Last week, Dow Jones fell 1%, S&P 500 was up 0.3%, and Nasdaq composite rose 2.5%. In a single session, Nvidia’s market cap swelled by US$184 billion, only Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have ever posted higher dollar gains in a single day, each by an extra US$7 billion at $191 billion. Analysts called Nvidia’s report “amazing,” “epic,” “stunning,” “unfathomable” and “jaw-dropping.” About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) are familiar with ChatGPT, though relatively few have tried it themselves, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. Shares of Snowflake dropped more than 12% in extended trading after the database provider reported its slowest annual sales growth since its 2020 IPO and cut its fiscal year sales forecast. Meta was fined a record US$1.3 billion over EU user data transfers to the U.S. Elon Musk finally got approval from the Food and Drug Administration to start implanting his company’s brain chips in humans, Neuralink announced Thursday. China’s top Internet regulator said Micron Technology’s products posed a national security risk and ordered companies involved in critical information infrastructure to stop buying them. The chief executive of Nvidia, warned that the US tech industry is at risk of “enormous damage” from the escalating battle over chips between Washington and Beijing. Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that in early 2024 more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers will be operational with Ford vehicles. In Canada, PopReach announced new US$115 million syndicated credit facility. Sophic Client UGE International reported one of its strongest growth quarters in its history, based on numerous metrics. Sophic Client Legend Power reported Q2 (Mar) F2023 financial results — Many new large opportunities continued to advance in our sales funnel, and we continue to believe we will hit our target bookings this year,” said Randy Buchamer, Legend CEO. A handful of deals could bring over $10 million in new potential bookings.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

PopReach (POPR-TSXV) announces new US$115 million syndicated credit facility.

The Company announced a new US$115 million syndicated credit facility (the “Credit Facility”) with Bank of Montreal (“BMO” or “Agent”) as the sole arranger, sole bookrunner and administrative agent, and including National Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank as syndicate lenders (collectively the “Syndicate”). The Credit Facility replaces and represents an increase from the Company’s current senior secured credit facility with BMO, totaling US$43 million (“Original BMO Facility”). The Credit Facility consists of a US$10 million revolving facility (“Revolver”), a US$45 million non-revolving term facility (“Term Loan”), and US$60 million in Delayed Draw Term Loans (“DDTL”). The Revolver will be used for general working capital and general corporate requirements, the Term Loan is being used to replace the Original BMO Facility and to refinance other existing indebtedness of the Company, and the DDTL will be used to finance previous and future acquisitions. On closing of the Credit Facility (“Closing”), US$6.5 million of the DDTL was used to refinance a portion of the vendor take back note issued, and the bridge financing sourced, to complete the acquisition of Schiefer Media, Inc. (“SCS”) on April 18, 2023 (the “SCS Refinancing”). In addition, US$5 million of the DDTL was used to refinance the bridge financing sourced to complete the acquisition of OpenMoves, LLC (“OpenMoves”) on April 26, 2023. https://rb.gy/jbz1f

Sophic Client UGE International (UGE-TSXV, UGEIF-OTC) reports Q1 2023 financial results.

In Q1 2023, UGE continued to grow its business of developing, building, financing, and operating commercial and community solar facilities. The Company experienced one of its strongest growth quarters in its history, highlighted by declaring NTP (notice to proceed) on 10 MW of projects and COD (commercial operation) on a 1.4 MW project in Texas. Ended Q1 2023 with 3.8 MW of operating assets that contributed US$107.3 K of energy generation revenue with an 87% gross margin, representing an increase of 143% in recurring revenue over the prior year. UGE is in the early stages of scaling its operational portfolio, which will see recurring revenue become the Company’s dominant source of revenue over time. Cash used in operations was US$0.4 MM and the cash balance at March 31, 2023 was US$4.2 MM. UGE reached commercial operation on one project with 1,432 KW in rated capacity, bringing its total to 3,758 KW at March 31, 2023. Installed capacity is now four times the installed capacity as at the same time in 2022. Grew project backlog to 313 MW compared with 135 MW on March 31, 2022. https://bit.ly/45vGVf8

Sophic Client Legend Power Systems Inc. (LPS-TSXV, LPSIF-OTC) reports Q2 (Mar) F2023 financial results.

