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Pinterest Reportedly In Talks To Buy Photo App VSCO

It's been reported that Pinterest, the famous social bookmarking site, is holding talks to buy VSCO, a popular photography app with a social aspect. Pinterest has held talks to buy the popular photo app according to The New York Times . Though not confirmed, Pinterest is an ideal suitor in a case where VSCO is seeking to sell to another company. Both companies overlap very much, being in the social media space with a focus on high-quality images and videos. As to price, Pinterest can very much afford VSCO thanks to a large cash balance of nearly $700 million as of the end of 2020 and a market value of $49 billion if shares are used to finance the purchase.  VSCO, a ten-year-old startup, has raised about $90 million in funding and was valued at $550 million from its last funding round. Given that, a Pinterest acquisition would likely be priced in the hundreds of millions of dollars or even over a billion. VSCO is a very popular app with 100 million registered users. of which over tw

Scooter Braun Sells Media Firm Ithaca Holdings For $1B

Music mogul Scooter Braun has sealed a deal to sell his media company Ithaca Holdings to HYBE, a South Korean entertainment company that's home to the mega-popular boy band BTS.  HYBE will buy 100% of Braun's Ithaca Holdings through its wholly-owned subsidiary HYBE America. With its purchase, it'll take over Ithaca's two main businesses which are  SB Projects , a music management and marketing firm whose clients include Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande; and record label Big Machine Records . Braun pulled together a deal to buy Big Machine Records for $300 million in 2019. His company Ithaca Holdings financed the purchase with an investment from private equity firm Carlyle Group, which's now exiting all of its stake in the company to HYBE. Braun's deal to buy Big Machine Records famously saw him spar with pop star Taylor Swift who launched her storied career at the record label. Swift complained of Ithaca buying Big Machine Records which included the masters of h

UFC Owner Endeavor Files Again For IPO

Endeavor, an entertainment company that owns several businesses including the Ultimate Fighting Championship ( UFC)  sports league, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) once again after abandoning an earlier effort in 2019. Endeavor has sought to go public again after it abandoned earlier efforts to do so due to unfavorable market conditions. It has made some notable changes as it's seeking an IPO for the second time, including the nomination of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to its board of directors. According to its S-1 filing , Endeavor brought in $3.48 billion in revenue for 2020, down from $4.57 billion the previous year. The revenue drop over the year isn't surprising as the 2020 pandemic negatively affected live entertainment activities, particularly the UFC live events for Endeavor. Endeavor's major businesses are the UFC sports league and talent and marketing agencies WME and IMG. Its three primary business segments are sports leagues, talent representat

Microsoft Wins $22B Deal To Supply US Army With HoloLens AR Glasses

Microsoft has won a big contract to equip the US Army with special versions of its HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headsets following a $480 million prototyping contract that was declared successful.  After successful prototyping, Microsoft's deal to equip the US Army with HoloLens AR headsets has moved into the production phase, with an order for over 120,000 units of the device. It's a supply contract potentially worth $21.9 billion over the next 10 years, Microsoft confirmed to CNBC . In its press release , the US Army confirmed its order of HoloLens AR headsets for its infantry and stated that the program is aimed "to deliver next-generation night vision and situational awareness capabilities to the Close Combat Force (CCF) at the speed of relevance." It implies that the HoloLens headsets will see their use in the warfront. The program under which the US Army has sought Microsoft's HoloLens is dubbed "Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS)." I

FTC Opposes Illumina's $8B Purchase Of Cancer Detection Startup Grail

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued to block the $8 billion purchase of cancer detection startup Grail  by Illumina, a publicly-traded genetic sequencing company.  Illumina has sought to acquire Grail, which's working on blood-based cancer detection tests, for $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in stock net of the 12% stake it already owns as an investor in Grail. To note, Grail was itself spun out of Illumina. With a legal case in the brews, the FTC argues that Illumina's planned purchase of Grail will "diminish innovation in the U.S. market" for multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, given that the blood-based early cancer detection test that Grail is developing depends on a type of DNA sequencing that only Illumina provides. On its end, the FTC is challenging Illumina's planned Grail purchase as one that'll give it an unfair edge in the MCED test market and has thus sued to block the purchase. A trial for the case will begin on Aug. 24, 2

