Last week, the Dow Jones closed down 0.1%, the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, and the Nasdaq was up 2.15%. Apple is again planning to issue debt to reward its shareholders by buying back its stock and paying dividends, according to a regulatory filing. Meta launched its first ever corporate bond offering on Thursday, without disclosing either the size of the deal or its pricing. SoftBank has raised as much as US$22 billion in cash from deals that would sharply reduce its stake in Alibaba over the coming years. PayPal jumped 14% after the fintech launched a massive US$15 billion stock buyback and received the backing of Elliot Management. Coinbase stock jumped after BlackRock, Instagram platform announcements. Pinterest popped 20% on earnings that weren’t as terrible as expected. Airbnb stock slumped despite record-breaking bookings. DraftKings stock shot up after a narrower-than-expected loss, and revenue that climbed above forecasts. Robinhood lays off 23% of staff, closes two offices in fresh round of cuts. Oracle layoffs have begun, according to reports. Amazon is buying iRobot for US$1.7 billion. Unity Software, the U.S. developer best known for software used to design video games, is in talks to spin off its China unit. Shipments to iPhone assembler Pegatron’s factory in China were being held for scrutiny by Chinese customs officials a day after the company’s senior executive met with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In Canada, CGI announces its intent to repurchase 939,000 shares held by CDPQ. Shopify is making a US$100 million investment in Klaviyo. Semtech confirmed buyout talks with Sierra Wireless. Canalyst is being acquired by Chicago-based Tegus in a massive BC tech exit of $400-500 million. FreshBooks has secured a US$100 million debt facility.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

CGI (GIB’A-TSX, GIB-NYSE) announces intent to repurchase 939 thousand of its shares held by CDPQ.

CGI announced today that it intends to enter into a private agreement with CDPQ for the purchase for cancellation of 938,914 of its Class A subordinate voting shares (“Class A Shares”) held by CDPQ for a price of $106.51 per Class A Share, which represents a discount to the closing price on July 29, 2022 of the Class A Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”). The transaction will be made in connection with the periodic portfolio rebalancing of CDPQ. Once completed, CDPQ will continue to hold approximately 22.5 million Class A Shares, representing approximately 9.5% of CGI’s total outstanding shares.  https://bit.ly/3d5uU9q

Shopify (SHOP-NYSE, SHOP-TSX) makes US$100 million strategic investment in marketing automation startup Klaviyo.

E-commerce marketing automation platform Klaviyo has received a US$100 million strategic investment from Shopify, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The disclosure coincided with the announcement that Klaviyo and Shopify will strengthen their existing partnership by making Klaviyo the recommended email product for Shopify’s premium merchant plan, Shopify Plus, while granting Klaviyo early access to in-development Shopify features. There’s no shortage of competition in the marketing automation tech space (see Sendlane, Sendinblue and Cordial to name a few). But Klaviyo has done incredibly well for itself, reaching over 100,000 paying customers including Unilever, Dermalogica, Solo Stove and Citizen Watches. To date, Klaviyo, which has over 1,000 employees, has raised around US$775 million. As of May 2021, the startup was valued at US$9.5 billion by investors including Sands Capital, Counterpoint Global, Accel and Summit Partners. For Shopify, Klaviyo is the latest in a string of investments and acquisitions aimed at broadening the e-commerce platform’s reach. In May, Shopify snapped up shipping logistics startup Deliverr for US$2.1 billion — the largest purchase in Shopify’s history — to launch an “end-to-end” logistics platform for merchants. Just this week, Shopify invested in Single, a music and video app used by many businesses on Shopify, following an equity pledge in CMS developer Sanity. https://tcrn.ch/3BQs2Yx

FreshBooks secures US$100 million debt facility from BMO, J.P. Morgan.

