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Jeff Bezos, Drake Invest In Sports Media Startup Overtime

  A group of investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and famous Canadian rapper Drake have contributed to a large funding round for a sports media startup delivering widely-watched content to fans on social media. That startup is Overtime, which's announced the closing of an $80 million Series C round. Overtime produces sports content delivered to fans primarily on social media and has made a big name for itself there. It boasts an audience of almost 50 million social media followers, an audience attractive enough to advertisers enough to build a strong business. Overtime's $80 million Series C round was led by returning investor Sapphire Sport, Black Capital and a group of big names in the worlds of technology, sports, finance, and music including Jeff Bezos and Drake. Both were joined by more than 25 current and former NBA stars in the round including Trae Young, Devin Booker, Klay Thompson, and Pau Gasol. With Overtime's new round, it's now raised more than $1

Google Execs Draw Big Paydays In 2020

Google is one of the world's biggest technology companies with over $180 billion in revenue last year and its top executives have generally enjoyed big annual paydays due to that. In 2020, it was no exception to the previous years as an annual proxy filing recently filed by Google indicates big paydays for some of its top brass. In 2020, Google's listed highest-paid executive was Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler who got $66.4 million. It's the first time that Google has revealed his pay since he assumed his role in 2015. After Schindler, Google's second-highest paid executive in 2020 was its newly promoted Search boss Prabhakar Raghavan who earned cash and stock worth $55.3 million. Raghavan was promoted to his role after a Google leadership shakeup last year that brought the company's Search, Assistant, and Ads executives to report to him. Other highly paid executives at Google include its Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat who earned $51 million in 2020 a

Job Portal ZipRecruiter Files S-1 To Go Public

The latest hot technology startup to initiate moves for a public listing is ZipRecruiter, a popular online jobs portal. The company has filed plans for a direct listing, taking the path that several hot technology companies have sought to go public as of late (most recently Coinbase and Squarespace ). ZipRecruiter has unveiled an S-1 filing to the US SEC as is usual for companies planning public listings. Also, as expected, the S-1 filing provides better insight into ZipRecruiter's business with information not publicly known before. To start, ZipRecruiter is very profitable unlike many technology startups of its kind. It reported a net income of $86 million on $418 million in revenue in 2020. In the year before that, it had a small net loss of $6 million on $430 million in revenue. ZipRecruiter has very good gross profit margins, producing over $400 million in sales with about $54 million in "Cost of revenue" both in 2020 and 2019. What majorly eats into the company'

Earnings: Snap Inc Reports First Cash Flow-Positive Quarter

Snap Inc, the parent company of popular social app Snapchat, has unveiled its latest earnings report for the first quarter of 2021. Its latest earnings report covers the three months ending March 31, 2021. One key take from Snap's latest earnings is that it reported its first quarter of positive cash flow as a public company. To the layman, it means it pulled in more revenue than it spent, to the tune of $126 million. Snap reported revenue of $770 million for the quarter, up 66% compared to the prior year. The increase was spurred by bigger advertising dollars flowing into Snapchat which's how Snap Inc pulls in the lion's share of its revenue. Snap Inc still isn't profitable and has never been in its four-year history as a public company, with a net loss of $287 million in Q1 2021, but its growing sales has spurred very positive investor sentiment leading to a current market value of $90 billion which's over triple the valuation of its public market debut in 2017.

IPO: UFC Owner Endeavor Sets Terms, To Raise $500M+

Endeavor Holdings, an entertainment conglomerate best known for owning the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) league, filed for an initial public offering earlier this month. It's the second time that the company filed for an IPO, after doing so in 2019 but halting its plans later. Now, Endeavor is certainly set to go public and expected to begin trading on Wednesday, the 28th of April. It's set the terms for its IPO, as indicated by an updated SEC filing . Endeavor plans to sell 21.3 million shares priced at $23 to $24 to raise over $500 million at the mid-range. Shares of the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "EDR". In addition to its IPO share sale, Endeavor has arranged a separate private placement to raise $1.8 billion. Out of that amount, $1.35 billion will be Endeavor's proceeds while $437 million will be proceeds for private equity firm KKR, one of Endeavor's main shareholders which's selling shares in the