Revenue of $74 thousand versus $344 thousand in Q2 F2022. Adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.04 million versus a $1.32 million loss in Q1 F2022. Cash of $1.5 million, no debt, and $3.15 million in working capital at March 31, 2023. “Many new large opportunities continued to advance in our sales funnel, and we continue to believe we will hit our target bookings this year,” said Randy Buchamer, Legend CEO. “These include deals with ESCOs, commercial real estate companies, government agencies and electrical distribution companies. Legend currently has new late stage large deals with very strong financial viability. The new late-stage deals are in commercial office, multifamily residential and with ESCOs. The strength in viability is driven mainly by customers articulating power quality concerns and higher visible costs. These handful of deals could bring over $10 million in new potential bookings. Legend is engaged in active sales processes with several of the top firms in the Commercial Real Estate space, with over 110 buildings in active sales cycles for 300 plus potential SmartGATE’s. https://bit.ly/3OYuwuv

To listen to a replay of the Q2 call, please visit the investor page of the company website and scroll down to ‘Shareholder Calls’ https://legendpower.com/investors/

Watch the video of Sophic Client Kraken Robotics (PNG-TSXV, KRKNF-OTC) CEO Greg Reid presenting at IDG’s European Family Office TSX | TSXV Company Showcase.

Kraken Robotics was recently invited to participate in the European Family Office Event TSX | TSXV Company Showcase in London, England. 20-minute high-level update on Kraken’s marine technology solutions for the defense and energy transition markets. CEO Greg Reid spoke at the Global Partnerships International Investment Afternoon about how Kraken’s products and services are enabling clients to overcome the maritime security and energy transition challenges associated with our oceans. https://bit.ly/3IHeCjU

Watch the video of Sophic Client UGE International (UGE-TSXV, UGEIF-OTC) CEO Nick Blitterswyk presenting at the Planet MicroCap Showcase: VEGAS 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC_qY8EaxbY

As Nasdaq delisting looms, asset management firm mCloud (MCLD-TSXV, MCLD-NASDAQ) looks to go private.

Calgary-based mCloud, a publicly traded company that offers cloud services for asset management, is in talks to go private as its stock price has plunged over the last year. With tightening equity markets, low-volume trading, and other macroeconomic factors, boards like mCloud’s have increasingly explored the option of going private to navigate the downturn. mCloud formed a special committee out of its board of directors in March to “maximize shareholder value,” in an effort to revive its share prices. mCloud has until Sept. 19 to regain compliance with Nasdaq. https://bit.ly/3BYldTy

AbCellera receives $300 million in combined government funding for biotech campus.

Vancouver-based biotechnology firm AbCellera has received significant provincial and federal backing in support of plans for its new $701-million biotech campus. Jointly announced by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and British Columbia (BC) Premier David Eby, AbCellera will receive $300 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund. The Government of Canada will commit the lion’s share of the funds, with the province of BC contributing $75 million. The feds have made over $2.1 billion in funding commitments to Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sectors since March 2020, including a prior $175.6 million contribution to AbCellera in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. https://bit.ly/3MxAPlP

BenchSci closes $95-million Series D to expand AI drug-discovery platform.

Toronto-based BenchSci, which helps pharmaceutical firms accelerate research and development (R&D) using artificial intelligence (AI), has announced $95 million in Series D funding. BenchSci plans to use this capital to expand its AI-powered drug-discovery platform. Using proprietary text and image-based machine learning machine (ML) models, BenchSci claims its software enables scientists to accelerate the pace and increase the success of research during the pre-clinical drug-development process. BenchSci has amassed a customer base that includes 16 of the world’s top 20 pharma firms. https://bit.ly/42aef8r

Novisto closes $27 million Series B to help companies improve their ESG reporting.

