CGI (GIB’A-TSX, GIB-NYSE) announced its intent to repurchase 3.97 million of its shares held by CDPQ for $100/sh, from our sell side analyst days, CGI has previously purchased back stock from BCE, and has typically bought back stock on the open market as well. Shopify (SHOP-NYSE, SHOP-TSX) platforms acquirer WeCommerce (WE-TSXV) is purchasing KnoCommerce for $2.6 million. Disco closed a $15 million Series A round from investors behind MasterClass, Coursera to scale its live learning platform. Alibaba-backed beauty tech firm Perfect Corporation will merge with US blank-cheque company in a deal worth US$1 billion. Shares of ride-hailing and food delivery app Grab, one of Southeast Asia’s largest internet companies, plunged 37% Thursday in New York after the firm reported worse-than-expected quarterly results. Sea Ltd., once the hottest stock in the world, has lost more than US$130 billion in market value from its peak last year after a disappointing earnings report that added to its woes. Disney confirms plans to launch ad-supported tier of Disney+. The federal judge presiding over the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit to force Facebook to sell of Instagram and WhatsApp likely won’t rule until 2025, some four years after the case was filed, six years after the investigation first kicked off, and 15 years after Facebook bought the popular photo sharing app. Shopify rival BigCommerce said its revenue growth will slow dramatically this year, in another sign that the pandemic-driven boost for e-commerce players is fading. Ford increased its electrification spend to US$50 billion in attempt to catch up to Tesla, and will split its EV and combustion units in major restructuring. Sony and Honda reveal plans to jointly make and sell electric vehicles. Panasonic aims to start mass production of a higher-capacity battery for Tesla by March 2024. Volvo is testing wireless EV charging tech in Sweden.
Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News
CGI (GIB’A-TSX, GIB-NYSE) announces intent to repurchase 3.97 million of its shares held by CDPQ.
CGI announced that it intends to enter into a private agreement with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) for the purchase for cancellation of 3,968,159 of its Class A subordinate voting shares (“Class A Shares”) held by CDPQ for a price of $100.80 per Class A Share, which represents a discount to the closing price on February 28, 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 23.5 million Class A Shares, representing approximately 9.8% of CGI’s total outstanding shares. https://bit.ly/3HOLtQQ
Shopify (SHOP-NYSE, SHOP-TSX) platforms acquirer WeCommerce (WE-TSXV) to purchase KnoCommerce for $2.6 million.
Victoria-based holding company WeCommerce is set to acquire KnoCommerce for $2.6 million in cash and an earn-out based on revenue growth for the 18-month period after the deal closes. Created in 2019, WeCommerce is an acquirer of Shopify partner ecosystem companies. It focuses mainly on SaaS, digital goods, and businesses that build apps and themes. https://bit.ly/3tolJ8o
Sanctuary AI secures $75.5 million in mission to create the world’s first human-like intelligence robots.
Vancouver-based Sanctuary AI has raised $75.5 million in what it described as an oversubscribed Series A round. The backing comes from a notable list of institutional and corporate investors, including Bell, Evok Innovations, Export Development Canada, automotive leader Magna, SE Health, Verizon Ventures, and Workday Ventures. https://bit.ly/3vFYARN
Summit Nanotech secures $17.8 million to commercialize sustainable Lithium extraction technology.
Summit Nanotech Corporation recently announced a $17.8 million all-equity Series A round it closed in December. The investment was co-led by Xora Innovation and Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund with participation from BHP Ventures. https://bit.ly/3MzjYOK
OpsLevel raises $15 million Series A funding for developer portal.
Toronto-based OpsLevel has secured $15 million USD in its all-equity Series A investment round led by Threshold Ventures, with participation from Vertex Ventures, S28 Capital, and Webb Investment Network. https://bit.ly/3hH0rxo
Disco closes $15 million Series A round from investors behind MasterClass, Coursera to scale its live learning platform.
What Substack is to newsletters, Disco may become to live learning. The startup has closed a $19 million Series A funding round from the investors behind MasterClass and Coursera to enable its creators to potentially earn a living from their live learning communities. Noted EdTech investor GSV Ventures led the round with participation from Inovia Capital, Golden Ventures, and angels from Degreed, Shopify, Solana, Wattpad, Wealthsimple, Clearco and Indiegogo. Funds from the round will be used for product development, scaling go-to-market, and hiring. The round of fresh funding closed at the end of February. https://bit.ly/34iLzCw
Flashfood secures US$12.3 million Series A to expand discounted food marketplace in the US.