Psychedelic Drugs Startup ATAI Life Sciences Files For IPO

A German startup that's betting heavily on psychedelic drugs having mainstream medical use soon has filed for an initial public offering in the US. That startup is ATAI Life Sciences, one founded by serial German entrepreneur Christian Angermayer. Backed by nearly $400 million in private funding, ATAI Life Sciences has used its large cash balance to buy up psychedelic drug candidates still in the pipeline. It even recently bought an ambitious startup that wants to use brain-computer interfaces to help treat mental health conditions. ATAI Life Sciences has submitted an S-1 filing for an IPO to the US SEC. It listed a placeholder size offering of $100 million, although that's an amount often used to estimate listing fees and is subject to change at any time. On its end, ATAI is promising investors an opportunity to buy in early into a startup at the forefront of applying psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs to potentially treat mental disorders. Whether investors buy into that

Coinbase Insiders Cash Out Big On Market Debut

After its recent debut on the public markets, several major shareholders of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase have apparently seen fit to cash out big sums of their stakes collectively amounting to billions of dollars. Among such insiders include Coinbase's founder and CEO Brian Armstrong and early VC investors Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures (USV). Brian Armstrong, Coinbase's CEO, sold around 750,000 shares in three separate transactions and netted $292 million from the sales, as indicated by an SEC filing . The sale represents less than 2% of his total holdings in the company. Just like Armstrong, Coinbase's other co-founder Fred Ehrsam sold 298,789 Class A shares at a weighted-average price of $374.72 and netted $112 million. He sold shares on Coinbase's Wednesday debut at prices ranging from $318.67 to $422.76. Coinbase's CFO Allesia Hass sold 255,500 shares at a price of $388.73 and netted roughly $99 million. It represents roughly 15% of her h

IPO: Drug Discovery Firm Recursion Pharma Debuts On Markets

Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a company using machine learning to hunt for new drugs and therapies for ailments, has raised $436 million from an initial public offering (IPO) and begun trading on the public markets. It sold roughly 24.2 million shares for $18 each to raise that amount. Recursion Pharma filed for an IPO last month in March. Debuting at $18 per share on the markets, it closed trading on Friday up more than 70% at $31.34, giving it a market value of over $5 billion. A seven-year-old company, Recursion is part of a group of companies that emerged in the past few years to harness the rapid development and improvement in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in recent years and apply them to drug discovery. Recursion uses AI and machine learning to help discover new drugs. Its customers are primarily pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, which has a collaborative agreement with it to seek new drugs for fibrotic diseases. Bayer bought a $50 million stake i

China's Luckin Coffee Gets $250M Investment After Fraud Fallout

Luckin Coffee, the once high-flying Chinese coffee chain startup that came crashing down on the heels of a major accounting fraud wherein it admitted faking revenue to the tune of over $300 million , appears to be attempting to bounce back even after its hefty troubles.  Luckin has said that it's secured a $250 million investment commitment from two Chinese private equity firms, Centurium Capital and Joy Capital, both of whom were existing shareholders of the company before committing the funding. Under their set terms, they'll purchase preferred shares of Luckin Coffee, which was delisted from the Nasdaq stock market last year and now trades over-the-counter. Centurium Capital will invest $240 million while Joy Capital is ponying up a much smaller $10 million. The new capital for Luckin is akin to a bailout that the company hopes to use to rebound its business.  Unsurprisingly, Luckin says that it'll use the new capital it just secured to help pay a hefty $180 million fin