Montréal-based Novisto, which sells environmental, social, and governance data-management software, has closed $27 million in Series B funding to scale its platform. The round was led by Montréal’s Inovia Capital, with support from fellow new investors Toronto-based Portage and Scor Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of French reinsurance firm Scor. Novisto’s Series B financing also saw follow-on participation from White Star Capital and Montréal-based venture builder Diagram Ventures. Novisto’s Series B round, which appears to bring Novisto’s total funding to more than $38 million, comes about two years after the startup secured $9.6 million in Series A financing led by White Star Capital with participation from Diagram Ventures, which helped launch Novisto. https://bit.ly/3BYdd4J

Spellbook, formerly Rally, raises $10.9 million to automate legal contracts using generative AI.

The Toronto legaltech startup Rally has raised $10.9 million as it joins the wave of tech startups incorporating generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology into their products. Rally initially launched an AI-powered tool in 2022 named Spellbook, which uses OpenAI’s GPT-4 technology to help legal practitioners draft and review contracts. The technology will help make that process up to four times faster, the company claims. Spellbook claims over 600 legal teams are actively using its platformThe round was led by Moxxie Ventures, with participation from Thomson Reuters Ventures, Inovia Capital, The LegalTech Fund, Bling Capital, N49P, Concrete Ventures, Good News Ventures, as well as Venture Newfoundland & Labrador, among others. https://bit.ly/45qpcpg

Wingmate secures $1 million to market and sell its lead-generation app for frontline staff.

A Toronto-based lead-generation and customer relationship management (CRM) startup may be the literal embodiment of the idea that one person’s garbage is another’s gold. Wingmate, which closed a $1-million round of debt and equity on May 8, began its life as a company called Gopher Leads, which was premised on the idea of having garbage truck drivers send back sales leads to front-office staff. That startup didn’t fare so well, burning through its investor capital in two years. But in 2018, Matt Leuschner, who was working for that business in marketing, was asked to step in as CEO by the firm’s founder. The original business idea was to have sanitation workers look for sales leads while out in the field. In short order, as Leuschner tells it, he rebranded the firm to Wingmate and broadened out the business model. Originally, the plan was to have sanitation workers specifically look for sales leads while out in the field, but Leuschner said he expanded the idea out to other kinds of frontline workers. https://bit.ly/3WAnjCi

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

Nvidia shares jump 25% as generative AI adoption surges.

Shares of Nvidia rose nearly 27% after the chip maker revealed a startlingly rosy revenue forecast for its current quarter that CEO Jensen Huang, on an earnings call, chalked up to growing adoption of large language models by companies big and small. Nvidia said it expects revenue of US$11 billion for its July quarter, plus or minus 2%. The US$11 billion figure would represent 64% growth from last year’s July quarter and would exceed Nvidia’s previous record quarter by more than US$2.5 billion. Nvidia also expects gross margin to increase 4 percentage points to 68.6% in its July quarter compared with its April quarter. For its April quarter, Nvidia’s sales dropped 13% to US$7.2 billion compared with the previous year. But it is now clearer than ever that Nvidia, long known for gaming chips, is a data center company. Its revenue from chips that run in servers in data centers grew 14% to US$4.3 billion in its April quarter, while gaming chip sales dropped 38% to US$2.2 billion. https://tinyurl.com/2s4fvjh4

OpenAI closes US$175 million startup fund.

OpenAI has closed a US$175.3 million fund to invest in other startups, according to a securities filing. That’s 75% higher than the startup said it had raised for the fund, which it launched in May 2021 with backing from Microsoft and other investors. The fund, managed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and COO Brad Lightcap, raised the money from 14 investors, according to the filing. Over the last year, the San Francisco startup has raised billions of dollars from Microsoft to power its machine-learning models and fetched a US$27 billion valuation from secondary market investors. At the same time, it’s invested in more than a dozen startups, often dangling special incentives to the young companies who use its large-language models. Representatives from the firm have told prospective investors that they plan to raise a second fund, according to two people with direct knowledge of the talks. Last year the OpenAI Startup Fund led a US$50 million Series C round for audio-editing app Descript and a US$23 million round for note-taking app Mem. https://rb.gy/2ompy

Anthropic raises US$450 million to fuel AI work.