Toronto-based Flashfood has secured a US$12.3 million Series A round led by S2G Ventures. The round includes follow-on investment from ArcTern Ventures and existing investors including General Catalyst, Food Retail Ventures, serial entrepreneur Rob Gierkink and RHI Group co-founder and executive chairman Alex Moorhead. S2G Ventures managing director and founder of OpenTable Chuck Templeton will join the Flashfood board of directors. Founded in 2016, Flashfood provides a mobile platform that connects people with grocery items approaching their best-by date, offering a discount of up to 50 percent off those items. The company claims it has saved shoppers more than $100 million on groceries. https://bit.ly/3vEHYd3
Curv Health closes $5.1 million to connect employers, insurers with healthcare providers.
Curv Health’s initial focus was on measuring human motion using computer vision and machine learning. The Toronto and Halifax-based digital health startup’s early efforts went towards developing a proprietary tool that used these technologies to derive insights designed to inform preventative and rehabilitative care, which it built and then began licensing. In an interview with BetaKit, Curv co-founder and CEO, Shea Balish, said the startup quickly realized that there was a much larger opportunity to apply the remote monitoring tech it had developed to its own full-stack digital clinic. https://bit.ly/3vECvms
Walo secures $1.1 million to teach kids financial literacy.
Québec-based FinTech startup Walo has secured a $1.1 million investment from the Government of Québec, Desjardins, Granicus Group, WatchMojo, and several undisclosed angel investors. The provincial government’s investment was made through Impulsion PME, a $50 million budget managed by Investissement Québec. Founded in 2018, Walo provides a gamified mobile app that allows parents to automate allowances to give to their children. Using algorithms, Walo aims to help teach its young users financial literacy through games. https://bit.ly/3Ka2Ywq
Canada commits $240 million to bolster domestic semiconductor ecosystem.
The Government of Canada has announced plans to invest a total of $240 million to strengthen the country’s semiconductor and photonics design and production capabilities. This funding includes $150 million towards the newly created Semiconductor Challenge Callout (SCC) fund, provided through the Strategic Innovation Fund, for targeted investments in semiconductor development and manufacturing. It also includes a $90 million investment towards the Ottawa-based Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC). https://bit.ly/36Qxwor
Ontario helps agricultural innovation grow with up to $22 million investment.
The province is investing up to $22 million through its Agri-Tech Innovation Program. The government said that the investment will help Ontario’s agri-food sector find new ways to create future growth for businesses, while strengthening the food supply chain. The funding is in addition to a $2.4 million investment by the governments of Canada and Ontario through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) to support future innovations in more than 20 projects. It is expected Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative recipients will use those funds to turn innovative ideas into marketable products and technologies. The list of recipients includes the University of Waterloo and Toronto startup Vivid Machines, which is working with apple orchards to develop spectral sensor and computer vision tech to digitize specialty crop production. https://bit.ly/3vKNIC6
The Group Ventures secures $20 million for Fund II to invest in Canadian, Israeli tech startups.
Toronto-based The Group Ventures (TGV) has secured a first close of approximately $20 million CAD for its second fund. TGV declined to disclose its Fund II investors, saying only that it was supported by a group of private investors that includes family offices; senior-level executives from the banking, insurance, and health industries; and operators from the tech, real estate, manufacturing, and logistics sectors. https://bit.ly/3vFcZO5
Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A
Alibaba-backed beauty tech firm Perfect Corporation to merge with US blank-cheque company in deal worth US$1 billion.
Perfect is known for “YouCam”, its selfie editor app, which allows users to try on make-up and hair dye virtually. The app helps cosmetic brands widen their reach to customers. The company, founded in 2015, said the app, which also helps users detect wrinkles in advance, has been downloaded more than 1 billion times. https://bit.ly/3pCViuE
AppLovin to acquire connected-TV platform Wurl for US$430 million.
