This week, the Dow Jones rose 2%, the S&P 500 gained 2.6% and the Nasdaq was up 3.3%. As Q2 earnings season kicks off, Snap gapped down ~40% gap down on Friday. Google and Apple are pausing hiring. SoftBank has put on hold plans for a London IPO of Arm because of the political turmoil in the UK government. Instacart investor Capital Group cut its valuation to US$14.7 billion, far below the online grocery-delivery firm’s own calculation of US$24 billion. That makes it the second major investor in recent weeks to say that Instacart’s own estimate is now obsolete. FaZe Clan, the esports and gaming brand, began trading on the Nasdaq exchange Wednesday after a US$725 million SPAC, as other SPAC deals fall through and the market for IPOs stays largely shut. Shares of companies in the cryptocurrency business powered higher Monday, after bitcoin rallied toward a fourth-straight gain, and the first close above the US$22,000 in a month. Marathon Digital shot up 23.3%, Riot Blockchain 18.3% and Coinbase 13.8%. MicroStrategy jumped 11.2% and Signature Bank surged 3.9%. Amazon is buying clinic operator One Medical in a US$4 billion bet on healthcare. Netflix shares jumped after the company said it lost fewer subscribers than anticipated during the second quarter. Robinhood’s fractional trading drove a phantom surge in volume of Berkshire Hathaway’s hugely expensive Class A stock, according to a study, reportedly bewildering Warren Buffett at the time. The US voted to advance a bill, which would provide roughly US$52 billion in subsidies to encourage chip companies to boost production in the US.
The window for capital raises in Canada by innovation companies is shut, but Sophic Client, Reklaim (MYID-TSXV, MYIDF-OTC) closed a final tranche of a non-brokered private placement for total proceeds of $1.6 million. Tech funding in Toronto, BC and Quebec was down in Q2, according to different pieces at Betakit.
Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News
Sophic Client Reklaim (MYID-TSXV, MYIDF-OTC) closes final tranche of non-brokered private placement for total gross proceeds of $1.56 million.
The Company announced the closing of the second and final tranche of a non-brokered private placement offering (the “Offering”) comprised of 3,970,740 units (the “Units”) at a purchase price of $0.0675 per Unit for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $268,025. Each Unit consisted of one common share (a “Common Share”) and one-full common share purchase warrant (each, a “Warrant”), with each Warrant exercisable to acquire one common share of Reklaim at $0.10 for 36 months from the date of issuance. Additionally, as signaled in the original private placement announcement, the Company is pleased to announce that it has streamlined its operations to a cash-neutral position after two years of building its infrastructure, distribution, and scale. “The market for privacy continues to grow with more consumers becoming aware of the current system of persistent surveillance and the arbitrage of their data,” said Neil Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Reklaim. “With companies such as Apple and Google continuing to make changes to reduce the amount of data leaking from their systems, the billion-dollar data market is seeing a reduction in supply, forcing companies that depend on data to find new data partners such as Reklaim. When combined with the tailwind of regulation, most recently Canada’s new privacy bill, Bill C-27, as well as Connecticut’s Senate Bill 6, An Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring, privacy continues to accelerate as a more significant macro trend that Reklaim is positioned to take advantage of.” https://bit.ly/3Oz3DJw
Shopify (SHOP-NYSE, SHOP-TSX) brings commerce to YouTube.
Shopify is helping YouTube boost its commerce efforts. The Canadian e-commerce software provider announced on Tuesday that it will let its merchants sell their wares on the Alphabet-owned video site. Shopify’s new feature will let merchants sell their goods through live streams, where viewers can buy items through the merchants’ sites while watching the video. Shoppers can also click pop up links underneath merchants’ pre-recorded videos that direct them to their stores. YouTube will also add a tab on merchants’ channels that will list all the goods that are available to buy on their Shopify stores. The initiative is the latest in a series of features Shopify has rolled out to help merchants participate in the creator economy. The company announced a similar partnership with TikTok last year. In March, Shopify launched its own link-in-bio feature called Linkpop, which lets creators add a bevy of shoppable links to the bio section on their social media profiles. But TikTok recently scrapped plans to expand its live shopping to Europe and the U.S. after it struggled to gain traction with U.K. consumers, the Financial Times reported. https://bit.ly/3PHR7Zq
Tech-enabled fulfillment company Darwynn closes $20 million pre-seed round.