NBA Top Shot Parent Dapper Labs Raises $305M, Valued At $2.6B

Dapper Labs, the company behind digital collectibles sensation  NBA Top Shot and Ethereum collectibles game  CryptoKitties , has raised a big new round of funding from what's apparently a large party of sports stars, Hollywood heavyweights, and investment firms. Dapper has raised a $305 million round led by Coatue, a tech-focused investment powerhouse. Coatue was joined by others including NBA legend Michael Jordan and current stars like Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala; musician Shawn Mendes; Hollywood stars Will Smith and Ashton Kutcher; and investment firms a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, and Venrock. Indeed many people and firms chipped into Dapper's funding round and we listed just some of them. Per reports , the round values Dapper at $2.6 billion, not bad for a company at the forefront of the recent NFT craze. Dapper's NBA Top Shot offers video highlights of NBA scenes that users can trade in the form of verifiable digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens (NF

IPO Chatter: Proptech Startup Knock

Knock, a fairly popular prop-tech startup offering people a way to buy and sell homes, is the latest company to get drawn to the center of rumors of a planned IPO. It's recruited investment bank Goldman Sachs to advise it on a bid to go public, according to a Bloomberg News report . Quoting the report, Knock is considering a plan to raise between $400 million to $500 million through an initial public offering. The prop-tech startup is also weighing a direct listing, or of course, the hot way to go public now which's a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). In an interview with Bloomberg, Knock's CEO Sean Black confirmed that his startup hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on its consideration to go public. Per chatters, Knock is aiming for a valuation in the ballpark of $2 billion on the public markets. Knock is a homebuying startup with its major offering known as Knock Home Swap, entailing lending money to customers to buy a new home while helping them sh

Market Moves: Tencent Music Kicks Off $1B Share Buyback

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the NYSE-listed music streaming service of Chinese tech giant Tencent, has embarked on its biggest share buyback program yet with an announcement that it's been authorized to repurchase up to $1 billion worth of shares in a twelve-month period commencing March 29, 2021. Tencent Music's fresh $1 billion share buyback is more than double the company's last share buyback program of $400 million . Tencent Music began trading on the NYSE after an IPO in 2018 and has undertaken just one share buyback program since then before this one marking the second. The $1 billion share buyback announcement by Tencent Music notably comes just after the company was caught up in a massive share selloff of over $20 billion  that was triggered by a group of major banks, and the share selloff triggered significant short-term slumps in the share prices of affected companies like itself. A share buyback is basically the re-acquisition by a company of its own shar

UK Online Used-Car Dealer Cazoo Rides Into $7B SPAC Merger Deal

Cazoo, an online used-car sales startup operating in the UK, has reached an agreement to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) founded by American billionaire investor Dan Och in a deal valuing it at $ 7 billion. Cazoo, a barely three-year-old startup, is merging with AJAX I, a SPAC listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: AJAX). Through the merger, Cazoo is getting $805 million of cash held in trust by AJAX I, plus an $800 million PIPE round coming from investors including BlackRock, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Fidelity, and Mubadala Capital. A barely three-year-old startup sealing an exit with a valuation of $7 billion on the public markets wildly signals booming times for the stock markets. Though it's existed for a relatively short time, Cazoo is a fast-growing startup that says it expects revenue in 2021 to approach $1 billion. Though with rapidly rising revenues, Cazoo doesn't seem to be currently profitable and hasn't disclosed whethe