Market Moves: Squarespace Unveils S-1 For Direct Listing

Squarespace, the popular web building and hosting company, has unveiled its S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company had before now  filed confidentially for a public listing  this January and raised funding valuing it at $10 billion in March. As usual, the S-1 filing gives a peek into Squarespace's business and financials with information not publicly known before. In Squarespace's case, it paints a picture of a rapidly growing company with a history of profitability, the latter of which's a rarity among the recent crop of public listings from the startup world. Squarespace has been profitable for the past three years even as it grew rapidly. From 2018 to 2020, the company's annual revenue grew from $390 million to $621 million while it maintained profitability in the tens of millions. In 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively, Squarespace reported a profit of $43 million, $58 mi

BlackRock, Temasek Team To Launch $600M Climate-Focused Fund

BlackRock and Temasek, two investment giants of which the former is American and the latter is a sovereign fund of the Government of Singapore, have teamed up to form a big investment fund that'll focus on climate change-centric and green investments. The new fund is named Decarbonization Partners and just like its name suggests will seek out deals for companies working on carbon reduction cum sustainability technologies.  Initially, BlackRock and Temasek have committed $600M to Decarbonization Partners, and the firm as a separate entity has a target to raise $1 billion for its first fund including capital from its anchors BlackRock and Temasek. With the focus on sustainability and climate change growing day by day, it's usual that institutional investors with big loads of capital have turned their ever-deal-seeking eyes towards the sector.  BlackRock's longtime CEO Larry Fink is one of the fore-running business executives pressing for action on climate change globally. Ear

SPAC: Record $40B Merger Deal Sealed By Singapore's Grab

Pertaining true to rumors, Grab, a Singapore-based ride-hailing giant dominating Southeast Asia, has officially agreed to a deal to go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).  This time, Grab isn't like other mergers as the $39.6 billion  pro forma equity value that it's negotiated makes the merger the biggest one to date. Deal Details: Grab is merging with Altimeter Growth Corp. (Nasdaq: “AGC”) and will start trading on the Nasdaq exchange with the symbol "GRAB" after the merger.  From its merger, Grab will receive roughly $4.5 billion in gross cash proceeds with most of it coming from a $4 billion PIPE round led by a $750 million commitment from Altimeter Capital, the very sponsor of the SPAC it's merging with.  Grab's merger is not just the biggest ever SPAC deal but is also expected to mark the biggest US equity offering by a company in Southeast Asia. It sets Grab on the global stage outside Southeast Asia where it doesn'

Kim Kardashian’s Shapewear Brand Skims Valued At $1.6B With VC Round

A popular shapewear brand founded by reality TV star Kim Kardashian has raised a round of venture capital funding giving it a robust valuation. Skims, the shapewear brand, has raised a $154 million round giving it a valuation of $1.6 billion. The round was led by Thrive Capital, a VC firm founded and chaired by Joshua Kushner, the husband of model Karlie Kloss and brother of former Trump Senior Advisor Jared Kushner. Existing investors Imaginary Ventures and Alliance Consumer Growth also participated in the round. Skims' $154 million round was a Series A round and the shapewear brand's first big outside round. It signals major success for the brand launched just two years ago by Kardashian. According to reports , the brand made $145 million in sales last year. Kardashian guided Skims to make a few hundreds of millions in sales in just two years on the backs of her fame and social media power. Skims has gained popularity with young shoppers with its shapewear and bodysuits made

Jessica Alba's Honest Company Files For IPO

A consumer goods company founded by popular actress Jessica Alba is the latest company to file for a listing on the public markets. That company is The Honest Company, which was started ten years ago by a team led by Alba. With Alba's popularity, she helped steer The Honest Company into a high sphere of popularity that has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. The company sells a variety of household products with a major pitch of being eco-friendly. The Honest Company has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering. As usual, the S-1 filing gives a strong insight into the company's business with information not publicly known before. The Honest Company made $301 million in revenue in 2020, compared to $236 million in 2019. The company isn't profitable, reporting a net loss of $14.5 million in 2020 and $31 million in 2019. The Honest Company on Friday filed to sell $100 million worth of shares on the public marke