Toronto-based accounting SaaS startup FreshBooks has secured a US$100 million syndicated debt facility with BMO Financial Group and J.P. Morgan. The facility also includes an uncommitted accordion feature of US$25 million, for a total borrowing capacity of up to US$125 million. According to FreshBooks, this debt facility will enable the company to continue its global expansion plans, including strategic acquisitions as well as investments into “more regulated markets.” https://bit.ly/3Jxqioy

Semtech confirms buyout talks with Sierra Wireless (SWIR-NASDAQ, SW-TSX).

The U.S.-listed shares of Canada-based networking company Sierra Wireless Inc. rose 0.2% in premarket trading and Canada-based semiconductor company Semtech Corp. dropped 0.8%, after Semtech confirmed that it was in talks to buy Sierra Wireless for US$31 a share. That represents a 4.4% premium to Monday’s closing price for Sierra’s stock of US$29.70. Sierra’s market capitalization as of Monday’s close was US$1.14 billion. Sierra’s stock has shot up 19.4% on Monday, after Bloomberg reported that the company and Semtech were in “advanced” buyout talks, with a deal announcement possible within days. Semtech shares have tumbled 34.3% year to date through Monday while Sierra’s stock has rocketed 68.6% and the S&P 500 has lost 13.6%. https://bit.ly/3BCW01T

Canalyst acquired by Chicago-based Tegus in massive BC tech exit.

Vancouver and New York-based capital markets data and analytics startup Canalyst has been acquired by Chicago-based Tegus, which calls itself a leading company intelligence platform. Multiple sources familiar with the deal that requested anonymity as they are not permitted to speak publicly about its financial terms told BetaKit that Canalyst was bought for between $400 million and $500 million — The Globe and Mail is reporting no more than $450 million. https://bit.ly/3zC0yCV

Nubik becomes latest Canadian tech firm acquired by Deloitte.

Continuing its Canadian tech acquisition spree, Deloitte Canada has announced that it is acquiring Montréal-based digital transformation consultancy Nubik for an undisclosed amount. Nubik is the latest tech consulting firm that Deloitte’s Canadian division has acquired, following Deloitte’s acquisition of Kelowna technology testing and quality engineering firm Striven. https://bit.ly/3pg0QuN

ZayZoon raises $25.5 million to expand its earned wage access business across the US. 

Earned wage access startup ZayZoon plans to continue its expansion in the United States following its recent $12.5 million  equity raise and a new $13 million credit facility with ATB Financial. In fact, look for ZayZoon in Canada, and you won’t find it. The startup solely serves the US market. Hackert said when ZayZoon first introduced earned-wage access to the Canadian market in 2016, it was such a new concept that people didn’t understand it or grasp its value. “We found we were fighting tooth-and-nail to get partnerships,” Hackert recalled. Now, the Calgary-based startup wants to reach the small-and-medium-sized businesses across the United States, convincing them that they should take the 25 minutes necessary to activate ZayZoon for their workforces. https://bit.ly/3zGZwWC

Aurora Hydrogen secures $12.85 million from Shell, Chevron to build demonstration plant.

Edmonton-based cleantech startup Aurora Hydrogen has raised $12.85 million (US$10 million) in a Series A funding round led by Energy Innovation Capital. The financing also saw participation from Williams, Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Hydrogen production using Aurora’s technology, according to the company, has the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by over 900 million tonnes per year. Aurora claims that it also uses 80 percent less electricity than electrolysis, the conventional method of producing clean hydrogen. Unlike electrolysis, Aurora’s processes also don’t require water as a feedstock. https://bit.ly/3SqOE7I

Stack Capital (STCK-TSX) holding Omio announces key partnership with Uber.

Omio, an existing Stack Capital portfolio holding has partnered with Uber Technologies to provide its users with the opportunity to seamlessly book train and coach travel within the Uber app. The partnership will initially launch in the United Kingdom and will enable Uber users to gain access into Omio’s unique inventory and proprietary technology to provide a seamless, digital, and mobile-first approach to travel including more than 1,000 transportation providers in 37 countries worldwide, hosted entirely within the Uber platform. This partnership follows Omio’s most recent funding round, in which Stack Capital participated in a US$80 million financing to strengthen its position as the leading ground transportation platform. https://bit.ly/3Qp7PNj

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

Apple is again borrowing in the debt market to raise money to reward shareholders.

