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.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

Think Research increases credit facility from National Bank to further acquisition strategy.

Toronto-based healthtech company Think Research has increased a credit facility with the National Bank of Canada to increase its working capital and further its active acquisition strategy. Think Research has amended an existing credit agreement with National Bank that gives the company a $15 million revolving credit facility and a $10 million revolving acquisition facility for an aggregate total availability of up to $25 million. https://bit.ly/3gXfN1f

Voyager Digital (VYGR-CSE) files preliminary short form base shelf prospectus.

Voyager Digital Ltd. announced that it has filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus (the “Shelf Prospectus”) in each of the provinces and territories of Canada providing the Company the ability to raise up to US$300 million over the next 25 months. “Although the company does not need to raise capital at present, the filing of our first prospectus positions Voyager to take advantage of significant opportunities ahead as we grow our business, including M&A, uplisting of our stock, and increased efficiency for trading Voyager stock, once the prospectus is cleared,” said Stephen Ehrlich, CEO and Co-Founder of Voyager.  “We’re excited to have this mechanism in place to facilitate our growth and expand the trading parameters of our stock for investors.” https://bit.ly/2TlbnbJ

Workforce analytics startup Visier secures $154 million from Goldman Sachs.

Workforce analytics company Visier has secured $154 million, becoming the latest Canadian tech startup to surpass a $1 billion valuation. The all equity, Series E round was sole-sourced from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and brings Visier’s valuation to $1.2 billion. https://bit.ly/3xf1HOq

Paper closes $123 million to provide more equitable education support through tech.

Montréal-based EdTech startup Paper has closed $123 million in Series C financing, as the company looks to scale its educational support software for K-12 students. The investment was led by United States venture firm Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), with participation from returning investors Framework Venture Partners, Bullpen Capital, Reach Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, BDC Capital, and ETW. https://bit.ly/3qF67M0

CAARY closes $4.1 million late-seed equity round to bring innovative corporate credit card and payments platform to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In Canada CAARY Capital Ltd. announced the closing of its oversubscribed, late-seed equity round, with more than $4.1 million raised. Leading with the CAARY Business Mastercard, the company is the first to bring an entirely digital credit and payments platform to SMEs in Canada. CAARY saw overwhelming interest in the crowdfunded component of its raise, closing the round 20 days early and surpassing its target raise by more than 100%, with over 150 Canadian investors participating in the crowdfund alongside accredited investors. https://bit.ly/3jBJiHC

Royal assent of criminal code amendment set to spur sports betting in Canada.

Single event sports betting is coming to Canada following Wednesday’s adoption of an Act to amend the Criminal Code to legalise the activity. The Act received Royal Assent Wednesday, although a date for its entry into force is yet to be determined. It will allow Canadian provinces and territories to conduct and manage single event betting on any sporting event except horse racing, through retail and online. “I am pleased to welcome the Royal Assent of Private Member’s Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting), which will bring the common practice of single event sport betting into a legal, regulated and safe environment, while strengthening our economy and supporting well-paying jobs for Canadians,” said David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. “The revenues generated from this type of gambling could be used by provinces and territories to fund programs and services in areas such as health care and education, as they currently do with other lottery revenues. The amendments clearly respond to calls from labour leaders, particularly in communities along the Canada-U.S. border, following similar changes made in a number of border states,” he added. https://bit.ly/3Atc2bs

Sportradar signs landmark ten-year partnership with the NHL.

Sports data and technology provider Sportradar has signed one of the biggest deals in its history with a new ten-year global partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL). The landmark agreement accredits Sportradar as the official betting data rights, official betting streaming rights and official media data rights partner of the NHL, as well as an official integrity partner. Having served as the NHL’s official global data distributor since 2015, Sportradar will now distribute the NHL’s official data and statistics to media, technology and sports betting companies worldwide, including real-time data from the NHL’s new Puck and Player Tracking technology. The deal also awards Sportradar rights to provide sports betting operators with live streams of NHL games via operators’ digital betting platforms in legalized markets. https://bit.ly/3hc4mmq

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

Robinhood files for IPO. After a long wait, Robinhood filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering on Thursday.