New York State Launches "Vaccine Passport" App

The state of New York led by Governor Andrew Cuomo has moved to launch a "vaccine passport" offering an easy way for residents to share their Covid-19 vaccination or negative test status in accordance with state guidelines. The aim of the app, named Excelsior Pass , is to provide an easy way for organizers of mass gatherings to verify the status of their attendees in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Excelsior Pass was developed by New York state in partnership with IBM, whose blockchain platform forms the basis of the app. It works by having a secure QR code which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to get proof of vaccination or Covid-19 negative test results to permit entry for customers. The Excelsior Pass isn't that complex, being similar to a mobile airline boarding pass. Just as in the case of a boarding pass, New York state residents can either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior P

Autonomous Delivery Startup Nuro Adds Toyota, Chipotle As Investors

Nuro, a well-funded self-driving startup launched by ex-Google veterans, has said that it's raised new funding from investors including restaurant chain Chipotle and Woven Capital, a growth-stage fund launched by a subsidiary of Japanese automaker Toyota. The new investments in Nuro came as part of a $500 million Series C  that the company embarked on last year. It adds Chipotle as a strategic investor in Nuro and means we could see food from Chipotle getting delivered by Nuro's self-driving robots sometime in the future. With backing from an offshoot of Toyota, Nuro also has a new strategic investor in the Japanese automaker.  Nuro's new investments came on the heels of the company securing a commercial deployment permit for its autonomous delivery robots in the state of California. The permit has allowed Nuro to operate commercially in two countries near its headquarters in the California Bay Area and the company says it'll soon start delivering there with a yet-unn

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

Crypto Firms Blockchain.com, Chainalysis Raise Mega Rounds

Two of the latest companies in the crypto-sphere to raise a big round of funding are two well-known names, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis and cryptocurrency exchange and wallet Blockchain.com . Chainalysis has announced that it's raised a new funding round of $100 million valuing it at $2 billion, while Blockchain.com has raised a new round of $300 million valuing it at $5.2 billion. Both funding rounds add to the crypto funding frenzy that's been seen in the past year. Chainalysis's $100 million round was led by Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment firm launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Erhrsam. Other participants in the round included Lee Fixel's Addition and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff via his firm TIME Ventures. The $100 million round for Chainalysis came barely four months after the company closed a previous round of the same exact amount. The company says it's seen exceptional growth over the past year and increased its annual recurring revenue

IPO: Romanian Software Company UiPath Unveils S-1

After filing confidentially for an initial public offering (IPO) in December, UiPath, the high-flying robotic process automation (RPA) startup, has now unveiled its S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), giving a peek into its financials with information not publicly known before. With its S-1 filing made, UiPath is set to begin trading soon on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "PATH". As to financials, UiPath's S-1 filing shows $608 million revenue for its most recent fiscal year ending January 31, 2021. In the previous year, the company made $336 million in revenue. UiPath isn't profitable, showing net losses of $92 million and a much higher $520 million in its most recent fiscal year and the one before that respectively. Most of UiPath's revenue comes from its 'Licenses' segment, that is selling licenses for the use of its software to corporations. The second-highest segment after that is grouped as "Maintenan

Official: WeWork To Go Public With $9B SPAC Deal

Pertaining true to recent rumors , SoftBank-owned office leasing company WeWork has sealed a deal to become publicly-traded through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's announced that it's merging with BowX Acquisition Corp in a deal valuing it at $9 billion. BowX Acquisition Corp is a SPAC sponsored by investment firm Bow Capital Management and is advised by retired basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. It raised $420 million from its IPO in August last year. With its merger, WeWork is getting $483 million of cash held in trust by BowX plus an extra $800 million PIPE round committed by investors including Fidelity, BlackRock, Starwood Capital Group, and Insight Partners. Totally, it'll get $1.3 billion of cash proceeds from its merger. WeWork's past has definitely not been forgotten, being the poster child for excessive startup exuberance  under the leadership of its former CEO Adam Neumann who was then ousted by the company's board led by