Apple Inc. is again planning to issue debt to reward its shareholders by buying back its own shares and paying dividends, according to a regulatory filing. The iPhone maker is planning a four-part deal comprised of 7-year, 10-year, 30-year and 40-year bonds. Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities and JP Morgan are underwriting the deal. The company currently has US$94.7 billion in long-term debt, after repeatedly tapping bond markets instead of repatriating cash from overseas. Moody’s upgraded Apple to AAA in December, assigning it the highest possible rating and one only shared by two other U.S. companies, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft Corp. . Apple shares were flat Monday, but are down 8.5% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 9%.  https://bit.ly/3bFn7P8

Facebook parent Meta launches first ever corporate bond offering.

Meta Platforms launched its first ever corporate bond offering on Thursday, without disclosing either the size of the deal or its pricing. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, which may include capital expenditures, repurchases of outstanding shares of its common stock, acquisitions, or investments, the Facebook parent said in a regulatory filing. S&P Global Ratings assigned Meta an AA- rating on Wednesday, while affirming a “stable” outlook. In addition, Moody’s Investors Service assigned Meta an A1 issuer rating. Meta shares were down 0.3% in premarket trading and have fallen 50% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 13%.  https://bit.ly/3PazSiI

SoftBank raises US$22 billion in moves to sell down Alibaba stake.

SoftBank has raised as much as US$22 billion in cash from deals that would sharply reduce its stake in Alibaba over the coming years, as the Japanese investor responds to a market downturn that has ravaged its technology portfolio. The group, led by billionaire founder Masayoshi Son, has this year carried out the sale of about one-third of its Alibaba stake through prepaid forward contracts — a type of derivative to which SoftBank has increasingly turned to raise cash immediately while retaining the possibility of holding on to the shares. SoftBank has now sold more than half its Alibaba holdings through these forward sales. That could shrink its stake in the Chinese ecommerce giant below the threshold for retaining its board seat and prevent the Japanese group from recognising its share of Alibaba’s income in its financial statements. SoftBank has scrambled to raise cash this year as dozens of its Vision Fund investments have slumped amid a broader market sell-off in tech stocks. Son promised investors he would play “defence” in May after unveiling a US$27 billion investment loss for the Vision Fund during the previous business year. The Alibaba selldown is part of SoftBank’s effort to diversify its holdings, with the Chinese group representing just 23 per cent of its total value at the end of March, down from 60 per cent in 2020. During this period SoftBank raised US$30 billion from the forward sales of Alibaba, layering the expansion of its portfolio on top of complex financial engineering. https://on.ft.com/3daWRfT

Alibaba says it will ‘strive to maintain’ NYSE listing after cracking SEC’s delisting warning list.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. acknowledged in a Monday filing that it has been identified by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a foreign company whose auditing paperwork couldn’t be fully inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, though the company said it would work to stay listed on the New York Stock Exchange. “Alibaba will continue to monitor market developments, comply with applicable laws and regulations and strive to maintain its listing status on both the NYSE and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange,” the company said in its Monday morning filing. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares are up about 2% in premarket trading Monday after they declined more than 11% in Friday’s session.  https://bit.ly/3A0oVMf 

AMTD Digital issues ‘thank you note’ to investors as stock trades about 23,650% above IPO price.

The U.S.-listed shares of Hong Kong-based investment holding company AMTD IDEA Group skyrocketed 312.5% and subsidiary AMTD Digital Inc. , a Hong-Kong-based digital solutions applications developer, rocketed 149.6% in very volatile afternoon trading Tuesday, enough to make them the two best performers listed on the New York Stock Exchange. AMTD IDEA shares have been halted once for volatility since the open, while AMTD Digital’s stock has been halted 18 times. AMTD Digital’s stock is now trading 23,649.5% above its US$7.80 initial public offering price in just the 13 trading days since it went public. AMTD Digital’s market capitalization has ballooned to US$342.64 billion, making it more valuable than 489 of the S&P 500’s components. https://bit.ly/3Q1BDA0

PayPal jumps 14% after the fintech launches a massive US$15 billion stock buyback and receives the backing of Elliot Management.