The Menlo Park-based commission-free stock trading app is expected to start trading later this month on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “HOOD.” Annual revenue for the 8-year-old company reached US$959 million last year, up from US$278 million the year prior. In the first quarter of 2021, the business generated US$522 million in revenue on losses of US$1.4 billion. The majority of its revenue is earned from payment for order flow, a controversial business practice that allows brokerage firms to accept fees from large trading firms, like the hedge fund Citadel Securities, in exchange for routing its trades to certain market makers. Robinhood currently has a total of 18 million funded accounts, up from 12.5 million in 2020, and 17.7 million monthly active users. The company has US$81 billion in assets under management. Its largest shareholders include early backers Index Ventures, NEA and Ribbit Capital, as well as DST Global, according to the filing. Robinhood had planned to go public in June but delayed its highly-anticipated offering after the SEC scrutinized its growing cryptocurrency business, Bloomberg earlier reported. https://bit.ly/3hsuZm6

Robinhood wants you to buy Robinhood stock on Robinhood. 

Robinhood Markets Inc. wants its users to buy stock. The online brokerage firm’s own, that is. The popular stock-trading app plans to set aside as much as 35% of shares in its coming initial public offering for individual investors, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday, a much larger retail allocation than in a typical deal. Robinhood wants people to sign up to buy the shares on its new platform that gives users access to IPOs before they start trading. https://on.wsj.com/3qITO1a

Language app Duolingo files to go public in New York.

Duolingo, which makes a mobile app that helps users learn languages, has filed to go public in New York. The move comes after the company saw increased demand for learning languages during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, which was founded in 2011 by two engineers, said its revenue was US$161.7 million in 2020, up 129% when compared with a year earlier, according to its regulatory filing. However, its net loss widened to US$15.8 million in 2020 from US$13.6 million in 2019. This was partly due to investments it made in product innovation and data analytics. Duolingo, which is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, has been downloaded more than 500 million times and currently has more than 40 million monthly active users, according to its filings. https://bit.ly/3xk60Z4

The clickbait giant Outbrain files for an IPO.

Outbrain, one of the top purveyors of clickbait ads, filed on Tuesday to raise at least US$100 million through an initial public offering — one day before its top competitor starts trading publicly. The company, which calls itself a content recommendation platform, places so-called chumbox ads on websites, hoping to lure readers the way anglers use pieces of dead fish to lure other fish. It had US$767 million in revenue last year and US$4.4 million in net income, Outbrain said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it had yet to determine a price range, valuation or offering price, and will aim to raise more than US$100 million. https://nyti.ms/3jy25Uk

Didi steers cautiously to New York bourse debut with target of US$3.9 billion.

Under the name of its holding company Xiaoju Kuaizhi, Didi aims to raise US$3.9 billion in one of the largest foreign IPOs since the 2014 Alibaba offering, at a valuation of US$64.7 billion in the middle of its price range. The target is similar to the US$65 billion valuation at which private investors bought into the company in a 2018 fundraising, perhaps reflecting how investor interest in ride-hailing has waned in the wake of a disappointing 2019 IPO for rival Uber. https://bit.ly/2SG5XHU

Didi shares fall after China announces cybersecurity review just days after IPO.

Didi shares closed down 5.3% Friday after China, where the company is based, announced a cybersecurity review of it. According to an English translation of China’s announcement, new users will not be able to register for Didi’s ride-hailing service during the country’s cybersecurity review. China’s move comes just two days after Didi held its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock was poised to show another day of gains after closing up nearly 16% on Thursday. Shares of Didi had risen about 5% in premarket trading before China released its announcement. China’s announcement also reflects a broader trend of the country’s regulatory crackdown on technology companies based there that were once loosely regulated. In June, Reuters reported that Chinese regulators were probing Didi for antitrust violations. Beijing is also reportedly looking into the company’s pricing mechanism. https://cnb.cx/3jGuJTm

Chinese grocery app Dingdong cuts U.S. IPO target.

Chinese online grocery app Dingdong Maicai has slashed the size of its U.S. initial public offering by more than 70%. The move comes after Dingdong’s Chinese competitor, Missfresh, had a disappointing debut on Nasdaq Friday with its share price falling 26% from its IPO price. Dingdong, whose backers include SoftBank, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital China, now aims to raise up to US$94.4 million in its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, compared with its previous plans to raise as much as US$357 million. The company said in its regulatory filing that it now aims to sell about 3.7 million American depositary shares priced between US$23.50 and US$25.50 each. It previously aimed to sell 14 million ADSs. Dingdong faces intense competition from China’s biggest tech giants like Alibaba, Meituan, Didi Chuxing and Pinduoduo, which are all expanding into online grocery services based on a business model known as community group buying, where neighbors pool orders to buy cheaper items in bulk. https://bit.ly/3wd04zv

Etsy acquires Elo7, known as the ‘Etsy of Brazil’, for US$217 million.

