A lot of attention this week focused on US listed Chinese equities, which have collectively lost nearly a trillion dollars of value as recent regulatory uncertainty clouds these stocks. In North America, Toronto and US startups hit records for VC funding in H1/2021 – in both cases, six month activity nearly matched all of 2020. Payments firm, Stripe could be taking its first steps to its public markets debut, while European fintech Wise, direct listed in London, and Nextdoor and Planet Labs are going public in the US via the SPAC route. Sophic Capital client Real Luck Group (LUCK-TSXV, LUKEF-OTC) is poised to become a dominant esports betting service. CEO Thomas Rosander is hosting an investor update on Monday, July 19 at noon EST / 9am PST. Investors are encouraged to submit their questions via email at All@SophicCapital.com. Another Sophic client, Swarmio (Private) is aiming to go public on Canadian Securities Exchange as indicated in Canadian tech blog Betakit.
This past holiday shortened week saw a lower level of Canadian capital markets activity than we’ve all grown accustomed to over the past few months. As we head into the short US trading week, and the summer, the consensus seems to be that the recent high volume of capital markets activity may slow down. That said, Robinhood filed for its much anticipated IPO, on the back of a large US$70 million FINRA fine and other regulatory concerns, including that the CEO had federal prosecutors serve a search warrant on his cellphone. Some have argued that Robinhood’s IPO could mark the top for “meme” stocks — time will tell. Even as regulatory risks seem to mount for large tech companies, a D.C. federal court on Monday dismissed two antitrust cases brought against Facebook last year in a major setback for federal and state regulators. On the streaming media front, both Apple and Disney appear to be running into some headwinds, as evidenced by a few data points. CRISPR injected into blood treated a genetic disease for first time. In a medical first, researchers injected a CRISPR drug into the blood of people born with a disease that causes fatal nerve and heart disease and shown that in three of them it nearly shut off production of toxic protein by their livers, which could herald a new phase fore this exciting new technology.
The Human Resources / Staffing industry is ripe for consolidation. Sophic Capital client HIRE Technologies closed three acquisitions in the back half of 2020, and its funnel is growing.
Apple allows users to opt-out of app tracking. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have clamped down on cookie-tracking. 30 state governments are moving data privacy bills through their houses (California, Virginia, and Colorado already have laws). The result – data businesses could see either increased litigation or revenues disappear.