Scarborough-headquartered Darwynn has secured $20 million in pre-seed funding to further develop its automated fulfillment network. Darwynn did not disclose the investors that participated in this round. Darwynn said its storage solution uses robotic shuttles to travel independently from each storage level, riding on narrow rails. The startup said these robots are able to retrieve stored items at high speeds, ranging from 200 to 700 lines per hour. In addition to its main office in Toronto, Darwynn’s facilities are also located in Vancouver, Calgary, and Montréal. Its partner fulfillment centers are in Edmonton, Ottawa, and Québec City. https://bit.ly/3PSwTMC
Blume secures $2 million to scale latte replacement product.
Vancouver-based organic food brand Blume has closed $2 million in what it calls an oversubscribed seed round, as the company said it originally set out to raise $1.25 million. This round, which closed in the last week of June and is a SAFE, marks Blume’s first institutional raise after being bootstrapped since its inception. Closed within a five-week period, according to Blume, the round was led by Fulmer & Co. and received participation from Judy Brooks, executive chair of confectionary company SmartSweets; Ethan Song, co-founder and CEO of clothing brand Frank and Oak; Jerine Mece, founder of Nude Beverages; Mike Fata, founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods; as well as The51. https://bit.ly/3RUgWHs
Funding party is over as Toronto tech stumbles in Q2 2022.
In Q2 2022, Toronto tech startups raised $585.7 million through 45 deals, representing a year-low for investment and deal volume. Investment dollars fell 69 percent from Q1 2022 and 61 percent year-over-year, while deal volume fell 22 percent from last quarter and 40 percent from Q2 2021. The significant drop in investment over Q2 dramatically diverges from Toronto’s prior year of venture funding. In every quarter of 2021, venture funding surpassed $1 billion, and with nearly every passing quarter, the city set a new record for investment. https://bit.ly/3PHFVwh
BC tech funding returned to pre-bull market levels in Q2 2022.
British Columbia’s tech sector continued to cool off in the second quarter of 2022 as venture funding and deal volume fell to a six-quarter low according to a new report from briefed.in. BC’s tech startups collectively raised $204.3 million in Q2 2022, a 62 percent decrease compared to Q1 2022 and an 83 percent decrease year-over-year. Investment has fallen every quarter in BC since reaching a record-high of $1.2 billion in Q2 2021, with Q2 2022 representing BC’s lowest quarter for investment and deal volume since Q4 2020. https://bit.ly/3IZkC6Q
Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A
Esports heavyweight FaZe Clan goes public in US$725 million SPAC deal.
FaZe Clan, the esports and gaming brand, began trading on the Nasdaq exchange Wednesday after a US$725 million special purpose acquisition company merger, in a wager on creators as other SPAC deals fall through and the market for initial public offerings stays largely shut. One of the biggest gaming companies worldwide, FaZe Clan announced its plans to go public with a B. Riley-backed SPAC last fall at a US$1 billion valuation. Since then, the esport specialist hired a new president and revamped its board with media power players, like the chief brand officer of World Wrestling Entertainment Stephanie McMahon and rapper and entertainer Snoop Dogg. The new deal valued the combined company at US$725 million, a US$275 million decrease from their previously expected valuation. SPAC deals have been put on ice as investors pull their money from SPACs at all-time highs. In June, the online brokerage eToro called off its plan to go public by merging with a Betsy Cohen-backed SPAC, The Information first reported. That decision followed similar withdrawals from media company Forbes and ticket platform SeatGeek. Some SPAC managers are giving up on finding target companies before their deadlines arrive, like billionaire Bill Ackman, who returned US$4 billion to investors. https://bit.ly/3or1kOc
SoftBank halts work on Arm’s London IPO following political turmoil.
SoftBank has put on hold plans for a London initial public offering of Arm because of the political turmoil in the UK government, throwing doubt on Britain’s place as the future home of the Cambridge-based tech giant. UK prime minister Boris Johnson has personally lobbied SoftBank’s billionaire founder Masayoshi Son to secure at least a partial listing for the chip designer on the London Stock Exchange. As Johnson’s government collapsed earlier this month, investment minister Lord Gerry Grimstone and digital minister Chris Philp resigned. They had both played leading roles in talks with the Japanese tech investor. The departures have led SoftBank to pause discussions about a UK listing of Arm in the next year, according to people briefed on the talks. An Arm IPO would be one of the biggest-ever tech flotations for the London market. Companies have shunned this approach in the past because of the cost and complexity of effectively having to run two IPOs simultaneously, with prospectus and other regulatory requirements needed for both the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. https://on.ft.com/3v7sdKQ
Instacart valuation cut to US$14.7 billion by Investor Capital Group.