On the heels of Etsy’s huge deal to acquire Depop to open the door to more social selling, targeting younger users, and deeply expand in Europe, the crafty marketplace has announced another significant deal to build out its reach, this time in Latin America. Etsy has announced that it will acquire Elo7 — commonly referred to as the “Etsy of Brazil” for its popular marketplace for crafty creators — for US$217 million. Etsy was already active in Brazil, but Elo7, one of the 10 biggest e-commerce sites in the region with 1.9 million active buyers, 56,000 active sellers and some 8 million items for sale, will give Etsy a significantly bigger presence in the market. https://tcrn.ch/2UCKi3M

Facebook is now worth US$1 trillion after a US court’s dismissal of 2 antitrust lawsuits spurs jump in stock. 

Facebook leapt into the US$1 trillion territory on Monday after an antitrust court victory helped its stock reach that valuation for the first time, making it the fifth US company to achieve the milestone. The social-media giant’s stock closed 4.2% higher on Monday at US$355.64 per share, after a US federal judge dismissed two complaints filed against the company in December by the Federal Trade Commission and a group of state attorneys general. https://bit.ly/3qO9DDZ

Emerging Technologies

CRISPR injected into the blood treats a genetic disease for first time.

The gene editor CRISPR excels at fixing disease mutations in lab-grown cells. But using CRISPR to treat most people with genetic disorders requires clearing an enormous hurdle: getting the molecular scissors into the body and having it slice DNA in the tissues where it’s needed. Now, in a medical first, researchers have 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. Although it’s too soon to know whether the CRISPR treatment will ease the symptoms of the disease, known as transthyretin amyloidosis, the preliminary data reported today are generating excitement about what could be a one-time, lifelong treatment. “These are stunning results,” says gene editing researcher and cardiologist Kiran Musunuru of the University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the trial. “It exceeds all my expectations.” The work also marks a milestone for the race to develop treatments based on messenger RNA (mRNA), the protein-building instructions naturally made by cells. https://bit.ly/3yjKVhh

Flying car completes its first-ever inter-city flight.

Flying cars are no longer science fiction. AirCar, a flying car that takes less than three minutes to transition to driving mode once on the ground, performed a 35-minute flight between the international airports of Nitra and Bratislava in Slovakia on June 28, a press statement reveals. The latest flight of the AirCar saw it perform its first inter-city trip and ace its 142nd successful landing, bringing it another step closer to production. “This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles. It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual,” said Professor Klein after exiting the AirCar cockpit in Bratislava. https://bit.ly/3hfcQJH

GitHub previews new AI tool that makes coding suggestions. 

GitHub has unveiled a new product that leverages artificial intelligence to help you write code more efficiently. Named GitHub Copilot, today’s new product can suggest lines of code and even sometimes entire functions. GitHub has partnered with OpenAI to develop this tool. It doesn’t replace developers, it’s just a tool that should improve productivity and make it easier to learn how to code. GitHub frames this new tool as an AI pair programmer. https://tcrn.ch/2Uif0Pq

Apple’s spending on Google cloud storage on track to soar 50% this year. 

Apple’s Spending on Google Cloud Storage On Track to Soar 50% This Year. Apple executives have taken swipes at Google in the past over its privacy practices. But the iPhone maker trusts Google enough so that over the past year it has dramatically increased the amount of Apple user data it stores in Google’s cloud, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. https://bit.ly/3A907zH

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

Apple quietly buys Roku remote button for its struggling Apple TV+ app.

Apple’s struggling streaming service, which it launched in November 2019, has bought a button on the Roku remote — a surprise tie-up with the popular streaming-stick maker that Apple hopes will expand its customer base. Roku revealed the button on its website Wednesday morning without formally announcing it, showing a picture of its new remote that had easy-access buttons for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu — and Apple TV+. The new remotes have also begun popping up at retailers including Best Buy, which early Wednesday was offering an Apple TV+-emblazoned remote with Roku’s new Express 4k+ Streaming Media Player, which is selling for US$39.99. https://bit.ly/3humM0U

Disney+ U.S. growth slows sharply in first half of 2021, internal data shows.