Anthropic, an AI startup that develops general-purpose large-language models, has raised US$450 million in Series C funding led by Spark Capital. It has now raised US$1.45 billion since its founding two years ago, a sign of investor enthusiasm and the high costs associated with developing generative AI services. The funding round grew since March, when The Information reported that Anthropic was looking to raise US$300 million at a US$4.1 billion valuation. Google, Salesforce Ventures, Sound Ventures and Zoom Ventures also participated in the round. Anthropic didn’t disclose a valuation after the new round. Anthropic has recently signaled its plans to distinguish itself from other AI startups. It says it has trained its ChatGPT-like chatbot, Claude, to deliver results that are more accurate and less harmful than other services. And Anthropic recently said it can handle text inputs of up to 100,000 tokens, or about three times what OpenAI’s GPT-4 language model can process. https://rb.gy/9byqi

Snowflake shares drop 12% as revenue growth slows.

Shares of Snowflake dropped more than 12% in extended trading after the database provider reported its slowest annual sales growth since its 2020 IPO and cut its fiscal year sales forecast by a little over US$100 million. Revenue increased 48% to US$623.6 million in the three months to April 30 compared with last year’s quarter, down from 53% year-over-year growth in the quarter that ended in January. Snowflake also announced its acquisition of Neeva, a search startup founded by former Google executives. The Information reported last week that Snowflake intended to buy Neeva to buttress its artificial intelligence-related services. Like most other software providers, Snowflake is feeling the pain from slowing technology spending. But investors may be overreacting: The company’s net revenue retention rate, a measure of its ability to get customers to spend more over time, still ranks among the highest in the software industry. And Snowflake’s free cash flow grew 58% during the quarter to US$287 million. https://tinyurl.com/y92zsmch

Meta fined a record US$1.3 billion over EU user data transfers to the U.S.

Meta has been fined a record 1.2 billion euros (US$1.3 billion) by European privacy regulators over the transfer of EU user data to the U.S. The Irish Data Protection Commission also told Meta to suspend “any future transfer of personal data” to the U.S. Meta said it would appeal the decision and the fine. The 1.2 billion euro punishment for Meta is the highest any company has ever been fined for breaching GDPR. The previous largest fine was a 746 million euro charge for e-commerce giant Amazon for violating GDPR in 2021. https://tinyurl.com/3nzvfj5j

Shutterstock agrees to acquire Giphy from Meta.

Shutterstock has agreed to buy GIF library Giphy from Meta Platforms for US$53 million in net cash, the image provider said Tuesday, putting an end to a yearslong back and forth with U.K. regulators. Meta bought Giphy in May 2020 for US$400 million, including US$85 million in deferred stock. But the deal fell under scrutiny by the U.K.‘s Competition and Markets Authority. It ordered Meta to hold Giphy separate while it reviewed the deal and eventually ordered Meta to sell the business. Selling it proved tricky as Meta shut down Giphy’s ad business shortly after it bought the library, The Information reported Monday. In a submission to the CMA last year, Giphy itself said GIFs have lost their luster with young people. https://rb.gy/kyzrg

Stratasys to combine with Desktop Metal in US$1.8 billion deal.

Stratasys Ltd. agreed to acquire Desktop Metal Inc. in an all-stock deal that will create a leading 3D printer company valued at about US$1.8 billion. Desktop Metal shareholders will receive 0.123 Stratasys shares for every class A share they already own, according to a statement Thursday that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. That’s worth about US$1.88 per share based on Tuesday’s prices, or about a 2% premium to Desktop Metal’s close that day. https://bit.ly/3IIfs03

NCR, ahead of break-up, mulls sale of digital banking unit.

NCR Corp, the ATM and financial software vendor preparing to break into two companies, is considering a sale of its digital banking business that could be worth more than US$2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has held talks with its financial advisers about the possibility of launching a sale process for the digital banking unit, the sources said. Digital banking provides operational software to more than 600 banks and credit unions and sits within NCR’s digital commerce division. NCR said last September it planned to separate into two publicly listed companies by the end of 2023: one holding its ATM unit and the other housing its digital commerce operations, which provide payments solutions to companies and small businesses. NCR executives have said that they remained open to selling parts of the business prior to the split, if it offered better value to shareholders. The sources, who requested anonymity because the deliberations are confidential, cautioned that no decision has been made and NCR may choose to retain the digital banking unit for its digital commerce division. https://rb.gy/97zse

Activist investor calls on Yelp to explore sale.