Instacart Inc. investor Capital Group Cos. cut its valuation to US$14.7 billion, far below the online grocery-delivery firm’s own calculation of US$24 billion. Capital Group marked Instacart shares at US$45.84 apiece at the end of June, the asset manager said in a report on the website of its New Economy Fund. That makes it the second major investor in recent weeks to say that Instacart’s own estimate is now obsolete. In late June, Fidelity Investments lowered its estimate for the closely held firm, which filed confidentially in May for an initial public offering. Representatives for Instacart, Fidelity and Capital Group declined to comment. The market for pandemic darlings like Instacart has soured amid slowing growth, surging inflation and higher interest rates. The firm, which was valued at US$39 billion through a March 2021 funding round, slashed its internal calculation by about 40% a year later. Fidelity, Capital Group and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. are among mutual fund providers that bought Instacart shares through the company’s private offerings in recent years, along with investment firms such as Tiger Global Management and D1 Capital Partners. Fidelity has repeatedly marked down Instacart since the year began. Most recently, the Fidelity Blue Chip Growth fund valued its Instacart shares at US$48.43 apiece as of May 31, down from US$64.85 a month earlier. Boston-based Fidelity also cut its valuation of Instacart rival GoPuff by 50% from March to May, documents show. Capital Group’s latest valuation for Instacart is down 62% from its last peg of US$119.96 a share at the end of March. T. Rowe has yet to provide an update of its March 31 valuation of US$96 a share. https://bloom.bg/3vcGBBn
TikTok owner ByteDance’s valuation drops below US$300 billion.
ByteDance Ltd. has traded in recent weeks at valuations well below US$300 billion, down at least 25% from last year after investors cashed out of the social media giant with its IPO now on ice. Investors have been buying shares in China’s biggest startup at valuations as low as US$275 billion, people with knowledge of the deals said. In one case, a prospective buyer negotiated the seller down to US$280 billion before eventually pulling the plug, one of the people said. Some investors have offered as low as US$250 billion though there’s still a wide gap between many potential buyers and sellers, they said, asking not to be identified describing undisclosed transactions. That drop came after Tiger Global Management bought additional shares in the firm last year at a blended valuation of US$460 billion, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg News. ByteDance is the parent of hit video app TikTok, as well as several successful apps in China. https://bloom.bg/3b28HIO
Chinese regulator to fine Didi more than US$1 billion over data-security breaches.
Chinese authorities are preparing to impose a fine of more than US$1 billion on ride-hailing company Didi Global, bringing an end to a yearlong investigation into the company’s cybersecurity practices, according to people familiar with the issue. Once the penalty is unveiled, the government plans to ease a restriction banning Didi from adding new users to its platform, and to allow the Beijing-based technology company’s mobile apps to be restored to domestic app stores, some of the people said. The fine will also pave the way for Didi, whose app is used by tens of millions of users in China each month, to kick-start a new share listing in Hong Kong, these people said. https://on.wsj.com/3aYhwmL
Snap shares dive 39% following poor earnings report.
Shares of Snap closed down 39% Friday, a day after the company reported disappointing second-quarter results. Snap missed Wall Street expectations on the top and bottom lines and said it plans to slow hiring. The social media company attributed its results to a challenging economy, slowing demand for its online ad platform, Apple’s 2021 iOS update and competition from companies like TikTok. Snap stock is off nearly 79% year to date. And Wall Street isn’t letting up. It was hit with a slew of analyst downgrades following the latest earnings report. Goldman Sachs analysts said the earnings report was “broadly negative” and downgraded the company’s stock rating from buy to neutral. https://cnb.cx/3ztRC3C
Google says it will pause hiring.