Sports E-Tailer Fanatics Raises $320M, Doubles Valuation To $13B

Fanatics, the popular online retailer of sports merchandise, has raised a new funding round of $320 million that values it at $12.8 billion, per CNBC . The round more than doubled the company's valuation from $6.2 billion as of its last round now to nearly $13 billion. Fanatics' new round came from a mix of investors including private equity firm Silver Lake, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Investments, Neuberger Berman, Thrive Capital, and Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball is a major sports merchandise partner of Fanatics so it's no surprise that chipped cash into the company's $320 million round. Per CNBC , Fanatics' global sales are up 30% year over year and the company expects to surpass $3 billion in sales this year. It's then ideal that the sports merchandise e-tailer has sought new funds to double down on expanding. With its new round, Fanatics has now raised a total of $2.4 billion in venture funding, and that makes it one of the highest-funded

News Corp Pays $275M To Buy Newspaper Investor's Business Daily

News Corp, the mass media giant chaired by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News fame, has moved to buy Investor's Business Daily, a fairly popular American newspaper and news website covering the global stock market and business activities.  News Corp is paying $275 million to buy Investor's Business Daily from O’Neil Capital Management, an asset management firm that's owned the paper for a long time. The firm is chaired by William J. O’Neil who's himself the founder of the paper. As part of News Corp,  Investor's Business Daily will be housed under Dow Jones, a News Corp subsidiary that also operates the famous Wall Street Journal . It's an ideal acquisition for Dow Jones which's a leading global provider of business news and information. Investor's Business Daily, IBD for short, owns business website Investors.com which's a digital outlet generating the most revenue for the company. It's monetized primarily with subscriptions, subscriptions that News Cor

Zillow Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff Has A New Billion-Dollar Startup

Spencer Rascoff is a well-known serial tech entrepreneur with several successes to his name. Early in his entrepreneurial career, he founded Hotwire.com, an internet travel startup that sold to InterActiveCorp (now IAC) for nearly $700 million. He then co-founded Zillow which grew to become the leading online real estate platform in the US. Rascoff stepped down from Zillow in April 2020 and apparently still had the entrepreneurial bug biting him hard despite his previous successes. He moved to form two new companies, tech news site dot.LA and real estate startup Pacaso , which's where it gets interesting. Barely five months after launching, Pacaso has said that it's raised a $75 million equity round  valuing it at an unprecedented $1 billion. Take note that this is a startup that's existed for only five months.  Pacaso said it closed a $75 million equity round alongside a $1 billion debt round for its business. The equity round was led by VC firms Greycroft and Global Foun

Under New CEO, Intel To Spend $20B Building Two New Chip Fabs

Shortly after recruiting Pat Gelsinger from VMware to be its new CEO , chipmaking giant Intel has announced plans  to spend $20 billion building two new semiconductor fabrication plants "fabs" in the state of Arizona.  The new fabs are aimed at boosting the company's manufacturing capacity locally in the US, whereas the US has over the past years lost a significant percentage of its chip manufacturing capacity to other countries such as China. Intel will spend $20 billion building its two new fabs over the next three years with plans for both to have become operational sometime in 2023. The company's plan puts it in major competition with Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC which's also building a semiconductor fab in Arizona. Likewise, Korea's Samsung is also building one in Texas. With its new fabs, Intel aims to boost manufacturing capacity for its own processors in the 7nm range and smaller. The company has also detailed plans to create a new division called 'Int

Big Startup Funding Rounds: Ro, GoPuff, Airwallex, And More

This year has been a spectacular one regarding big funding rounds for startups. It's a year when you just sleep for a night and lo and behold wake up to the news of big funding rounds that were announced just in the few hours you slept. Just on Monday in this new week, several $100 million+ rounds for startups were announced, with some rounds amounting to around $100 million and others going to as high as over $1 billion. In this piece, we present to you a summary of the biggest new funding rounds of this week. They include; Ro - Ro, an online pharmacy startup, has raised $500 million in Series D funding that values it at $5 billion. It's now raised a total of nearly $900 million in outside funding with the addition of the new round. GoPuff - Food, snacks, and alcohol delivery app GoPuff has raised a whopping $1.15 billion  in a new funding round valuing it at $9 billion, double its valuation from a previous round five months ago. GoPuff's new round came from a mix of ne