Mobile marketing software company AppLovin is jumping into the connected-TV streaming video space with a deal to acquire Wurl for US$430 million. With the acquisition, Wurl is expected to retain its brand and operate independently with its existing management team, led by Wurl co-founder and CEO Sean Doherty Sr. The deal, announced Monday, is expected to close in the first half of 2022 subject to customary closing conditions. Of the US$430 million price tag, 55% will be paid in cash and 45% will be funded through AppLovin stock. https://bit.ly/3vDdurX
Netflix buys Finnish mobile game studio for US$72 million.
Netflix will acquire Finland-based Next Games in a US$72 million cash deal as the entertainment giant continues to make moves into gaming in order to jumpstart subscriber growth. In an announcement on Wednesday, Netflix said the company would acquire the studio which was behind the recent Stranger Things mobile games – one of the first games Netflix released at the end of last year. Next Games has also produced games based on AMC Networks’ Walking Dead TV series. As The Information was first to report last year, Netflix’s gaming ambitions will see the company produce content beyond traditional film and TV. It faces stiff competition from larger tech companies, which have sought to buy developers and studios as the gaming industry consolidates. https://bit.ly/3ChCtSV
Epic Games is acquiring music platform Bandcamp.
Epic Games is acquiring independent music storefront Bandcamp. The companies announced the news today, saying that Bandcamp would “keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community” but use Epic’s resources to expand internationally and continue adding new features. https://bit.ly/3vBinSt
Shares of Southeast Asian tech giant Grab drop 37% on weak earnings.
Shares of ride-hailing and food delivery app Grab, one of Southeast Asia’s largest internet companies, plunged 37% Thursday in New York after the firm reported worse-than-expected quarterly results. Singapore-based Grab, which went public on Nasdaq in December through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, said its revenue for the fourth quarter declined 44% to US$122 million. Its loss widened to US$1.1 billion in the quarter, as it boosted its spending on incentives for drivers to stay ahead of competition. Southeast Asia’s biggest internet companies have been hit hard by the bleak investor sentiment towards tech stocks. Shares of Singapore-based Sea, another internet giant in the region that focuses on e-commerce and videogames, have fallen nearly 70% over the past six months. https://bit.ly/35MzDt0
Sea’s market decline hits US$132 billion as stock tumbles again.
Sea Ltd., once the hottest stock in the world, has lost more than US$130 billion in market value from its peak last year after a disappointing earnings report that added to its woes. The Singapore-based company gave a muted forecast for its digital entertainment unit and its shares fell 13% in U.S. trading. That cut US$11 billion from its market valuation, pushing its total decline to US$132 billion from its high in October. Investors balked as the mobile gaming company forecast US$2.9 billion to US$3.1 billion in bookings at its digital gaming arm, set to be its first decline ever. That compares with last year’s bookings of US$4.6 billion. https://bloom.bg/3HHw30B
Baidu reports weak ad revenue amid China’s economic slowdown.
Chinese search provider Baidu said its advertising revenue grew only 1% in the fourth quarter, in the latest indication of how China’s economic slowdown is hurting online platforms. Baidu’s total revenue for the quarter grew 9% and managed to beat analysts’ expectations, thanks to solid growth in other businesses such as cloud computing services. But the weakness of its ad business, which accounts for nearly 60% of its revenue, highlights the challenges facing China’s internet sector. Baidu and other Chinese internet giants are all grappling with macroeconomic headwinds, while Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on the sector continues to create more uncertainties. Last week, e-commerce giant Alibaba reported slowest-ever revenue growth for the quarter through December. https://bit.ly/3HHVA9J
Global iPhone production hit record growth in holiday quarter, with China key.
Global iPhone production reportedly set a new all-time record in the holiday quarter, Apple managing to balance huge demand for the iPhone 13 line-up with a well-managed supply chain operation to minimize the impact of component shortages. Two additional factors were at play for Apple, according to market intelligence company TrendForce …TrendForce tells us that iPhone production is estimated to have reached over 85M units. https://bit.ly/3sGIUM7
Microsoft to suspend all sales, services in Russia.
Shares of Microsoft Corp. fell 2.1% in morning trading Friday, after the software giant said it will suspend all new sales of its products and services in Russia. The company said it was coordinating with the U.S. and U.K. governments and with the European Union to company its Russia businesses in compliance with sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. https://bit.ly/3ILDzsH
Fitbit recalls more than 1 million smartwatches after dozens of reports of burn injuries.
Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Ionic Smartwatch, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. The agency said there had been at least 115 reports of burn injuries related to the device. The recall impacts about one million of the smartwatches that have been sold in the US and 693,000 internationally. Fitbit recalled nearly 1.7 million of its smartwatches, following over 100 reports of burn injuries, the US Consumer Product Safety https://bit.ly/3pErNbT
Qualcomm and TikTok owner ByteDance announce VR partnership.
Qualcomm announced a new partnership with China’s ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, to make chips for VR devices and other products. The move is the latest indication of how Chinese tech giants, just like their Silicon Valley counterparts, view the market for AR and VR as one of their key long-term opportunities. ByteDance last year acquired Chinese VR headset maker Pico Interactive. While Meta Platforms is by far the biggest VR headset vendor in the world, Pico was the third-largest vendor last year as its shipments grew 45%, according to IDC. In a video message during the Mobile World Congress trade show, ByteDance CEO Liang Rubo said that his company and Qualcomm “will be working together on hardware, software and technology roadmaps.” https://bit.ly/3Km3tnk
Apple to hold March 8 event, expected to bring new iPhone SE model.
Apple Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to hold an online event at 1 p.m. Eastern on March 8. Though the company didn’t provide details about what will be discussed at the event, which holds the “Peek Performance” tagline, some expect Apple to announce a new iPhone SE model as well as a new iPad Air with a quicker processor. https://bit.ly/3IOQSbJ
Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting
Disney confirms plans to launch ad-supported tier of Disney+.
Disney announced on Friday it will launch an ad-supported subscription tier for its Disney+ streaming service, confirming The Information’s report about the plans. The company will introduce the new tier in the U.S. this year and expand it internationally in 2023. Disney didn’t disclose pricing. But most of the other ad-supported services that have launched over the past couple of years are around $5 per month, so that would be a good bet. Disney+ currently costs $8 per month, and a cheaper version could help it attract more subscribers. Disney is hoping the launch will help it hit its goals of reaching at least 230 million subscribers globally and making Disney+ profitable by 2024. It’s interesting to see how much the streaming world has shifted over the past few years. When Paramount Global bought ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV in 2019 for US$340 million, people thought its CEO Bob Bakish was crazy. Now, with the exception of Netflix and Apple, all the major players in streaming have ads. https://bit.ly/35TpOJW
TikTok expands maximum video length to 10 minutes.
Is TikTok still a short-form video platform? It seems less and less so, after the company announced that it’s expanding the maximum length for uploads to 10 minutes. TikTok has been testing ever-longer uploads for years, recently introducing three-minute videos last July, but this latest update is the largest increase yet, and will now roll out globally. “We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” said a company spokesperson in a statement given to The Verge. “Last year, we introduced longer videos, giving our community more time to create and be entertained on TikTok. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out the ability to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes, which we hope would unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world.” https://bit.ly/3vWEm6D
Amazon Luna launches for anyone in the US, adds free games for Prime members and Twitch integration.
Amazon Luna — the company’s cloud-based game streaming service — is officially launching in the US today for anyone to use, in addition to adding a variety of new features, including free games for Amazon Prime members. Luna was announced in fall 2020, but since then, it has only been available to a limited number of customers through an invite-only “early access” program. Today’s launch, however, finally opens up the service for anyone to use in the United States, which could significantly expand the number of Luna customers. Alongside the broader launch, Amazon also announced three additional “channels” (Luna’s term for bundles of games that customers can subscribe to on a monthly basis, similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass) that customers will be able to enjoy. https://bit.ly/3MqrJ9m
Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory
Russia blocks Facebook, accusing it of restricting access to Russian media.
Russia is blocking Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, the country’s communications regulator said on Friday, in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media on the platform. The regulator, Roskomnadzor, said there had been 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020, including restrictions in recent days on state-backed channels like RT and the RIA news agency. The move is a major escalation in an ongoing confrontation between big tech companies and Russia, which has in recent years issued a slew of fines and hobbled services through slowdowns. The tensions have ramped up amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation.” https://reut.rs/3sGVCKX
Decision on Facebook breakup likely won’t come until 2025.