Activist investor TCS Capital Management has built a stake in Yelp and is calling on the service-recommendation site to explore strategic alternatives including a sale, according to people familiar with the matter. TCS Capital owns more than 4% of the outstanding shares of Yelp’s common stock, making it one of the company’s five biggest shareholders, the people said. TCS Capital has been an investor in Yelp for most of the past five years, but the stake hasn’t been revealed publicly before. TCS Capital believes that Yelp could be sold to another technology or media company or private-equity buyer, for at least US$70 a share—or more than double the current stock price, according to a letter the fund’s founder and president. Shares of Yelp, which has a market capitalization of about US$2.2 billion, closed Monday at US$32.52, off about 17% from a 52-week high of US$39.26. The shares are down from a high of nearly US$100 in 2014. https://archive.is/8vVRp

Emerging Technologies

Facebook parent in talks with Magic Leap over augmented reality deal.

According to people familiar with early discussions, Meta is exploring ways in which Magic Leap could provide both intellectual property licensing and contract manufacturing in North America to help it build mainstream AR products. Magic Leap produces custom components, including high-tech lenses and associated software, which are key technologies that may be required to build a metaverse. However, people with knowledge of the talks said the partnership is not expected to yield a specific joint Meta-Magic Leap headset. Two former employees said Magic Leap’s “biggest asset” is the sophistication of its “waveguides” — technology that allows thin glass in front of the user’s eyes to conjure up realistic images at different depths. In 2020, Magic Leap explored a sale, including having some interactions with Facebook that did not lead anywhere. Another longtime investor, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, took a controlling stake of over 50 per cent of the company in 2021. Meta sells nearly 80 per cent of all VR/AR headsets, thanks to its VR Quest models. But the market itself is small — fewer than 9mn units sold last year, according to IDC — a tenuous lead given Apple’s expected entry into the market during its developer conference next month. https://archive.is/KkZVQ

Uber teams up with Waymo to add robotaxis to its app.

Waymo’s robotaxis will be available to hail for rides and food delivery on Uber’s app in Phoenix later this year, the result of a new partnership that the two former rivals announced today. A “set number” of Waymo vehicles will be available to Uber riders and Uber Eats delivery customers in Phoenix, where the Alphabet company recently doubled its service area to 180 square miles. The partnership was described as “multi-year,” with the goal of bringing together “Waymo’s world-leading autonomous driving technology with the massive scale of Uber’s ridesharing and delivery networks.” Robotaxi services have struggled in the years since the pandemic, with companies laying off workers and some firms shutting down completely. The business of operating a robotaxi service is difficult thanks to restrictions on where the vehicles can travel. Human-driven services like Uber and Lyft have no such limitations. And customers can be fickle, quick to switch to another service that promises shorter wait times and fewer limits on where they can travel. It wasn’t long ago that Waymo and Uber were locked in a grueling standoff over the future of autonomous vehicles. In February 2017, the Alphabet-owned company sued Uber and its subsidiary, self-driving truck startup Otto, over allegations of trade secret theft and patent infringement. https://tinyurl.com/2x82wwpk

Walmart will offer pet telehealth in latest bid to compete with Amazon.

Walmart is partnering with veterinary telehealth provider Pawp to offer Walmart+ subscribers free access to virtual veterinarians for a year beginning Tuesday. The retailer’s foray into veterinary telehealth comes as the company looks to better compete with Amazon and hold on to higher-income customers by making its subscription service more valuable. Some veterinarians say pet telehealth could be risky for animals while others say it helps bridge the access to care amid a nationwide vet shortage. Pawp, which has raised US$27.5 million in funding since its inception in 2020, according to Crunchbase, also doesn’t share its membership numbers. But it will now have access to millions of potential customers through the partnership. https://tinyurl.com/2jk9ttp9

Amazon starts using palm prints for age verification at bars.