Google said it will pause hiring for two weeks, after saying last week it would slow its pace of hiring for the rest of the year. In an email to employees viewed by The Information, Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president at Google, said the hiring pause would not impact offers that had already been extended to applicants, but that Google would not make any new offers until the pause was over. “We’ll use this time to review our headcount needs and align on a new set of prioritized Staffing Requests for the next three months,” Raghavan said. Google’s hiring pause strikes a cautionary note ahead of the company’s second quarter earning call, which is scheduled for next Monday. Across the industry, tech giants including Meta are pausing hiring, and startups continue to lay off employees en masse. Earlier this year, Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange platform, announced a two week hiring freeze before ultimately laying off 18% of its staff amid the broader crypto crash. https://bit.ly/3aYhv2b
Apple to cut spending and hiring on select teams in response to economic slowdown.
Apple has big changes planned for 2023 as the company wants to slow hiring and spending for some teams starting next year. Not all people will be affected, but the Cupertino firm will not backfill roles or add new staff in certain cases. Last quarter, Apple reported US$97.3 billion of revenue – an increase of 9% year over year. The company also reported a profit of US$25 billion and earnings per share of US$1.52. Except for the iPad, which had sales significantly impacted due to supply constraints, all of Apple’s other segments grew compared to last year. https://bit.ly/3zom27q
Crypto company stocks spike higher as bitcoin jumps back above US$22,000.
Shares of companies in the cryptocurrency business powered higher Monday, after bitcoin rallied toward a fourth-straight gain, and the first close above the US$22,000 in a month. Among those that are all about crypto, shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. shot up 23.3%, Riot Blockchain Inc. ran up 18.3% and Coinbase Global Inc. climbed 13.8%. Among other companies with significant crypto exposure, MicroStrategy Inc.’s stock jumped 11.2% and Signature Bank surged 3.9%. Meanwhile, bitcoin charged up 6.6% to US$22,183, and has soared 14.6% in four sessions since closing at a 19-month low on July 12, toward the highest close since July 15. The cryptocurrency has still plunged 45.6% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has declined 12.9%. https://bit.ly/3vap64D
Coinbase soars 20% as the exchange says it has no exposure to bankrupt firms struggling through crypto winter.
Coinbase stock jumped Wednesday after the crypto exchange said it was not exposed to Celsius, Three Arrows, or Voyager Digital, three major crypto players in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. Shares soared as much as 20% to an intraday high of US$79.00 before paring gains to 11% in midday trading. https://bit.ly/3PFage8
Amazon is buying clinic operator One Medical in a US$4 billion bet on healthcare.
Amazon is taking a leap into healthcare by acquiring primary-care provider One Medical, the companies announced on Thursday. The e-commerce giant will buy the health-clinic operator for US$18 per share in a deal that values One Medical at US$3.9 billion. As of the end of March, One Medical operated 188 locations across the US and served about 767,000 members, according to a quarterly filing. https://bit.ly/3PMxpLX
NCR stock soars just days after hitting 20-month low, in wake of WSJ report of buyout talks.
Shares of NCR Corp. shot up 11.1% in premarket trading Tuesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported the consumer transactions software and services company was in talks to be bought out by private-equity firm Veritas Capital. The rally comes just days after the stock closed at a 20-month low of US$27.54 on July 14. As of Monday’s stock closing price of US$29.10, NCR’s market capitalization was US$3.98 billion. The stock has plunged 31.6% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has shed 14.2%. https://bit.ly/3oEDQ8t
Google begins publicly testing its AR glasses.
A decade after Google Glass, Google is getting back to testing smart glasses in public again. The company announced its own smart glasses initiative earlier this year at Google’s I/O developer conference, a project that’s aimed at assistance rather than entertainment. Google’s now starting to publicly test those smart glasses, the company announced today, beginning with dozens of pairs in field use and ramping up to several hundred by the end of the year. https://cnet.co/3RUqNNe
Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting
Netflix loses fewer subscribers than expected and says cheaper ad tier is coming in early 2023.
Netflix shares jumped after the company said it lost fewer subscribers than anticipated during the second quarter. The streamer also said it aimed to unveil its lower-cost, ad-supported tier in early 2023. This comes on the heels of Netflix tapping Microsoft to be its partner on the ad-supported offering. “We’ll likely start in a handful of markets where advertising spend is significant,” the company said in its shareholder letter. “Like most of our new initiatives, our intention is to roll it out, listen and learn, and iterate quickly to improve the offering. So, our advertising business in a few years will likely look quite different than what it looks like on day one.” Netflix had warned investors last quarter that it expected to shed around 2 million subscribers, but only lost around 970,000 during the three month period ending June 30. https://cnb.cx/3zpelht
Netflix testing new ways to charge for password sharing in Latin America.