"Rigged Tax Code": Zoom Pays $0 Federal Income Tax On $660M Annual Profit

Zoom, the popular video-conferencing platform, was one of the major beneficiaries of the pandemic as millions around the globe became dependent on video calls to stay connected and carry out their jobs. 2020 was a wild year for Zoom, wherein its annual pre-tax profit soared from just $16 million to $664 million in the span of 12 months. For that year, the company reported $2.7 billion in revenue, over 4x its revenue in the previous year. Now, it's been revealed that Zoom only had to cough out a relatively minute sum to the US taxman despite its year of record profits. The company paid $0 in federal income taxes and only $5.7 million in total taxes to the US government in 2020, an effective tax rate of just 0.8% on its profits even though the corporate tax rate was 21% for 2020. It's not that Zoom broke the law or evaded taxes to reduce its federal income tax bill to nothing and total tax bill to $5.7 million. What the company did was take advantage of a legal loophole by compen

Serial Lawbreaker: Amazon Faces 3rd Wage Theft Fine In 3 Months

  Yet again, Jeff Bezos's e-commerce giant Amazon is in hot water with regulators for messing with the wages of its workers, in this case its drivers. The company is set to pay a fresh $8.2 million penalty in a class action settlement for wage violations, as indicated by a court settlement notice  for eight former Amazon delivery driver contractors in the Seattle area in Washington state. The $8.2 million fine is yet another entry into the long list of fines that Amazon will pay as penalties for apparent wage theft, coming just a week after the state of California fined the company $6.4 million  for failing to pay overtime and and offer rest breaks to over 700 contracted delivery drivers in Southern California between 2018 and 2020. Shortly before California's fine, Amazon also agreed to pay a $62 million fine levied by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  for pocketing delivery drivers' tips. Tracing back to other years, the company has numerously landed in hot water with r

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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: Self-Driving Startup Plus To Go Public In $3.3B Deal

An autonomous driving startup with its major operations in the US and China is the latest tech company that's set to hit the public markets through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). That startup is Plus (formerly Plus.ai), one focused on automated trucking. Plus has agreed to a deal to merge with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V (NASDAQ: HCIC) and become a public company. The terms of the merger value the self-driving startup at $3.3bn. From its merger, Plus will get $345mn of cash held in trust by HCIC and then a $150mn PIPE round from investors including BlackRock and the D. E. Shaw Group. That sums up to a cool $495mn for the company to fund its operations. The cash from its SPAC merger is crucial for Plus, as a company that plans to kick off mass production of its product this year.  Plus sells a stack of hardware and complementary software to enable automated driving for trucks. Its main customer base is truck manufacturers, such as China's F

SPAC: EV Startup Lordstown Motors Is In Trouble

You may have heard of this story before - an electric car startup launches, then makes very big promises to investors as it sought to go public through a SPAC merger. But, it later turned out that those promises were a sham. In the above short story, that was Nikola , the troubled electric car startup that was the first company to test the waters of the current SPAC boom. Now, that story is likely repeating itself with another company - Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE) . In a recent filing to the SEC , Lordstown warned that it doesn't have sufficient capital to fund commercial-scale production of its electric truck. This is despite raising $675mn from its SPAC merger last year. With its admission of lacking capital, Lordstown is definitely in financial trouble if further investment isn't secured. The question is will investors will be willing to give it loads of cash once again? Lordstown's recent admission is just much in contrast with its sentiment at the time of its SPAC