U.S. subscriber growth at Disney’s Disney+ streaming service slowed sharply in the past few months, according to internal data reviewed by The Information, with most of the growth in the service this year coming from India and Latin America. The slowdown is sure to intensify a debate about whether Disney should broaden the programming on Disney+ to appeal to a wider group of people. Disney+ had a little more than 110 million total subscribers late in Disney’s third fiscal quarter, which ran through early July, according to the internal data, up from the 103.6 million the company reported for the quarter ending April 3. Of the most recent total, nearly 38 million were in India, up 12 million over the past six months. The U.S. and Canada together accounted for close to 38 million subscribers. That compares with the start of February, when North America had about 37 million subscribers, according to two people with knowledge of the internal data. https://bit.ly/3ykETx4

Facebook ‘still working’ to bring cloud gaming service to iPhone and iPad.

Facebook has announced a major expansion of its cloud gaming service, bringing the free platform to over 98% of people in the United States beginning today. But despite this expansion, the platform is still unavailable to iPhone and iPad users over a dispute between Facebook and Apple regarding App Store policy. Jason Rubin, Facebook’s gaming chief, explained in an interview with Protocol that its cloud gaming platform will come to everyone in mainland United States by the end of the year. A rollout is also underway now in Canada and Mexico, and it will come to Western and Central Europe by 2022. https://bit.ly/3wh6AVY

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

U.S. Justice Department probing Google ad-tech practices: report. 

Antitrust investigators at the U.S. Justice Department are looking at Google’s digital ad market practices, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. They have already interviewed multiple Google competitors, the report said. The European Union already has announced a formal probe into Google’s practices in that field. A Google spokeswoman told Bloomberg that “enormous” competition in online advertising has made them more relevant, reduced ad-tech fees and expanded options for publishers and advertisers. Google is the main subsidiary of Alphabet. https://on.mktw.net/3jIXTB0

Court dismisses FTC, state antitrust cases against Facebook.

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. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will have an opportunity to file an amended complaint, but the challenge from a coalition of state attorneys general led by New York’s Letitia James (D) has been dismissed entirely. https://bit.ly/3hhHHUH

LinkedIn breach reportedly exposes data of 92% of users, including inferred salaries.

A second massive LinkedIn breach reportedly exposes the data of 700 million users, which is more than 92% of the total 756 million users. The database is for sale on the dark web, with records including phone numbers, physical addresses, geolocation data, and inferred salaries. https://bit.ly/3x573vR

EU digital vaccine passport goes live; no data is stored after checks.

The EU digital vaccine passport goes live today, allowing travelers from all 27 European Union countries to use their smartphone to prove that they have been vaccinated, have tested negative, or have recovered from COVID-19. It’s available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. Officially known as the EU Digital COVID Certificate, it will allow airport scanners to read a unique QR code from your smartphone, verifying that you meet one or more of the requirements for travel. https://bit.ly/3waNVLC

U.S. Department of Justice opens antitrust inquiry into Overwatch League’s soft salary cap, ‘competitive balance tax’.

The U.S. Department of Justice antitrust division is probing the Overwatch League over its soft salary cap policy that discourages teams from excess spending, sources familiar with that inquiry told Dot Esports. The probe is being headed by DOJ trial attorney Kathleen Simpson Kiernan, who works for the Civil Conduct Task Force subdivision of the antitrust division in Washington. Kiernan and other DOJ attorneys have contacted and interviewed several former Overwatch League employees, according to sources. The nature of Kiernan’s investigation is not criminal, sources said. DOJ officials did not respond to a request for comment from Dot Esports. At the center of Kiernan’s inquiry is the lack of a players’ union, which would allow the Overwatch League to apply for a “nonstatutory labor exemption.” That status has been granted to the NFL, NBA, and other pro sports leagues who have labor unions. The exemption originates from a 1965 U.S. Supreme Court case, Amalgamated Meat Cutters v. Jewel Tea Co., which said “union-employer agreements” are outside the purview of the 1890 Sherman Act, the landmark piece of antitrust legislation. Kiernan’s team has also contacted Activision Blizzard, the operator of the Overwatch League. As a result, Activision Blizzard has communicated to team executives not to tamper with or destroy information regarding player salaries, a routine measure taken in cases of a government investigation. In 2020, the soft salary cap threshold equaled US$1.6 million, according to league sources. If a team exceeded that amount in annual player salaries, the organization would then have to pay players’ salaries as well as the excess amount to the league as a luxury tax. https://bit.ly/368U0NW

eCommerce

Here are the countries with the fastest ecommerce growth in 2020.