Back in April, Netflix blamed users who share their passwords with friends and family for losing more than 200,000 subscribers in the previous quarter. According to the company, the platform today has more than 100 million users who don’t pay for a Netflix subscription. Netflix is now testing charging for password sharing in five different Latin American countries: Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. In these countries, customers are now being required to pay an extra fee if they use an account for more than two weeks outside their primary residence. https://bit.ly/3b45mbY
Netflix’s new ad-supported plan won’t have full catalog available.
Netflix has been struggling recently as the company lost over 200,000 subscribers earlier this year, which resulted in the company’s stock going down. In an attempt to regain subscribers, Netflix has confirmed that it will launch a cheaper ad-supported plan. However, it seems that this plan won’t have the full catalog available to subscribers. Of course, all Netflix original movies and series will be available on this new plan. However, those who subscribe to the ad-supported plan may not be able to watch everything that is currently available on Netflix. https://bit.ly/3B9RsQm
ESPN+ is getting a big price hike.
On August 23, the price of ESPN+ will jump from US$6.99 to US$9.99 per month, and the annual plan is going up from US$69.99 to US$99.99. The steep 43% increase is the second subscription price hike in a little more than a year. The “Disney Bundle,” which encompasses ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu, will not see a price increase. Subscribers with the bundle pay US$13.99 per month for Hulu with ads or US$19.99 without ads. ESPN+ also carries MLS Live, Major League Soccer’s out-of-market package. However, this will no longer be the case as Apple announced a deal to broadcast all MLS games for 10 years beginning in 2023. https://tcrn.ch/3yYtqoJ
Amazon is giving Prime Video its biggest redesign in years.
Amazon will roll out a new Prime Video experience for Android and connected living room devices, including smart TVs, Fire TV streaming hardware, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and game consoles. Amazon says the experience has been designed to be “less busy and overwhelming for our customers.” The result, frankly, is something that looks a whole lot like Netflix. https://bit.ly/3zp4doW
Sony is investing even more into esports.
Sony is acquiring the esports tournament platform Repeat.gg, marking the PlayStation maker’s latest investment into esports. Repeat.gg has put on more than 100,000 tournaments with over 2.3 million participants, reports GamesIndustry.biz, featuring popular games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone. The Repeat.gg acquisition follows Sony’s purchase of the prestigious esports tournament Evo in partnership with RTS last year. https://bit.ly/3Orbx7F
Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory
Microsoft launches social app for corporate settings.
Microsoft announced a new application for its Teams collaboration product—called Viva Engage—which lets employees in companies interact with each other in a similar way as they do on social media. The app, which uses software from Microsoft’s US$1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer a decade ago, is the software giant’s latest attempt to show value from the deal. It also underscores Microsoft’s desire to promote Viva, a remote work-focused product line it introduced two years ago, as a more enterprise-ready alternative to collaboration tools from rivals like Salesforce. Microsoft says it will also continue selling products under the Yammer brand. Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella often says that many of the changes in work that were brought on by the pandemic will be permanent ones. If that holds true, there is much at stake for Microsoft and its rivals in the battle to be the platform of choice for enterprise social networking. https://bit.ly/3RUlYUg
T-Mobile agrees to pay US$350 million to settle 2021 data-breach class action.
T-Mobile US Inc. reached an agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit regarding a 2021 cyberattack that breached some customer data, the company disclosed in a late-Friday filing. The wireless giant agreed to pay US$350 million to handle claims made by class members and cover other related fees. The proposed settlement is still subject to court approval, which T-Mobile expects as soon as December 2022. The company anticipates that this and other pending or completed settlements will resolve “substantially all of the claims” brought about in conjunction with the 2021 breach. T-Mobile also said that it will commit to putting an additional US$150 million toward data-security and other related technologies. T-Mobile expects to record a total pre-tax charge of about US$400 million for the second quarter related to this and other related settlements. The company said that it factored the charge and the US$150 million data-security spending into its prior guidance. Analysts tracked by FactSet expect T-Mobile to report US$219 million in net income for the second quarter. https://on.mktw.net/3BccWfh
Apple sued over antitrust violations for Apple Pay.