From an earnings beat to an activist stake, a slew of good news sent shares of PayPal soaring as much as 14% on Wednesday. The payments processor announced better-than-expected second-quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, as total payment volume grew 9% to US$340 billion in the quarter. Those efficiencies hint at PayPal’s quest to lower its operating costs, and the company said it expects to save US$900 million in expenses this year, and US$1.3 billion next year. Also helping boost PayPal stock on Wednesday was the company’s decision to launch a US$15 billion share buyback program, which represents about 15% of the company’s current US$100 billion market cap. https://bit.ly/3BNHOU1

Coinbase stock jumps after BlackRock, Instagram announcements.

Coinbase announced a partnership with BlackRock on Thursday that will integrate the crypto exchange’s services for big customers with the asset-management giant’s Aladdin portfolio management software. The partnership, which will begin with access to bitcoin through Coinbase’s prime brokerage platform Coinbase Prime, will give users on Aladdin access to crypto trading and custody for the digital assets. “This connectivity with Aladdin will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly in their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a whole portfolio view of risk across asset classes,” said Joseph Chalom, BlackRock’s global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships in a Coinbase blog post. Partnering with BlackRock could be a significant step for Coinbase in expanding its institutional customer base. It also shows that traditional financial firms are still keen to expand their crypto offerings despite the crypto winter. Separately, Meta Platforms announced it was adding Coinbase Wallet as a third-party wallet option for non-fungible tokens on Instagram. The social media giant also said it was expanding testing of sharing NFTs on Instagram to more than 100 countries around the world. The crypto exchange’s stock rose 10% on Thursday. https://bit.ly/3Q053ye

Pinterest popped 20% on earnings that weren’t as terrible as expected. If Pinterest is a bellwether of consumer spending, things are not looking up just yet. Still, investors in the social network rallied as Q2 revenue came in roughly in line with expectations and user declines were not as horrible as they thought. That’s not to say Pinterest’s earnings were good. Pinterest missed on earnings and delivered zero user growth in its most recent quarter, citing a combination of factors, such as the lingering impacts from the pandemic, reduced traffic from search engines, the rise of TikTok, and — like many companies reliant on digital advertising — the broader macroeconomic uncertainty that has pulled down other tech stocks, including Meta, Twitter and Snap. https://tcrn.ch/3Bz7vYf

Airbnb stock slumps despite record-breaking bookings.

Airbnb beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and posted revenue that was in line with estimates for the second quarter. The company also announced a US$2 billion share buyback program. Shares were down about 9% after hours, despite what appeared to be a strong report, suggesting Wall Street was looking for faster growth and a revenue beat. The company also said it was impacted by flight cancellations at the end of the quarter. Airbnb, like Uber, benefited from an increase in consumer spending on activities as opposed to goods. Revenue jumped 58% year-over-year to US$2.1 billion helping to drive the company’s most profitable second quarter to date. Still, that growth was slower than it was last quarter when revenue surged 70% over the first quarter of 2020. https://cnb.cx/3PXDZzH

Alteryx soars on second-quarter sales growth.

Alteryx Inc. shares surged 12.3% in extended trading on Tuesday, lifted by the data analytics software company’s second-quarter sales growth. The company’s stock closed Tuesday’s session up 4.2% at US$50.57. Shares of Alteryx have declined 16.4% this year, compared to the S&P 500 Index’s 14.2% fall. https://bit.ly/3bAm8zU

Penn National Gaming stock falls after profit falls below expectations, while revenue tops forecasts.