Retail ecommerce sales more than doubled in Argentina last year, as many shoppers there pivoted to buying online. Canada and Singapore both saw growth of over 70%, skyrocketing past the global average of 25.7%. https://bit.ly/3dGTNWu

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Young investors drove use of robo-advisors during pandemic.

This year in the US, 3.5 million adult investors will use a robo-advisor to handle their portfolio.  That’s up by 23.2% over 2020, which saw record growth of 37.4%. The growth rate in the US will stay in the double digits for another two years, putting usage on pace to surpass 5 million adults by 2025. Canada is the slowest-growing market for robo-advisors among the three markets we cover. In 2021, there will be about 360,000 users, up by 10.3% over last year. By the end of the forecast period in 2025, that number will near 500,000. “Although trust in robo-advisors has increased over the years, it still lags compared with trust in more traditional forms of investment management like in-person advisor services,” Shum said. “However, this may change as more people get comfortable with automation in investing. Robo-advisors are also competing with commission-free, self-managed online brokerage services like Robinhood, which has gained popularity among younger investors recently.” https://bit.ly/3qH7CJO

FINRA fines Robinhood US$70 million for harming customers.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined the commission-free stock trading app Robinhood US$70 million, including US$12.6 million in restitution to thousands of its customers, the regulator announced Wednesday. The fine represents FINRA’s largest-ever and is meant to reflect “the scope and seriousness of Robinhood’s violations,” Jessica Hopper, head of FINRA’s department of enforcement, said in a statement. Robinhood’s March 2020 outages, in which customers were unable to execute trades during a major stock market rebound, caused millions of its customers “significant harm,” FINRA said. Robinhood has not denied, nor admitted to the charges, which include communicating false and misleading statements to customers, as well as participating in inappropriate trading actions, such as failing to conduct proper due diligence before allowing customers to place options trades. In response, Robinhood’s new head of public policy communications Jacqueline Ortiz Ramsay said the company had “invested heavily in improving platform stability, enhancing our educational resources, and building out our customer support and legal and compliance teams.” For instance, Robinhood said it had tripled the size of its customer support team to 2,700 since March 2020. The timing of the massive fine is less than ideal for scandal-ridden Robinhood. The company is expected to publish its IPO prospectus any day now after initially filing confidentially for a U.S. public offering back in March. It’s also facing heightened scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its cryptocurrency business, Bloomberg reported last week. https://bit.ly/36aCGIn

Robinhood CEO backs SEC chief’s push to modernize the stock market and ‘level the playing field’ for retail investors. 

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev endorsed an SEC push to refine how stocks are priced, writing in a blog post that the move would “level the playing field” for retail investors. Tenev backed a suggestion by SEC Chair Gary Gensler that the agency might waive a rule requiring exchanges to price stocks in pennies. Allowing sub-penny pricing would put platforms like Robinhood on equal footing with non-exchange market makers like Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial, he argued. https://bit.ly/3jBUPH6

US regulators are reportedly meeting with DeFi companies as scrutiny of crypto builds. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission met with representatives from leading decentralized finance companies as crypto comes under fire from regulators worldwide, the Financial Times reported over the weekend. Hosted by a finance trade body, the virtual meeting consisted of presentations from automated crypto exchanges like Uniswap and other players in the fast-growing DeFi sector, according to the FT. https://bit.ly/3hhzLTc

The former head of Y Combinator wants to distribute UBI via cryptocurrency – and is testing an eye scanner that would identify recipients. 

A new cryptocurrency aims to distribute wealth to “every single person on earth” with the help of an orb-shaped device that would scan people’s irises to identify them, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Sam Altman, the former president of Y Combinator, a seed-money company that helped grow Airbnb and Dropbox among others, thought of the concept of Worldcoin in 2019 in the hopes of capitalizing on the economic idea of universal basic income, Bloomberg reported. According to an online job listing, the new cryptocurrency is “free, frictionless and not controlled by anyone.” https://bit.ly/2SNzCyY

Morgan Stanley bought 28,000 shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust underscoring its commitment to crypto. 