Space: Rocket Trip With Jeff Bezos Sells For $28M

A seat on a planned short space trip by Blue Origin, the aerospace company owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has been auctioned off for a large amount - $28mn . That emerged as the winning bid from a group of 7,600 people across 159 countries. The $28mn bid was won by a yet-to-be-identified person, who will take a short trip to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket. He/she will tag along with Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos on the trip to the edge of space. It'll be a short 11-minute trip to suborbital space and back as the first crewed mission undertaken by Blue Origin. It's a critical first space trip with humans aboard since Blue Origin was founded in 2000. The ride aboard Blue Origin's rocket is scheduled for July 20, barely two weeks after Bezos will step down as Amazon's CEO and become Chairman. It seems he has been waiting all this while to relinquish his CEO duties and take a trip to space. Blue Origin's first crewed mission is a thing of p

Covid-19: Novavax Says Vaccine 90% Effective

An American biotech firm working on a vaccine for Covid-19 has announced very positive results from its trials. That firm is Novavax , a reputed vaccine maker that began working on a Covid vaccine late last year. Novavax said its vaccine demonstrated 90.4% efficacy against Covid-19 from a sample of nearly 30k participants in the US and Mexico. At that, it plans to file for authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. Novavax seems late to the game after successful Covid vaccines for the US have already been developed by Pfizer and Moderna. It's yet to receive authorization at a time when hundreds of millions of Pfizer and Moderna doses have already been sold in the US and abroad. Unlike Moderna and Pfizer, Novavax's Covid vaccine is protein-based rather than the mRNA technology the two companies decided to work with. The use of proteins is a long-established way of making vaccines compared to the mRNA which is new to mass production. There ap

Alert: FDA Approves New Alzheimer's Drug From Biogen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a landmark approval for a new drug to treat Alzheimer's , a neurologic disorder that affects millions worldwide. It's the first medication cleared by US regulators to treat the ailment in two decades. The drug granted clearance is  Aduhelm made by Cambridge-based Biogen. It's a branded name for  Aducanumab , a medication that works by removing sticky deposits of a protein called amyloid beta found in the brains of early Alzheimer's patients, with the hopes of reducing the ailment's buildup. As a note, Aduhelm is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but a way to attack what is believed to be an underlying cause in the disease in its early stages. It can't be used to tackle Alzheimer's that has already progressed to later stages. Aduhelm will cost $56k per year to patients.  The FDA clearance for Aduhelm came despite objections from many in the scientific and medical community, where there has been a fierce

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

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

Markets: Zoom, Salesforce Invest In Monday.com's IPO

The stock market devotees of the tech world should be aware of Monday.com, an Israeli software company that filed for a US IPO last month May. After filing, Monday.com recently had a successful market debut, with two big names chipping in cash to invest. The two big names are Zoom , the popular video-conferencing software company, and CRM software giant Salesforce . They each bought Monday.com shares worth $75mn at its IPO price and got a modest paper profit as the company soared 15% on its first trading day. Soaring 15%, the $75mn of shares each bought by Salesforce and Zoom produced a one-day gain of $11.6mn. It's a benefit of being a strategic investor whereas it got to purchase shares at the floor IPO price like the bankers underwriting the listing. Though, the shares purchased by Zoom and Salesforce are subject to lock-up restrictions and can't be sold for a period of 180 days. It means the profit is only on paper for now and could get reversed at the whims of the market.

Crypto: MicroStrategy Offers More Junk Bonds To Buy BTC

There's been one company at the forefront of promoting bitcoin use in the corporate world - MicroStrategy . It's bought a few billion dollars worth of bitcoin, financed by its own cash flow as well as borrowings on the bond market. Now, MicroStrategy is back again on the bond market to raise cash to buy bitcoin. This is despite its own indication of expecting to report an impairment loss of $285mn  in its next earnings report due to fluctuation in the price of bitcoin that it holds. MicroStrategy is selling $500mn worth of high-yield bonds, fondly called junk bonds, to buy bitcoin. The bonds are senior notes due by 2028, with an annual interest of 6.125%. MicroStrategy apparently is dazzled with bitcoin, such that after selling $1.6bn worth of bonds last year to buy it, it's back on the block to sell $500mn more. In fact, it originally planned to sell $400mn but topped $100mn more at the last minute. Buying bitcoin is how MicroStrategy has drawn the attention of many inves