This week, we learnt some more details on ANT Financial’s IPO delays, as well as planned IPOs for Airbnb, DoorDash and Instacart (all likely benefiting from the COVID trade). In Canada, it was relatively quiet week on the funding front, but we expected continued activity in healthcare tech, and perhaps crypto related companies (we’ve already seen a couple), as Bitcoin quietly marches upwards.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

Optiva (OPT-TSX) announces $30 million financing with funds aimed at the acceleration of the company’s product roadmap. Optiva, which provides communications service providers (CSPs) worldwide with cloud-native revenue management software on the public cloud, announced that OceanLink Management Ltd. (“OceanLink”), for and on behalf of certain managed funds, has agreed to make a $30 million investment in Optiva through the purchase of subordinate voting shares of the Company on a private placement basis. Optiva intends to use the proceeds from the Investment to fund strategic roadmap investments and to further transform its BSS products to be cloud native and work on private and public cloud. The funds will allow Optiva to address market need and meet its customers demands for its modernized solutions. https://bit.ly/3llwvqJ

PopReach Corporation (POPR-TSXV) announces upsize to bought deal public offering. PopReach Corporation amended the terms of its previously announced offering of common shares of the Company. Under the amended terms of the Offering, Beacon Securities Limited, on behalf of a syndicate of underwriters has agreed to purchase on a bought deal basis, 12 million common shares in the capital of the Company at a price of $1.25 per Share for aggregate gross proceeds to the Company of $15 million. https://bit.ly/3kirRsm & https://bit.ly/2IkzhxQ 

BIGG Digital Assets Inc. (BIGG-CSE) announces upsize of previously announced overnight marketed public offering to $6 million. BIGG Digital Assets Inc. announced that, it has increased its previously announced overnight public marketed offering to 25 million units of the Company at a price of $0.24 per Unit for gross proceeds of approximately $6 million. https://bit.ly/3fddCV3

VPN startup Tailscale raises $14.5 million Series A. Tailscale, which has developed what it calls “a new kind of corporate VPN,” has closed a $14.5 million CAD Series A round of funding. The funding announcement comes just seven months after Tailscale launched its product and disclosed it had raised $3 million in seed funding. TailScale’s total capital raised to date sits at $19.5 million. The Series A raise was led by Accel, with participation from Heavybit, which led the seed round, and fellow existing investor Uncork Capital. Founded in 2019, Tailscale was created by a group of former Google software engineers. The startup claims to make network security accessible to teams of any scale. https://bit.ly/35metiO

Construction tech startup Falkbuilt raises $14 million Series A. Calgary-based construction tech startup Falkbuilt, has raised $14 million in Series A financing. The round has closed with $14 million, with the potential for an additional $6 million based on subsequent operational milestones, which would bring the round’s total to $20 million. Founded in 2019 by interior construction veterans Smed and Barrie Loberg, Falkbuilt manufactures digital components aimed to bring speed, efficiency and sustainability to the construction industry. The team aims to build quick and cost-effective interior solutions such as doors, window frames, and walls for healthcare, education, and commercial spaces worldwide. Falkbuilt’s software platform Echo also collects and manages all project information and using big data and artificial intelligence feeds the appropriate data to the appropriate industry-standard software. https://bit.ly/35u7AMc

Thoughtexchange closes additional $4 million, bringing Series B round to $34 million. BC-based crowdsourcing software startup Thoughtexchange has closed an additional $4 million in new Series B financing. The startup said this is the final tranche of their Series B round and brings the total amount raised to $34 million. With this new financing, Thoughtexchange has raised approximately $45 million in total funding to date. A spokesperson for Thoughtexchange told BetaKit this latest capital included one new investor, Boston-based HarbourVest Partners, which contributed $3 million, while existing investors contributed the additional $1 million. The startup initially raised $20 million for its Series B round in December 2019, which was followed by an additional $10 million extension in June. Investors in the Series B tranches include Information Venture Partners, Yaletown Partners, and Voyager Capital. https://bit.ly/3ltr5Kv

PenderFund Capital launches new tech-focused venture group, closes $25 million fund. Vancouver-based public and private asset manager PenderFund Capital Management has officially unveiled a new venture capital group focused on private investments in the technology sector. The group, Pender Ventures, will manage the private investments from three funds, including the Pender Growth Fund, which has a portfolio of private and public companies, and the Working Opportunity Fund, which invests in private, BC-based companies, such as D-Wave Systems and General Fusion. Limited partners (LPs) in the fund, called Pender Technology Inflection Fund LP, include credit union Vancity and Export Development Canada through its Women in Trade program, which sources women-led funds. Other LPs were not disclosed, but included an Alberta-based financial group, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals. https://bit.ly/2K9naVv