Morgan Stanley bought 28,289 shares, worth over US$1.3 million at the time of the sale, in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust through its Europe Opportunity Fund, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows. This underlines the firm’s commitment to cryptocurrencies. It first gave its funds exposure to digital assets back in April this year. https://bit.ly/3jxIcgd

Watchdog clamps down on cryptocurrency exchange.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ruled that the firm cannot conduct any “regulated activity” in the UK. It also advised people to be wary of adverts promising high returns on cryptoasset investments. Binance said the FCA notice would have no “direct impact” on the services it provides from its website Binance.com. https://bbc.in/3qy91Cr

Coinbase CEO: We plan to list every crypto asset where legally viable. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that the exchange plans to list every crypto asset where it is legally permissible to do so. “Reminder about how Coinbase lists assets: our goal is to list *every* asset where it is legal to do so,” he tweeted. Armstrong added that the exchange wants no coin to get special treatment. “Outside of our listing standards (for safety/legality), we don’t offer an opinion on the value of each asset. We are asset agnostic, because we believe in free markets and that consumers should have choice in the cryptoeconomy. This is how we’ll have the most innovation,” he said. https://bit.ly/3w9OIw9

Robinhood says dogecoin accounted for 34% of its crypto-trading revenue in the 1st quarter, and lists declining interest in the meme token as a risk in its highly anticipated IPO filing. 

Dogecoin accounted for a “substantial” portion of the recent growth in Robinhood’s net revenues earned from cryptocurrency transactions, the company’s IPO filings show. The meme token made up 34% of Robinhood’s cryptocurrency transaction-based revenue during the first quarter of 2021, as compared to 4% for the three months ended December 31, 2020. Cryptocurrency transaction based revenue made up 17% of Robinhood’s total revenue for the three months that ended March 31, 2021, the company said in its S-1 released Thursday. https://bit.ly/36aaeXg

Pop star Katy Perry is launching NFTs for her fans through a blockchain-based video streaming platform. 

Katy Perry is launching a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with Theta Labs, a blockchain video streaming platform, as she she joins the growing ranks of artists and celebrities in tapping into the crypto-craze. The pop star, who announced the launch in a tweet on Wednesday, will release digital collectibles that will feature her upcoming play residency at Resorts World Las Vegas hotel from December 2021. She said she will also have a minority share in Theta Labs through her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA). https://bit.ly/3qGH77e

A new law in Germany could open up as much as US$415 billion in crypto investments.

A new law in Germany could open up as much as US$415 billion in cryptocurrency investments, further legitimizing the rapidly evolving asset class and possibly spurring the country as among the main investment hubs in Europe, CoinDesk first reported. The law, Germany’s Fund Location Act, allows special funds or “Spezialfonds” to invest as much as 20% of their portfolio into cryptocurrencies. And should each special fund decide to invest the maximum percentage allowed into digital assets, it would equate to US$415 billion, a figure computed by Sven Hildebrandt, CEO of Distributed Ledger Consulting, according to financial newspaper Boersen Zeitung. https://bit.ly/3AqQDQj

ESG

Prologue, Honda’s first electric SUV, is coming to market in 2024. 

Honda said Monday it will sell its first electric SUV in North America in early 2024, part of the automaker’s push to shift away from gas-powered vehicles before the middle of the decade. The new car’s name, Prologue, is meant to signify the beginning of what the company called its “new electrified era.” Prologue is one of two forthcoming Honda vehicles that will use General Motors’ Ultium Cells EV platform and battery packs. The other, yet unnamed car, will be under the Acura brand and will also debut in 2024. GM will also manufacture the two vehicles at its North American facilities, as part of a long-running partnership between the two OEMs. https://tcrn.ch/2U6NEvU

Uber will partner with TotalEnergies on electric-vehicle efforts in France.