The federal judge presiding over the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit to force Facebook (now Meta Platforms) to sell of Instagram and WhatsApp likely won’t rule until 2025, some four years after the case was filed, six years after the investigation first kicked off, and 15 years after Facebook bought the popular photo sharing app. US District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C. declined to set a trial date, over the objections of the FTC, which wanted a trial to start in December 2023. Facebook argued it would be premature to set a trial date, since Boasberg could still throw out the case. Discovery and other pretrial wrangling will stretch on into the Spring of 2024 according to a schedule issued Thursday by Boasberg. And if the case does go to trial, it will only determine if Facebook broke the law by buying Instagram and WhatsApp. If Boasberg thinks it did, he will hold a second trial, likely in late 2024, about what to do, including whether to break up the company. The Facebook case is not the only one to face long delays in the courts. The Justice Department sued Google in October 2020 over its agreement with Apple to be the exclusive search engine on the iPhone, and that case is not going to trial until October 2023. The long, tedious process shows just how difficult it is for regulators to police the fast moving tech sector, and highlights the importance of the myriad bill proposals currently being debated by lawmakers including one that will limit tech dealmaking in the first place. https://bit.ly/34gnf4b
State AGs launch investigation into TikTok’s impact on young users.
A bipartisan group of state attorneys general on Wednesday launched an investigation into whether TikTok is designing and operating its short-form video app in a way that harms the physical and mental health of children and teens. The eight states, including Massachusetts, California and Florida, are probing whether TikTok violated state consumer protection laws and posed public safety risks. “As children and teens already grapple with issues of anxiety, social pressure, and depression, we cannot allow social media to further harm their physical health and mental wellbeing,” said Maura Healey, the attorney general of Massachusetts, who is co-leading the investigation. “State attorneys general have an imperative to protect young people and seek more information about how companies like TikTok are influencing their daily lives.” In November, a coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into how Instagram affects young people. Last year, a larger group of state attorneys general wrote an open letter calling for Instagram to shut down plans for a kids version of the app. Instagram later said it would pause work on the children’s app after leaked internal documents showed that the photo-sharing app made teen girls feel worse about how they look. https://bit.ly/35pKLwh
BigCommerce predicts sharp slowdown in revenue growth.
Shopify rival BigCommerce said its revenue growth will slow dramatically this year, in another sign that the pandemic-driven boost for e-commerce players is fading. The software firm, which powers websites for digital brands and retailers like Skullcandy and Yeti, said it expects its 2022 revenue to total between US$272 million and US$284 million, which would mean between 24% and 29% growth versus the prior year. By comparison, BigCommerce’s revenue rose 44% in 2021 and 36% in 2020. In the fourth quarter, revenue climbed 50% from the same period a year earlier. Similarly, Shopify predicted slower full-year revenue growth versus 2021 when it reported results earlier this month. BigCommerce drives revenue from the monthly subscription fees it charges merchants and revenue share from other software companies it partners with. The company has shifted its focus from competing with Shopify for smaller merchants to targeting brands and retailers with revenue that can reach hundreds of millions of dollars. The number of merchants who pay more than US$2,000 a year for BigCommerce’s services totaled 12,754 at the end of 2021, up 25% from a year earlier. BigCommerce’s net loss widened to $35 million in the fourth quarter versus a loss of US$14 million for the same period a year ago. Marketing spending increased 47% for the quarter versus the prior year. BigCommerce’s stock dropped around 14% in after-hours trading. Prior to the latest results, BigCommerce’s stock had dropped 58% from a high of US$62 in November amid a broader tech sell off that has also weighed on competitors like Shopify, Adobe and Salesforce. https://bit.ly/34eYjda
Walmart launches AI-powered virtual clothing try-on technology for online shoppers.
Last May, Walmart announced its acquisition of the virtual clothing try-on startup Zeekit, which leveraged a combination of real-time image processing, computer vision, deep learning and other AI technologies to show shoppers how they would look in an item by way of a simulation that takes into account body dimensions, fit, size and even the fabric of the garment itself. Today, Walmart says it’s bringing that technology to Walmart.com and its Walmart mobile app. https://tcrn.ch/3CdkcpZ
Amazon is shutting 68 retail stores, ending Amazon Books, 4-Star and pop up shops.