KKR Gets Bullish On Cloud Storage Company Box, Invests $500M

Private equity giant KKR has gotten bullish on Box, the publicly traded cloud storage company, and backed up its bullishness with a big investment in the company.  KKR has agreed to invest $500 million in Box in the form of convertible preferred stock, giving hopes and much-needed backing to the company amid its struggles with activist investor Starboard Value LP which has pushed for a sale. Last month, Box was reported to be exploring selling itself amid pressure from hedge fund Starboard over its stock performance. Compared to its peers, Box's stock performance has lagged over the years, pulled down by intense competition in its turf from the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Dropbox. Under the terms of KKR's Box investment, it'll get a board seat at the company that'll be occupied by John Park, the firm's Head of Americas Technology Private Equity. Also, Box's founder and longtime Chairman and CEO Aaron Levie will give up his Chairman position but retain his

Ex Starbucks Boss Howard Schultz Invests In Cybersecurity Startup Wiz

Howard Schultz, the former chairman and chief executive officer of coffee chain giant Starbucks, has put a small part of his $5 billion+ fortune to buy a stake in a hot cybersecurity startup named Wiz. Wiz is a cloud security startup founded by serial entrepreneurs that sold their previous cybersecurity startup named Adallom to Microsoft for a reported $320 million. Just a year-old, Wiz recently closed a $130 million funding round valuing it at $1.7 billion , a round that Howard Schultz participated in according to Bloomberg . Schultz's participation in Wiz's recent funding round wasn't reported before. He joined others like Sequoia Capital, Insight Partners, and Greenoaks Capital in the round.  Schultz has previously invested in other startups like Swedish plant-based milk maker Oatly and mental health care provider Lyra Health. With a fortune of over $5 billion, he can very much afford to invest in many startups without even worrying about recouping his investments. Wiz

Larry Page's Air Taxi Startup Sues Rival Archer Aviation

An air taxi startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page has initiated legal battles with one of its main rivals. The startup, Wisk Aero, is suing rival Archer Aviation, which's on its way to the public markets through a SPAC merger . Wisk Aero, a joint venture between aerospace giant Boeing and Larry Page's air taxi startup Kitty Hawk, is accusing Archer of intellectual property theft facilitated by former employees who left Wisk to work for the company.  Wisk alleges that certain former employees that previously worked for the company before heading to Archer downloaded thousands of files related to its confidential aircraft designs, component designs, system designs, manufacturing, and test data. To make its case, Wisk has centered on an aircraft design recently unveiled by Archer which's strikingly similar to a design that it developed and submitted in a confidential patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office back in January 2020. It's shown in the

SoftBank Makes Big Biotech Bet On Genetic Testing Firm Invitae

Japanese investor SoftBank has made a big bet in the biotech world, this time on a publicly-traded genetic testing company named Invitae (NYSE: NVTA). SB Management, a SoftBank subsidiary, led a $1.2 billion convertible bond investment for Invitae that gives the company ample cash to further its growth initiatives. SB Management is SoftBank's asset management group that owns billions of dollars in global stocks. It's separate from SoftBank's famed $100 billion Vision Fund that also makes big bets on global companies. By leading a $1.2B investment in Invitae, SoftBank has added the company to its list of major biotech public holdings which also include Canadian antibody developer AbCellera, 4D Molecular Therapeutics Inc, and DNA-sequencing company Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. Invitae is a genetic testing company offering test services for diseases in a range of areas, including neurology, pediatric genetics, and reproductive health. The company's appeal lies in

LG Backs Out Of Smartphone Business

You can say it's a sad day for the smartphone industry, as it just lost one of its major players. That lost player is South Korea's LG Electronics, which has announced  that it's shuttering its mobile phone business worldwide to focus on other sectors. The decision from LG effectively pulls it out of the smartphone business where it worked hard and tried as much as possible to gain a foothold but is apparently not satisfied with its outcome.  Officially, LG Electronics will wound down its mobile phone business on the 31st of July, 2021, meaning no more new inventory of LG smartphones. The company says it'll continue to provide support and software updates for current LG mobile owners for a "period of time", albeit unspecified, that'll vary by region.  LG's smartphone business is known to have lost money for years, so it seems that LG got tired of bleeding cash in a business that's rife with intense competition globally. Rumors flying around is that