Apple Inc. was sued on Monday in a class-action lawsuit alleging it denies access to Apple Pay mobile wallet technology that could be used to develop competing mobile wallet apps on iOS devices. According to the complaint, Apple “coerces” consumers who use its smartphones, smart watches and tablets into using its own wallet for contactless payments, unlike makers of Android-based devices that let consumers choose wallets such as Google Pay and Samsung Pay. The plaintiff, Iowa’s Affinity Credit Union, claims Apple’s conduct forces the more than 4,000 banks and credit unions that use Apple Pay to pay at least US$1 billion of excess fees annually for the privilege. https://bit.ly/3RPNnXr
YouTube gets a bigger shopping cart: pacts with Shopify, expands live ecommerce tools to all creators.
YouTube already soaks up billions of hours of the world’s attention. Now the video giant also wants to hoover up a bigger piece of consumers’ online purchases. Looking to grease the ecommerce wheels, the platform is introducing new tools within YouTube Studio’s Shopping tab so that creators can more easily manage how their products are tagged and appear across their channel. In addition, all creators eligible for YouTube’s merchandise program can now access live shopping features, like the ability to tag products to a livestream directly from the Live Control Room panel. https://bit.ly/3zqFyjX
Instagram’s new payments feature lets users buy products via DMs.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company is launching a new “payments in chat” feature on Instagram. With this new feature, users can purchase products from small businesses and track orders via direct messages on Instagram in the United States. Meta notes that small businesses in the United States who currently don’t use Shops will now be able to discuss products, create orders with customer details and accept payments — without having to switch to another app. When a business is ready to set up a digital storefront, they can use Shops on Instagram and Facebook. The company says one billion people message a business across its family of apps each week, whether it’s chatting with brands, browsing products or asking for support. https://tcrn.ch/3B8T3pH
ByteDance’s Chinese video app tests food delivery feature.
ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, is testing a food delivery feature in China that allows some restaurants to deliver meals to the users of ByteDance’s Chinese video app Douyin. The launch of the new feature, reported earlier by Chinese news outlets, is currently only available to a small number of users in limited locations, because the number of restaurants participating in the program is still very small. Restaurants using the feature can receive food delivery orders from Douyin users through live-streaming broadcasts. But at this point, it is unclear whether food delivery will ever become a permanent feature for Douyin. If it does, ByteDance could end up competing with the two major players of China’s food delivery sector, Meituan and Alibaba unit Ele.me. While Meituan and Ele.me hire their own delivery workers, ByteDance isn’t hiring its own delivery workforce. Instead, restaurants can use Douyin’s food delivery feature by working with third-party delivery service providers. https://bit.ly/3OtVkyA
Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
Robinhood’s fractional trading drove a phantom surge in volume of Berkshire Hathaway’s hugely expensive Class A stock, according to study.
Warren Buffett was reportedly bewildered by a massive surge in trading volume in his Berkshire Hathaway Class A stock over the past year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The stock, which has never been split and currently trades for more than US$429,000 per share, saw its average daily trading volume more than quadruple from less than 400 shares prior to February 2021 to about 2,000 shares today. https://bit.ly/3PLaFf9
Tesla sold 75 percent of its Bitcoin.
Tesla already reported vehicle shipment numbers for the second quarter, and now its full Q2 2022 financial report reveals it’s dealing with inflation and the overall economic downturn, combined with a plunge in prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In the letter to investors, Tesla execs reveal the company has sold 75 percent of its Bitcoin holdings, adding US$936 million in cash to its balance sheet. Last year, Tesla made a US$1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin and announced that it would accept Bitcoin as payment. Tesla started accepting Bitcoin in late March, then abruptly reversed itself in May, just 49 days later. In the latest report, Tesla says the value of its remaining “digital assets” is US$218 million, which it had reported at around US$1.2 billion in previous quarters. https://bit.ly/3IX8BPh
Senate votes 64-34 to advance chips bill.
The legislation would provide roughly US$52 billion in subsidies to encourage chip companies to boost production in the U.S., seen by the White House and leaders of both parties as a critical national-security need. Lawmakers worked until late Tuesday to negotiate other elements in the competitiveness package, dubbed USICA. Tuesday’s motion needed only 51 votes to pass, but Mr. Schumer said because it received more than 60 votes, enough to comfortably overcome a Senate filibuster and advance. https://on.wsj.com/3OEJh1L
Samsung eyes US$200 billion expansion of chip plants in Texas.