Amazon is shutting down all its Amazon Books physical bookstores, as well as its Amazon 4-star and Amazon Pop Up shops, which sold a variety of electronics and other hot items. The closures affect 68 stores across the U.S. and U.K., Amazon said. Closure dates will vary by location and Amazon said it would help affected employees find roles elsewhere in the company. Workers who opt not to stay will be offered severance packages, it said. https://cnb.cx/3IN0nYQ
Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
Russians are buying more crypto as sanctions set in, data shows.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, the pressure on Russia is mounting. Facing serious financial sanctions, the country’s economy is crashing and the value of its currency, the Russian ruble, is in free fall. Now, it appears Russian people are turning to cryptocurrency amid circumstances that have prompted citizens to line up at ATMs and get their money out of banks before it’s too late. The Russian ruble fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar on Monday, plummeting by 30 percent at one point before regaining a third of its losses as the Central Bank of Russia hiked the interest rates from 9.5 percent to 20 percent. High interest rates often lure local currency depositors in a bid to help stop further depreciation, or at least that’s the goal. https://bit.ly/3HUPLGp
SEC scrutinizes NFT market over illegal crypto token offerings.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing creators of NFTs and the crypto exchanges where they trade to determine if some of the assets run afoul of the agency’s rules, according to people familiar with the matter. https://bloom.bg/3CegITU
U.S. expects Chinese tech firms to help choke off Russia supply.
Washington is expected to lean on major Chinese companies from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. to Lenovo Group Ltd. to join U.S.-led sanctions against Russia, aiming to cripple the country’s ability to buy key technologies and components. China is Russia’s biggest supplier of electronics, accounting for a third of its semiconductor imports and more than half of its computers and smartphones. Beijing has opposed the increasingly severe measures that the U.S. has taken to restrict Russia’s trade and economy in response to its invasion of Ukraine, however U.S. officials expect tech suppliers such as SMIC to uphold the new rules and curtail trade of sensitive technology with American origin, especially as it relates to Russia’s defense sector. https://bloom.bg/3pDjPA1
Ford increases electrification spend to US$50 billion in attempt to catch up to Tesla.
Ford Motor Company is increasing its electric vehicle investment to US$50 billion through 2026, up from the previous US$30 billion by 2025. CEO Jim Farley announced the news on Wednesday after the automaker confirmed that it would run its EV unit separately from its combustion engine business, something Ford touched on during its 2021 fourth quarter earnings call in early February. https://tcrn.ch/3CcQvoM
Ford splits EV and combustion units in major restructuring.
Ford today announced a significant restructuring to better focus on the different challenges and opportunities with electric vehicles and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The two units will operate under Ford’s existing corporate umbrella, and at this time, the company is not spinning out any units as rumors previously suggested. The two units are called Ford Blue and Ford Model e. Ford Blue will oversee existing and future ICE vehicles like the Mustang, F-150, and Bronco. Ford Model E will focus on connectivity and electric vehicles. https://tcrn.ch/3ILxMmL
Sony and Honda reveal plans to jointly make and sell electric vehicles.
Sony’s current favorite big tease is playing at being a carmaker, and today it announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with real automaker Honda to discuss and develop that idea further. The two companies jointly announced that they would explore their intent to build a joint venture sometime this year, which would be focused on the development and sales of new electric vehicles, as well as developing and launching a new “mobility service platform” for use with the new vehicle. https://tcrn.ch/3Mo2pkw
Panasonic will start making Tesla’s higher-capacity EV batteries by March 2024.
Panasonic aims to start mass production of a higher-capacity battery for Tesla by March 2024. The company is building a production facility for the battery at its Wakayama Factory, where it will create two more production lines and make structural improvements. Development is continuing on the 4,680 lithium-ion battery. It’s expected to be around twice the size of current batteries and have a fivefold increase in energy capacity. While fewer of them would be required for each car (which will reduce costs and potentially lower EV prices), the batteries could boost the range of an EV by over 15 percent. https://tcrn.ch/3Kgjaw1
Volvo is testing wireless EV charging tech in Sweden.
Volvo will put a wireless EV charging system through its paces as part of a program to test alternative charging options. A small fleet of electric Volvo XC40 Recharge cars will be used as taxis in Gothenburg, Sweden in a three-year pilot. The cars are equipped with a wireless charging system from Momentum Dynamics. Charging pads will be embedded in the ground at two taxi ranks. Volvo will use 360-degree cameras to help drivers put the cars in the correct position and when they’re in the right spot, the taxis’ batteries will automatically topped up. https://tcrn.ch/3sIuHhW
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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.