Amazon said on Monday that its Amazon One palm scanning technology can now verify customers’ ages, an upgrade that could make the payments system an easier sell to bars and other alcohol sellers. After customers enroll in Amazon One by scanning their palms into Amazon’s system, they will also be required to upload their government IDs and pictures of themselves. The technology streamlines the process because bartenders can check the customers’ identity on the Amazon One screen instead of the customer having to dig their ID out of their wallet. The age verification technology is being launched at two bars at Coors Field in Denver, Colo., Amazon vice president Dilip Kumar said in a blog post. Amazon has been trying to sell Amazon One and other physical retail technology, including its cashierless checkout system Just Walk Out, to more outside retailers. But while Just Walk Out has been installed at over 30 grab-and-go stands in U.S. sports stadiums, the technology still requires humans to check customers’ ages if they’re buying alcoholic drinks. Neither of the bars where Amazon is launching Amazon One age verification currently have Just Walk Out, though a store that sells beer using the quick checkout technology opened elsewhere at Coors Field last month. https://tinyurl.com/5n7sahn7

Elon Musk can now put his brain implants in humans.

Elon Musk finally got approval from the Food and Drug Administration to start implanting his company’s brain chips in humans, Neuralink announced Thursday. Neuralink, which was founded by Musk in 2016, said on Twitter it received FDA approval to launch its “first-in-human clinical study.” The company added “recruitment is not yet open” to participate in the clinical trial, but that they’d be sharing more information on that soon. In March the FDA rejected Neuralink’s request for approval to being human testing, citing several concerns that would first need to be addressed. Among the safety concerns were that the brain chip wires could move around or that the chip could overheat. So far Neuralink has only tested the brain chips on animals, including pigs and monkeys. Neuralink says its brain chips could allow people to complete tasks using only their minds and help treat certain medical conditions. https://bit.ly/45z5J5R

A majority of Americans have heard of ChatGPT, but few have tried it themselves.

About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) are familiar with ChatGPT, though relatively few have tried it themselves, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. Among those who have tried ChatGPT, a majority report it has been at least somewhat useful. ChatGPT is an open-access online chatbot that allows users to ask questions and request content. The versatility and human-like quality of its responses have captured the attention of the media, the tech industry and some members of the public. ChatGPT surpassed 100 million monthly users within two months of its public launch in late November 2022, setting a world record as the fastest-growing web application. Due to these factors, the Center chose to ask Americans about ChatGPT specifically rather than chatbots or large language models (LLMs) more broadly. Overall, 18% of U.S. adults have heard a lot about ChatGPT, while 39% have heard a little and 42% have heard nothing at all. But there are considerable demographic differences in awareness of this chatbot. https://bit.ly/3IIfh4T

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

PSVR2’s early sales beat the original, Sony claims.

PlayStation VR2’s early sales are ahead of what its PS4-powered predecessor managed; Sony has claimed. Since it launched on February 22, there’s been much speculation around how the next-gen headset has performed commercially. On Tuesday, Sony shared sales figures for the first time, revealing during a business webcast that PSVR2 sold around 600,000 units during its first six weeks of availability. According to Sony, this was ahead of what the previous PSVR managed. According to a sales graph shared during the call, PSVR’s predecessor sold 8% fewer units during its first six weeks. The figures suggest that previous analyst estimates, which had the new headset having sold around 270,000 units by the end of March, were somewhat behind actual figures. PlayStation VR2 launched on February 22, at a price of US$549.99 / £529.99. For this, players get the PS VR2 headset, the PS VR2 Sense controllers and stereo headphones. https://bit.ly/45y2A6b

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

China telcos to stop buying Micron products over national security.