Shares of Penn National Gaming Inc. slumped 1.7% in premarket trading Thursday, after the online gaming and sports betting company and Barstool Sports partner reported second-quarter profit that missed expectations but revenue that topped, as rising expenses led to a drop in margins. The company reiterated its 2022 revenue guidance of US$6.15 billion to US$6.55 billion. The stock has shed 5.5% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has lost 3.4%. https://bit.ly/3bEUema 

DraftKings stock shoots up after narrower-than-expected loss, revenue that climbed above forecasts.

Shares of DraftKings Inc. shot up 9.4% toward a four-month high in premarket trading Friday, after the digital sports entertainment and gaming company reported a narrower-than-expected loss, revenue that rose above forecasts and lifted its full-year outlook, saying it is seeing “no perceivable impact” from broader macroeconomic pressures.  The company revised its 2022 revenue guidance range to US$2.08 billion to US$2.18 billion from US$2.055 billion to US$2.175 billion, to raise the midpoint of guidance to US$2.13 billion from US$2.115 billion. The stock has rallied 13.3% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has ticked up 0.1%. https://bit.ly/3SsBLtN

Robinhood lays off 23% of staff, closes two offices in fresh round of cuts.

Robinhood is cutting 23% of its staff, CEO Vlad Tenev told employees in an all hands meeting on Tuesday afternoon, marking the stock and crypto trading app’s second major layoff this year. The layoffs will be concentrated in operations, marketing and program management, Tenev said in a blog post. Robinhood also plans to close offices in Charlotte, N.C., and Tempe, Ariz., a Robinhood spokesperson confirmed. “Last year, we staffed many of our operations functions under the assumption that the heightened retail engagement we had been seeing with the stock and crypto markets in the COVID era would persist into 2022,” Tenev wrote. “In this new environment, we are operating with more staffing than appropriate.” Robinhood enjoyed strong user and revenue growth last year as the meme stock craze and soaring crypto prices stoked customer trading activity. But it’s seen an abrupt reversal of fortune as markets have cooled. In April 2022, Robinhood laid off 9% of its staff, which had ballooned to 3,800 employees from 700 in 2020. Days later, the company reported first-quarter net revenue of US$299 million, down 43% from the same quarter a year earlier. On Tuesday, Robinhood also reported its second quarter earnings, one day earlier than planned. Total net revenue over the quarter increased to US$318 million, while monthly active users dropped to 14 million in June, Robinhood’s lowest user count since the fourth quarter of 2020. Robinhood’s stock price has tumbled 50% this year. https://bit.ly/3vJyZXv

Oracle layoffs have begun, according to reports.

Oracle has begun layoffs, according to multiple reports Monday. Job cuts affecting employees in the Bay Area have started, according to The Information, which also reported last month that the tech giant is planning to slash thousands of jobs as it seeks to shave US$1 billion in costs. Some employees in the customer-experience unit were told Monday that their jobs were being eliminated, Bloomberg News reported, citing LinkedIn posts by affected employees. Oracle, which moved its headquarters from Redwood City, Calif., to Austin while retaining many California-based employees, did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment.  https://bit.ly/3BPd7hf

Leveraged bets on tech stocks like Spotify and Shopify tanked a hedge fund that was up over 146% in 2020.

The technology-heavy hedge fund Marcho Partners saw an 84% decline through the first half of 2022, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The firm, launched by Carl Anderson in 2019, had been up 146% in 2020 during the pandemic’s bull market. The firm would only bet on a small number of names but then ramp up the stakes with leverage — about US$1 for every dollar invested, as of June 2022, per the Journal. Shopify, one of Marcho’s largest holdings, dropped 77% through the first half of this year, which dragged on the hedge fund’s portfolio. Cazoo, which surged during the pandemic, cratered as Marcho’s shares in the European car dealer dropped from US$125 million at the start of the year to US$15 million as of June 30. https://bit.ly/3P1dSXa

Shipments to Pegatron’s China factory disrupted after exec met Pelosi.