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Cashing Out: Jeff Bezos Sells $2.5B Of Amazon Stock

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has continued his routine selling of Amazon shares to fund his other escapades. For a few years now, he's had an arranged trading plan that sees him regularly sell Amazon stock worth billions of dollars. Jeff Bezos' latest sell-off is of 739,000 Amazon shares worth around $2.5bn, SEC filings show. Another separate filing indicated that he plans to sell as many as 2 million shares that could net him nearly $7bn at current prices. This latest share sell-off from Bezos is noteworthy as one of his last in his position as Amazon's CEO which he's handing off soon to a top lieutenant named Andy Jassy. Jassy is currently CEO of AWS, Amazon's very profitable cloud computing division. Usually, a CEO offloading large amounts of stock in a company he leads draws some displeasure from investors, but as Jeff Bezos would soon no longer be Amazon's CEO, it opens up opportunities to sell larger amounts of shares than usual if the desires. Amazon's

EVs: Ford, BMW Co-Invest In An EV Battery Startup

It's currently of no doubt that electric vehicles represent the future for the automobile market, and many automakers have taken heed to that. Tens of billions of dollars in spending have been earmarked for the R&D and production of electric vehicles by global automakers, with efforts spanning battery development, building new factories, charging stations et al. Now, two of the world's biggest automakers, BMW and Ford, have jointly invested in a startup working on battery technology for electric vehicles. That startup is Solid Power, a Colorado-based startup developing solid-state batteries for EVs. Details: Solid Power has raised a $130 million Series B round  co-led by Ford and BMW. The two automakers were joined by green-focused venture fund Volta Energy Technologies in the round. As part of the strategic round, Ford and BMW have expanded their joint agreements with Solid Power to develop solid-state batteries for their use. In a way, the two automakers are funding and o

Is Apple Brewing A Major Digital Health Play?

That Apple has high ambitions in the digital health space isn't foreign news to anyone following the moves of the company. In fact, its CEO Tim Cook once referred to health as Apple's “greatest contribution to mankind.” Apple's main health product is the Apple Watch for which health represents a major use case and a selling point. The latest Apple Watch series has key health features including the ability to measure ECG (electrocardiogram) and oxygen saturation level in the blood. With all its grand ambitions, the reality is that Apple is progressing very well in the digital health space but yet hasn't gotten a big foothold in it like it's done in other markets. There still exists a large gap for Apple to conquer to make waves in the digital health market and the company seems much hell-bent on covering that gap. Details: A certain revelation has come out that details Apple's grand plans in the health sector, and it's that of a UK startup working on next-ge

Big Pay: AT&T Shareholders Vote Against Execs Pay

To bring back one of our most favorite sayings, "America is the land of many things, including very enormous executive pay". Executives of publicly-traded companies in the US are familiar with very large compensation packages on a scale not seen in other countries, take recent examples including Palantir CEO Alex Karp landing a $1.1 billion payday  and former T-Mobile CEO John Legere getting a $137 million severance pay . But with all the large executive pay packages flying around, it appears that the shareholders of one public company are not okay with it and that company is telecoms giant AT&T.  Details: AT&T in a statement  revealed that the majority of its shareholders voted not in favor of the compensation of its executive officers in 2020. Just under 49% of votes were cast in favor of the compensation, leaving the remaining majority 51%, not in favor.  Last year, AT&T had large pay packages for its top brass including $21 million for CEO John Stankey and $52