China’s top Internet regulator said Micron Technology’s products posed a national security risk and ordered companies involved in critical information infrastructure to stop buying them. The directive dials up the conflict between China and the U.S. over technology and comes after the U.S. added one of Micron’s Chinese competitors, Yangtze Memory Technologies, to a trade blacklist in December. That caused major U.S. companies such as Apple to drop the Chinese supplier from its products. Both Micron and Yangtze make computer memory. The Cyberspace Administration of China said Micron’s products failed a national security review, without elaborating. However, it said as long as companies follow Chinese laws and regulations, they are still welcome in the Chinese market. Boise, Idaho-based Micron told Reuters it saw the notice and looked “forward to continuing to engage in discussions with Chinese authorities.“ https://tinyurl.com/2jhhd9m9

TikTok, citing first amendment, sues Montana over impending ban.

TikTok is suing the state of Montana after its governor signed a law that would ban the app in the state. The law, set to take effect on January 1, 2024, seeks to ban TikTok from being accessed or downloaded within Montana’s borders and would levy fines of up to US$10,000 per violation per day against TikTok and app stores like Google and Apple. In its suit filed in U.S. District Court, TikTok claimed that the law violates the First Amendment, a position also taken by free speech advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union. The Montana governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, currently faces calls for bans or divestment at the federal level, over fears that the app could be a national security risk. Even if any of these laws were to hold up in court, it’s unclear that they could be enforced. https://tinyurl.com/ymkp23rh


America’s semiconductor boom faces a challenge: not enough workers.

Lawmakers passed the 2022 CHIPS Act with lofty ambitions to remake the United States into a semiconductor powerhouse, in part to reduce America’s reliance on foreign nations for the tiny chips that power everything from dishwashers to computers to cars. The law included US$39 billion to fund the construction of new and expanded semiconductor facilities. More than 50 new facility projects have been announced since the CHIPS Act was introduced, and private companies have pledged more than US$210 billion in investments. The U.S. semiconductor industry could face a shortage of about 70,000 to 90,000 workers over the next few years, according to a Deloitte. McKinsey has also projected a shortfall of about 300,000 engineers and 90,000 skilled technicians in the United States by 2030. https://nyti.ms/433IBL8

Chip wars with China risk ‘enormous damage’ to US tech, says Nvidia chief.

The chief executive of Nvidia, the world’s most valuable semiconductor company, has warned that the US tech industry is at risk of “enormous damage” from the escalating battle over chips between Washington and Beijing. Speaking to the Financial Times, Jensen Huang said US export controls introduced by the Biden administration to slow Chinese semiconductor manufacturing had left the Silicon Valley group with “our hands tied behind our back” and unable to sell advanced chips in one of the company’s biggest markets. At the same time, he added, Chinese companies were starting to build their own chips to rival Nvidia’s market-leading processors for gaming, graphics and artificial intelligence. Huang’s comments came just days before Chinese authorities announced a ban on US memory chipmaker Micron’s products from critical infrastructure, a move seen as the first significant retaliation against Washington’s export controls. Huang added that blocking the US tech industry’s access to China would “cut the Chips Act off at the knee”, referring to the Biden administration’s $52bn funding package to encourage construction of more semiconductor manufacturing facilities — known as “fabs” — in the US. “If the American tech industry requires one-third less capacity [due to the loss of the Chinese market], no one is going to need American fabs, we will be swimming in fabs,” he said. “If they’re not thoughtful on regulations, they will hurt the tech industry.” https://archive.is/iuGOj


Ford EVs will use Tesla’s charging plug starting next year.

Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that in early 2024 more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers will be operational with Ford vehicles. Farley also announced that next-generation Ford vehicles would come equipped with the North American Charging Standard port, Tesla’s standardized version of its proprietary charging system. “We don’t want Tesla superchargers to be a walled garden,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the Twitter Space call. According to Musk, Tesla wants Ford and other automakers to be on an equal footing when it comes to access to dependable EV charging. According to Ford, Tesla will develop an adapter that will be provided to customers who buy any of Ford’s EVs, including the F-150 Lightning truck, Mustang Mach-E, and E-Transit delivery van. Ford will also continue to support its “BlueOval” charging network, which will grow another 1,800 DC fast charging stations by early 2024. Both Tesla and Ford have also joined the National Charging Experience Consortium, a collaborative effort that brings together National Laboratories, EV equipment OEMs, and automakers to improve charging infrastructure reliability. https://bit.ly/3qiuFOL


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.