that followed it to file the lawsuit. The suit's core allegation is that such an alliance discourages airline competition and may cause fare hikes for everyday flyers. Given its statement, the DOJ actually has a point to make as an alliance

Deal: Blackstone Buys Condor Hospitality's Hotel Assets For $305M

Blackstone , the private equity giant, is yet again adding to its massive commercial real estate portfolio with a big purchase. It's agreed to buy the hotel assets of the  Condor Hospitality Trust , a publicly traded real estate investment trust that's liquidating all its assets and winding down its business. Blackstone will pay $305mn in cash to buy Condor's entire hotel portfolio. The PE firm won't be assuming any debt from the purchase. Condor's portfolio includes 15 hotels in 8 American states, some franchised under prestigious brands like Hilton and Marriott . Hotels are the trust's only business from which it gets all its revenue, and now that it's selling them, the trust has instituted a plan to distribute the sale proceeds to shareholders and close down its operations. Notably, Condor is shutting down after a tumultuous year for hotel operators caused by the pandemic's restrictions on travel and recreation. It, in fact, saw annual sales slip f

Alert: Coding Platform GitLab Files For US IPO

Catching us as a surprise late on Friday, GitLab , a popular coding platform and rival to GitHub,  has filed for an IPO in the US. GitLab is a popular code repository hosting service for software developers and is the 2nd-largest of its kind only beaten by GitHub.  While GitHub sold to Microsoft for $7.5bn three years ago, GitLab has remained independent and now is about to test the waters as a publicly-traded company. GitLab has unveiled its S-1 filing with the US SEC as is usual for companies looking to go public in the US and the S-1 document provides great insight into the GitLab's business with information not publicly disclosed before. Therefore, we'll be extracting some of the most important info from the bulky filing, mostly on its revenue stats. By the Numbers GitLab reported  $152mn in revenue in the fiscal year ended January 2021, compared to $81mn in the preceding year. In the first half of 2021, the company brought in $108mn in sales, compared to $64mn in t

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

Markets: Covid Testing Provider Cue Health Goes Public

A diagnostics startup that found treasures amid dirt from the Covid-19 pandemic has stamped its success with a successful initial public offering (IPO). It's Cue Health , a little-known startup from San Diego that rapidly switched its focus to making Covid-19 testing kits on the onset of the pandemic and has built a big business with that. Cue Health debuted on the Nasdaq exchange on Friday, the 24th of September, raising $200mn before commissions and other underwriting expenses. Its stock climbed 25% on that day to end trading at $20, giving it a market cap of $2.9bn . Cue Health is one of the significant startup success stories to emerge from the pandemic. Before it started providing Covid testing kits, its annual sales were numbered in the low-digit millions but shot up to $23mn in 2020  on the pandemic's onset and $202mn in the first half of 2021 . Because of its fast pivot to providing Covid testing kits, Cue Health was an early mover. Thus, it got lucrative testing contr

Earnings: Nike's Sales Falter, Shares Drop 6%

Sports apparel giant Nike has dropped its latest quarterly results , showing that its earnings still stand firm despite sales challenges intensified by the Covid pandemic. But though its earnings beat analyst expectations, Nike's stock fell by a significant percentage during trading on Friday due to its sales outlook. Nike posted $12.2bn in sales in the three months ended August 31, 2021, its fiscal 2022 first quarter. Sales were up 12% year-over-year and slightly unchanged from $12.3bn in the preceding quarter. Nike's sales have dropped significantly due to the Covid pandemic that led to widespread closures of its physical retail centers. Even as the pandemic effects gradually wear off, the company is still battling supply chain disruptions caused by it. As usual, most of Nike's quarterly sales came from the  Nike brand ( $11.6bn ), while a minority was from the Converse brand ( $630mn ). For the quarter, Nike's net profit was $1.9bn , up 23% year-over-year and 27%

Deal: Hollywood Agency CAA To Buy Rival ICM

In a historic deal in the talent agency industry, two of the biggest entertainment and sports talent agencies operating in the US are about to merge to become one. It's so that Creative Artists Agency (CAA) , a powerhouse talent agency with a roster of stars, has reached a deal to buy ICM Partners , a rival powerhouse agency. CAA buying ICM is a blockbuster deal that'll see two of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies merge into one more robust powerhouse. The combined agency would be a more formidable one for arch-rivals such as William Morris Endeavor (WME) and United Talent Agency (UTA) . Normally, CAA, ICM, WME, and UTA are considered the "big four" talent agencies in Hollywood and sports, representing the most significant share of A-list talent across both industries. Now, it appears that the "big four" would soon become the "big three."  CAA is the bigger one of the two agencies, commanding a bigger roster of talent and business tha