Gen Z likes hanging out in “third places” that converge social media with other activities like gaming (Twitch), photo sharing (Instagram), and self-expression (Tik Tok). They’re also thrifty and view buying and selling second-hand goods as a social good. Mijem Inc. converges the second-hand goods and social media Gen Z trends.
As markets remain uncooperative, with high multiple growth stocks well off their highs, a very subdued tax loss related January effect, and many market observers positioning for stock indices to roll over another 10-20% from here, WonderFi (WNDR-NEO) increased its previously announced bought deal public offering to $45 million from $35 million. Ayre Ventures completed a follow-on investment in Mijem (Sophic Client, MJEM-CSE). Well regarded VC, Bill Gurley highlighted Shopify’s Shop Pay as a big winner of Christmas 2021. The Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing to force more transparency from big private companies, as regulators grow concerned about the lack of oversight of private fundraising. The most anticipated IPOs in 2022, include: eToro, Stripe, Discord, Databricks, InstaCart, Klarna, Impossible Foods, according to Business Insider. Sequoia Capital and Paradigm, a venture capital firm focussing on cryptocurrency investments, will invest US$1.15 billion in Citadel Securities, a Chicago trading firm founded in 2001. Citadel Securities trades equities, bonds, options, and other assets. The company says it handles 27% of the equities trading volume in the United States. Videogame giant Take-Two Interactive agreed to buy mobile game maker Zynga for US$12.7 billion in cash and stock, ending Zynga’s 10-year run as a public company. Apple may push back its mixed reality headset debut to 2023, Bloomberg reports. Apple reportedly planned to reveal the device at June’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) ahead of a retail launch later this year. TikTok’s advertising sales for 2021 stood at US$4 billion in 2021, and the video app is now aiming to generate US$12 billion in revenue this year, Chinese online media outlet LatePost reported.
The first holiday shortened, yet volatile, first week of 2022 trading was off to a slow start in Canada, but there was plenty of action in the USA. Another data point suggested that the final numbers for 2021 venture capital investments pointed to a whopper of a year. Crunchbase reported that global venture funding nearly doubled last year to US$643 billion compared to 2020, due diligence was a casualty in light of increased funding, according to various reports. San Francisco-based social-media company Reddit Inc. has picked Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to help it go public as soon as March. OpenSea, one of the most talked about blockchain start-ups in Silicon Valley, said on Tuesday that it had raised US$300 million in new venture capital, making it the latest company to cash in on a rush to fund cryptocurrency start-ups. Banking app Dave shares rose 9% in public listing after SPAC merger. Tencent raised US$3 billion in Sea share trade. If all the rumors are correct, 2022 is the year when Apple will finally introduce its own mixed reality headset. Technology analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple’s headset will be released in late 2022 with limited supplies. Qualcomm and Microsoft are teaming up on an augmented reality initiative. Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. has ceased development of a new VR/AR software operating system that employed more than 300 after four years, The Information reported Wednesday. Facebook has never regularly disclosed sales data for Oculus, which it acquired in 2014 for US$2 billion. But IDC estimates that unit sales of the company’s VR devices in 2021 will come in between 5.3 million and 6.8 million. Either one would be a nice jump from the 3.5 million Oculus units estimated to have sold last year. And it is far better than the anemic sales from before the company put out its first Quest headset in mid-2019. Oculus devices before that mostly required a cable running to a high-powered PC. Such “tethers” have severely limited the appeal of VR devices even to the gamer crowd.
In a historic year for valuations, League‘s new funding round has squeezed in one more Canadian tech unicorn before the clock struck midnight on 2021. The Toronto-based healthcare startup raised US$70 million in new financing, which at a pre-money valuation of US$850 million, or $1.1 billion, made it Canada’s newest tech unicorn. New Zealand-based accounting platform Xero has reached a deal to acquire Calgary tax preparation software startup TaxCycle for a total of $75 million. A record 560 startups were valued at over US$1 billion this year, earning their place in the so-called “unicorn” club, according to a report from Business Insider citing data from Crunchbase and PitchBook. The term unicorn was first coined in 2013. At the time, there were just 39 U.S. startups that fit the bill, with an average of four unicorn births per year in the decade prior. Today there are approximately 1,000 private companies around the world valued at US$1 billion or more. Those companies are estimated to be worth a total of roughly US$3 trillion, per Crunchbase data. Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. rose 0.8% in morning trading Monday, after China’s securities regulator’s draft rules on overseas listings released over the long weekend OK’d the listing structure known as variable-interest entity (VIE) used by the e-commerce giant to list its shares on the NYSE. Facebook’s Oculus VR app marked a key milestone over the Christmas weekend, when it was the most popular download on Apple’s App Store. The Oculus app beat out long-standing leaders like TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram for having the most downloads. This marks the first time ever the Oculus app was No. 1 on Christmas.