Samsung Electronics Co. is floating the idea of a broad expansion of semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Texas, a possibly signicant step in bolstering domestic capabilities at a time of rising concern over US vulnerabilities. The South Korean company, the leading maker of memory chips, laid out potential plans to spend almost US$200 billion on 11 plants in a series of lings in the state. Two of the units would be in Austin and nine would be in Taylor, Texas, where Samsung has already unveiled plans to spend US$17 billion on an advanced facility. https://bloom.bg/3IZOm3b
Apple expanding its list of suppliers ahead of iPhone 14 launch this fall.
Apple has been getting ready to begin mass production of the iPhone 14 lineup in the coming weeks as the new devices are expected to be officially announced this fall. However, as the company faces supply issues, Apple is now expanding its list of suppliers for the upcoming iPhone 14 models. Apple will use SG Micro’s power management integrated circuitry (which manages the battery and level shifter) in this year’s iPhones. https://bit.ly/3omUMQt
TikTok owner ByteDance explores self-designed chips as China aims for semiconductor self-sufficiency.
ByteDance, the parent company behind TikTok, is exploring designing chips for its own use in specialized fields because it hasn’t been able to find suppliers that can meet its requirements.The chips will be customized to deal with workloads related to ByteDance’s multiple business areas including video platforms, information and entertainment apps, the spokesperson added. ByteDance’s semiconductor push plays into two major themes — an increasing focus from companies to create chips for specific purposes as well as Beijing’s desire to become stronger in this fundamental technology. https://cnb.cx/3J3RdbC
Toyota partners to build affordable commercial electric vans.
Toyota is partnering with Suzuki Motor Corporation, Daihatsu Motor Co. and Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies (CJPT) to build mini commercial electric vans next year, the Japanese automaker announced on Tuesday. Suzuki and Daihatsu will bring to the table their knowledge of manufacturing mini vehicles, while Toyota will come forth with its electrification technology to jointly develop the BEV system. CJPT will help plan and establish energy management systems. https://tcrn.ch/3PpvPzZ
Volvo moves closer to all-electric goal.
Volvo Car AB’s transformation into an electric-vehicle maker accelerated in the second quarter, reflecting a broader trend in the auto industry, which has seen sales of EVs and hybrids outperform conventional vehicles in many markets as gas prices rise around the world. The share of pure electric and hybrid vehicles rose sharply to 31% of Volvo’s total sales in the second quarter of the year, even as overall unit sales fell by more than a quarter as a result of production and supply-chain woes in the wake of pandemic lockdowns in China. The Swedish car maker majority owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group aims to become a pure electric car maker by 2030. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said Wednesday that the share of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids rose to around 19% of total sales in the second quarter in the European Union, as the share of diesel and gasoline powered vehicles fell to 56% from 62% a year ago. Sales of battery electric vehicles in the EU totaled 457,608 vehicles in the first half of the year, up 28% from the year before, compared with a 22% drop in sales of gasoline powered vehicles and a 31% drop in diesel vehicles. Overall, sales of new passenger cars in the EU fell 14% to 4.6 million vehicles in the first half of the year, the association said. https://on.wsj.com/3cBxVxP
The USPS proposes a new mail delivery fleet that’s 40 percent electric.
The United States Postal Service, or USPS, has another new proposal that raises the percentage of electric vehicles it plans on purchasing to modernize its fleet (via Electrek). In a press release on Wednesday, the service said that “at least 50 percent” of its initial order for 50,000 next-generation mail trucks will be battery electric vehicles. That’s quite a change from what USPS leadership announced in February when they said that only 10 percent of the service’s new fleet would be electric. https://bit.ly/3IUN89z
Panasonic’s US$4 billion EV battery plant will land in Kansas.
Panasonic has picked De Soto, Kansas, to build a new EV battery plant, which projects to bring up to US$4 billion in investments for the state, the Kansas governor’s office said in a press release. The press release predicts the plant will create up to 4,000 jobs, plus estimates of 4,000 additional jobs with suppliers and community businesses. In April, Kansas and Oklahoma were both among the locations reportedly in the running for potential locations for Panasonic’s new battery plant. Oklahoma’s governor notably pushed lawmakers to approve a US$700 million rebate package without naming which company it might benefit. https://bit.ly/3ctN0BG
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