Shipments to iPhone assembler Pegatron’s factory in China were being held for scrutiny by Chinese customs officials a day after the company’s senior executive met with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taipei during a visit that has drawn harsh condemnation from Beijing. The shipments to Pegatron’s Suzhou facility, which makes a wide range of products for American clients like Microsoft and Tesla, were being checked on Thursday to see if they violated a rule against cartons carrying the words “Taiwan” or “Republic of China” — the island’s formal name — multiple sources familiar with the matter said. The shipment disruptions come as China launched its largest live-fire military drills in years around Taiwan on Thursday. The last time China fired missiles into waters around the island was in 1996. https://s.nikkei.com/3zxcW7u

Amazon is buying iRobot for US$1.7 billion.

Amazon announced plans to acquire iRobot for an all-cash deal valued at US$1.7 billion. The home robotics firm, best known for pioneering the robotic vacuum, was founded in 1990 by  MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab members Colin Angle, Rodney Brooks and Helen Greiner. Twelve years after its founding, the company introduced the Roomba, a brand that has since become synonymous with the branding, selling more than 30 million units as of 2020. https://tcrn.ch/3BJZyiR

Ping Identity stock surges after Thoma Bravo agrees to US$2.8 billion acquisition.

Shares of Ping Identity surged nearly 59% in premarket trading Wednesday after Thoma Bravo agreed to purchase the company for US$28.50 a share in cash, with plans to take it private. The deal assigns an enterprise value of US$2.8 billion. Ping shares closed at US$17.17 in Tuesday’s session. “Ping Identity’s unique capabilities and strong position in enterprise identity security make it a great platform to deliver customer outcomes, expand into new use cases and support digital transformations,” Thoma Bravo managing partner Seth Boro said in a release. The company offers solutions for fraud detection, multi-factor authentication, and more. Prior to the acquisition announcement, Ping shares had dropped 24% over the course of 2022 as the S&P 500 had fallen 14%. https://bit.ly/3PaGyNO

Global Payments to acquire EVO in a US$4 billion deal to boost the B2B segment.

Global Payments said on Monday it would buy smaller peer EVO Payments for nearly US$4 billion including debt, as the fintech firm seeks to expand its footprint in the business-to-business (B2B) space. EVO shares, up nearly 20% in premarket trading, would open at a record-high, if gains hold. The offer of US$34 per share is at a 24% premium to EVO stock’s last close. The deal is expected to close by the first quarter of 2023, the company said. https://reut.rs/3Shw9T9

Tencent seeks bigger stake in ‘Assassin’s Creed’ maker Ubisoft.

Tencent Holdings plans to raise its stake in French video game group Ubisoft Entertainment as the Chinese gaming giant pivots to the global gaming market, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. China’s largest social network and gaming firm, which bought a 5% stake in Ubisoft in 2018, has reached out to the French firm’s founding Guillemot family and expressed interest in increasing its stake in the firm, the sources said. https://reut.rs/3vDrJMA

U.S. game software developer Unity in talks to spin off China unit.

Unity Software, the U.S. developer best known for software used to design video games, is in talks to spin off its China unit to help it expand in the world’s biggest games market, four people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. San Francisco-based Unity has sought strategic investors to join it in a business valued at over $1 billion during talks, said two of the people, declining to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter. Unity declined to comment. Its share price closed up over 5% on the news on Tuesday. The talks come as strained Sino-U.S. relations exacerbate sensitivities over technology transfer and data handling across borders, prompting tech firms to reappraise their operations in China. At the same time, there is growing interest in expanding game-making software to new technologies such as the so-called metaverse, an immersive three-dimensional internet. https://reut.rs/3dbu8Yo

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

Opendoor Labs to pay US$62 million to settle FTC allegations that it deceived home sellers.

Shares of Opendoor Technologies Inc. fell 2.7% in afternoon trading Monday, after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said subsidiary online home buying company Opendoor Labs Inc. will have to pay US$62 million for deceiving potential home sellers. On top of the US$62 million payment, the FTC’s order prohibits Opendoor from making “deceptive, false and unsubstantiated claims” to consumers about how much money they will receiver, and requires Opendoor to provide “competent and reliable evidence” to support any claims made about costs, savings or benefits from using Opendoor. The stock has plunged 67.3% year to date, amid increasing signs of a housing market slowdown, while the S&P 500 has lost 13.7%.  https://bit.ly/3JAXE5W

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Voyager Digital is cleared to return US$270 million to customers.