Deal: Verizon Sells Yahoo And AOL To PE Firm For $5B

Telecoms giant Verizon has found a buyer for its Verizon Media Unit which includes veteran internet properties like Yahoo and AOL, and that buyer is a major private equity firm. To note, though Yahoo and AOL have long faded from their glory days, they aren't exactly dead properties but ones still with a great deal of users bringing in a few billion in revenue annually. Details: Verizon has struck a deal to sell 90% of Verizon Media to private equity firm Apollo which will pay $5 billion for it, while Verizon retains a  10%  minority stake in the business. The deal takes off many internet properties off Verizon's hands, including bigger ones like Yahoo and smaller ones like technology news site TechCrunch operating under the AOL umbrella. Though it's selling for a seemingly huge price of $5 billion, Verizon paid a combined $9 billion to buy the web properties making up its Verizon Media unit so it doesn't come out on top financially from the sale.  Verizon paid $4.4bn t

Germany's SAP Fined $8M For Violating Iran Sanctions

SAP, the German software giant, has agreed to pay a fine in the US for violating sanctions imposed by the country on conducting business in Iran. It'll pay over $8 million in fines after admitting to handling thousands of exports of its software to Iran violating US law. Details: SAP admitted to exporting US-origin software to Iran beginning in 2010 up until 2017. The exports including delivering software upgrades and patches more than 20,000 times to Iranian users and offering Iranian users access to US-based cloud services. As charged, executives at SAP were aware that the company didn't have geolocation protections to block downloads of its US-origin software in Iran and turned a blind eye to the situation.  SAP was also charged with neglecting to put in place adequate export control for cloud services made by some US-based companies that it acquired and integrated into its software suite. For the charges, SAP admitted guilt and reached a  Non-Prosecution Agreement with the

IPO: Cybersecurity Startup Darktrace Debuts On UK Markets

A major cybersecurity startup from the UK has held an initial public offering (IPO) and debuted to positive investor fanfare on the domestic public markets. That startup is Darktrace, a fast-growing cybersecurity startup founded by a team of mathematicians in collaboration with British intelligence agencies in 2013. Darktrace sells cyber-defense software that's claimed to harness artificial intelligence in spotting and managing cyber threats. It listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol "DARK". By the numbers: Darktrace debuted to positive investor fanfare that saw its shares soar by 40% on its first day of trading. It raised £143 million ($198m) from the public float at a valuation of £1.7 billion ($2.3bn) which soared to almost £2.4 billion ($3.3bn) on its debut trading day. Darktrace's IPO prospectus reports $199 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. This was up from $137 million in the previous year, 2019, and $79 mill

Earnings: Pfizer Rakes In Cash From COVID Vaccine

Pfizer, one of the few pharmaceutical companies worldwide to produce an approved Covid-19 vaccine, has unveiled its earnings report for the first quarter of this year. As usual, the report provides a solid peek into the company's financials and with very noteworthy nuggets this time around. One key nugget from Pfizer's earnings report is that the company brought in $3.5bn in revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine in Q1' 21. It made up nearly a fourth of the company's total $14.6bn revenue for the period. The Covid vaccine was the biggest single source of revenue for Pfizer in the quarter. It's definitely a good time for the company in that regard, as it elected to keep the profit from the sale of its vaccines unlike some of its competitors which volunteered to waive off any profit-seeking from their vaccines. Unlike some of its competitors also, Pfizer didn't take money from the US government to fund the development of its vaccine under the Trump administration'

Earnings: Covid Vaccines Deliver Big Sales, Profit For Moderna

Moderna was among the few biotech companies that saved the day with the development of an emergency-authorized vaccine to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a breakthrough for the company, which was before then a cancer-fighting moonshot with minimal revenues and no working product. Being a publicly-traded company, Moderna is mandated to release quarterly earnings reports to the public and it has done so this time around, releasing its financial results for the first quarter of this year 2021. Moderna's latest earnings report shows that of a company that saw big success from its Covid vaccines, as it reported record revenue and its first-ever net profit as a public company. By the numbers: Moderna made $1.9bn in revenue in Q1' 21, compared to a paltry $8mn for the same quarter in 2020. The revenue came wholly from Covid vaccine sales in the US and foreign markets. Moderna reported a huge net income of $1.2bn in the quarter, compared to a net loss of $124mn for the same perio

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

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