TotalEnergies SE said Tuesday that it was partnering with Uber Technologies Inc. on electric mobility. The French company said that the partnership would initially focus on France, where Uber is aiming to grow its fleet of electric vehicles to 50%, by giving drivers TotalEnergies cards that enable them to access charge points. They’ll have access to 20,000 charge points buy the end of this year and more than 75,000 by 2025. “This partnership with TotalEnergies is a cornerstone in our commitment to reach 50% electric vehicles by 2025 and to support VTC drivers in their transition to electric vehicles,” Laureline Serieys, Uber’s general manager for France, said in a statement, while referencing a French acronym for cars driven by chauffeurs. https://on.mktw.net/3ylsh8V

Amazon’s carbon emissions rose 19% last year, showing just how far it has to go to reach its net-zero carbon pledge. 

Amazon’s overall carbon footprint rose 19% in 2020, the company said in its annual sustainability report released Wednesday outlining its progress to a net-zero carbon footprint. For the year, Amazon’s total carbon footprint was 60.64 million metric tons, compared to 51.17 million metric tons in 2019. The use of fossil fuels increased by 69%, while total carbon intensity decreased by 16%. Amazon says the increase in emissions is due to the increase in customer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://bit.ly/3hs1sci

Sophic Capital Client Insights

Sophic Client Killi (MYID-TSXV, MYIDF-OTC) – The Bomb About to Drop on the Data Industry.

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. https://bit.ly/2SH7HAv

Sophic Client HIRE Technologies (HIRE-TSXV): HIRE Technologies (HIRE) – CEO Interview 3.

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. https://bit.ly/2SH8AJl

Disclaimer

The information and recommendations made available through our emails, newsletters, website and press releases (collectively referred to as the “Material”) by Sophic Capital Inc. (“Sophic” or “Company”) is for informational purposes only and shall not be used or construed as an offer to sell or be used as a solicitation of an offer to buy any services or securities. In accessing or consuming the Materials, you hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk. In particular, none of the information provided in our monthly newsletter and emails or any other Material should be viewed as an invite, and/or induce or encourage any person to make any kind of investment decision. The recommendations and information provided in our Material are not tailored to the needs of particular persons and may not be appropriate for you depending on your financial position or investment goals or needs. You should apply your own judgment in making any use of the information provided in the Company’s Material, especially as the basis for any investment decisions. Securities or other investments referred to in the Materials may not be suitable for you and you should not make any kind of investment decision in relation to them without first obtaining independent investment advice from a qualified and registered investment advisor. You further agree that neither Sophic, its, directors, officers, shareholders, employees, affiliates consultants, and/or clients will be liable for any losses or liabilities that may be occasioned as a result of the information provided in any of the Material. By accessing Sophic’s website and signing up to receive the Company’s monthly newsletter or any other Material, you accept and agree to be bound by and comply with the terms and conditions set out herein. If you do not accept and agree to the terms, you should not use the Company’s website or accept the terms and conditions associated to the newsletter signup. Sophic is not registered as an adviser or dealer under the securities legislation of any jurisdiction of Canada or elsewhere and provides Material on behalf of its clients pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements that is available in respect of generic advice. In no event will Sophic be responsible or liable to you or any other party for any damages of any kind arising out of or relating to the use of, misuse of and/or inability to use the Company’s website or Material. The information is directed only at persons resident in Canada. The Company’s Material or the information provided in the Material shall not in any form constitute as an offer or solicitation to anyone in the United States of America or any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such a solicitation. If you choose to access Sophic’s website and/or have signed up to receive the Company’s monthly newsletter or any other Material, you acknowledge that the information in the Material is intended for use by persons resident in Canada only. Sophic is not an investment advisor nor does it maintain any registrations as such, and Material provided by Sophic shall not be used to make investment decisions. Information provided in the Company’s Material is often opinionated and should be considered for information purposes only. No stock exchange or securities regulatory authority anywhere has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. There is no express or implied solicitation to buy or sell securities. Sophic and/or its principals and employees may have positions in the stocks mentioned in the Company’s Material and may trade in the stocks mentioned in the Material. Do not consider buying or selling any stock without conducting your own due diligence and/or without obtaining independent investment advice from a qualified and registered investment advisor. The Company has not independently verified any of the data from third party sources referred to in the Material, including information provided by Sophic clients that are the subject of the report, or ascertained the underlying assumptions relied upon by such sources. The Company does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information or for any failure by any such other persons to disclose events which may have occurred or may affect the significance or accuracy of any such information. 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.