Cryptocurrency brokerage firm Voyager Digital Holdings Inc. secured approval to return US$270 million in customer cash, settling one of the larger issues it faced after filing for bankruptcy. Judge Michael Wiles of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, who is overseeing Voyager’s bankruptcy, ruled on Thursday that the company provided “sufficient basis” to support its contention that customers should be allowed access to the custodial account held at Metropolitan Commercial Bank. Voyager had about US$270 million in the account when it filed for bankruptcy, the bank has said. https://on.wsj.com/3BL73Gm

Thousands of Solana wallets drained in multimillion-dollar exploit.

Solana, an increasingly popular blockchain known for its speedy transactions, has become the target of the crypto sphere’s latest hack after users reported that funds have been drained from internet-connected “hot” wallets. An unknown actor drained funds from approximately 8,000 wallets on the Solana network, Solana’s Status Twitter account said. It’s estimated the loss so far is around US$8 million. The Solana attack comes just hours after malicious actors abused a “chaotic” security exploit to steal almost US$200 million in digital assets from cross-chain messaging protocol Nomad. https://tcrn.ch/3JyQVJL

Michael Saylor to step down as MicroStrategy CEO as the software maker records US$917 million charge on bitcoin investment.

MicroStrategy’s founder, Michael Saylor, will step down as CEO after the enterprise software maker took a quarterly impairment charge of more than US$900 million related to the drop in the price of bitcoin. The charge stemmed from MicroStrategy’s investment in bitcoin, the price of which has plunged this year from its all-time high above US$68,000 in November; bitcoin traded at about US$23,385 on Wednesday. https://bit.ly/3BZe7iX 


CHIPS Act could see Intel take lion’s share, with TSMC Arizona plant a lower priority.

The scale of subsidies for the TSMC Arizona plant are in doubt as it becomes clear that the US$52 billion CHIPS Act grants won’t go far, and Intel is angling to take the largest slice of the pie. The Senate last year approved US$52 billion in funding to boost US chip production, with the House adding its support in February of this year. The motivation was two-fold. First, to address the global chip shortage which arose during the pandemic. Second, a desire to ensure that the US isn’t left behind by China. The Financial Times reports that while the funding is now pretty much secure, the next battle will be to decide who gets what. https://bit.ly/3OYTHt0


Lucid Motors slashes EV production targets again.

EV automaker Lucid Motors slashed its annual production guidance in half on Wednesday due to what CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson described as “extraordinary supply chain and logistics challenges.” Shares of Lucid fell more than 12% in after-market trading following the release of its second-quarter earnings, in which it provided the production guidance. Lucid lowered its production guidance from 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles to 6,000 and 7,000 vehicles for the year. That’s just a quarter of the 20,000 luxury Air sedans the company initially planned to produce in 2022. In February, Lucid adjusted that loftier goal down to 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles. https://tcrn.ch/3zyQ5sb


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The Material may contain forward looking information. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “potential,” “possible,” “projects,” “plans,” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will,” “may,” “could,” or “should” occur or be achieved or their negatives or other comparable words and include, without limitation, statements regarding, projected revenue, income or earnings or other results of operations, strategy, plans, objectives, goals and targets, plans to increase market share or with respect to anticipated performance compared to competitors, product development and adoption by potential customers. These statements relate to future events and future performance. Forward-looking statements are based on opinions and assumptions as of the date made, and are subject to a variety of risks and other factors that could cause actual events/results to differ materially from these forward looking statements. There can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct; these statements are no guarantee of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Sophic provides no assurance as to future results, performance, or achievements and no representations are made that actual results achieved will be as indicated in the forward looking information. Nothing herein can be assumed or predicted, and you are strongly encouraged to learn more and seek independent advice before relying on any information presented.