Thinking Capital acquires leading FinTech platform and reaches $1 billion of small business funding milestone. The company completed the acquisition of Ario, a leading-edge finance-as-a-service technology platform. The acquisition allows Thinking Capital to better support Canadian small businesses through their recovery and renewed growth from the Covid-19 pandemic. In recent months, Thinking Capital reached the $1 billion mark of funding provided to Canadian small businesses.  “This last year has been challenging for many of the entrepreneurs we serve,” said CEO Marceau. “Nonetheless, over 80% of our those we worked with through payment deferral plans since COVID hit, are now back on normal plans and rebuilding their business, some of them thriving in new ways.”
https://bit.ly/3kiT26s

Google Canada commits $3.9 million to AI research institute Mila. Montréal-based artificial intelligence (AI) research institute Mila has received a $3.9 million grant from Google Canada. The new funding will be used by Mila to continue its research in AI and machine learning. This grant from Google Canada comes four years after its first contribution to Mila. It also comes as Canada gains increasing recognition for its proportion of AI researchers, helped in large part by organizations like Mila. With over 500 researchers, Mila claims to have the largest concentration of deep learning academic researchers in the world. https://bit.ly/2K3VrFv

Nextdoor and RBC launch strategic partnership to connect local businesses with customers in their neighbourhoods. Nextdoor, the neighbourhood app, and RBC announced an exclusive strategic partnership to connect communities and support local businesses across Canada. This partnership kicks off with Nextdoor’s ‘Open for Business Powered by RBC,’ an initiative to help revitalize local businesses by connecting them to their most valuable audience – their community members who are most likely to shop, dine and use the services offered by these establishments. https://bit.ly/38NCUro

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

China clampdown on big tech puts more billionaires on notice. Beijing on Tuesday unveiled regulations to root out monopolistic practices in the internet industry, seeking to curtail the growing influence of corporations like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. The rules, which sent both stocks tumbling and sparked a wider selloff in Chinese equities, landed about a week after new restrictions on the finance sector that triggered the shock suspension of Ant Group Co.’s US$35 billion initial public offering. China’s antitrust watchdog is seeking feedback on a raft of regulations that establish a framework for curbing anti-competitive behavior such as colluding on sharing sensitive consumer data, alliances that squeeze out smaller rivals and subsidizing services at below cost to eliminate competitors. They may also require companies that operate a so-called Variable Interest Entity — a vehicle through which virtually every major Chinese internet company attracts foreign investment and lists overseas — to apply for specific operating approval. The latest proposal follows heightened scrutiny of technology companies worldwide, as regulators investigate the extent to which internet giants from Facebook Inc. to Alphabet Inc.’s Google can leverage their dominance. Consumers in China — home to some of the world’s largest corporations from e-commerce giant Alibaba to WeChat-operator Tencent — have in recent years protested against the gradual erosion of their privacy via technology from facial recognition to big data analysis. Further measures to tighten oversight of the tech companies may be in the offing. Regulators plan to release new rules governing internet transactions by June 2021, according to a State Council statement released Tuesday. https://bloom.bg/38sZIwt

Decision to spike Jack Ma’s Ant Group IPO came from President Xi Jinping. The decision to kill the US$34 billion initial public offering of Jack Ma’s online financial services firm, Ant Group, was made by China’s President, Xi Jinping, according to The Wall Street Journal. The extraordinary rebuke to China’s most lauded and richeat entrepreneur whose apps are embedded in the daily lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese shows the fragile status of private enterprise under the authoritarian regime. China’s ruling Communist Party distrusts private enterprise and favors state-owned businesses over which it wields greater control. After periods of greater freedom, the pendulum has swung towards tigher control under Xi. Arguably, Ant’s financial services and payment platform, Alipay, are effectively national financial infrastructure, becoming so popular that they challenged the status of China’s state-owned banks, one of the most powerful levers of state control over the economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, Xi himself made the decision after Ma delivered a speech late October in which he criticized Chinese banking regulators for stifling innovation, and quoted Xi saying “Success does not have to come from me.” Xi and other senior leaders were infuriated after reading accounts of the speech and ordered regulators to investigate the IPO, set to be the world’s biggest, and eventually effectively killed it with the release of new tougher draft regulations. Ant Group may still pursue a listing but will have to change its business model or restructure in such a way that it’s unlikely to be valued at the same lofty levels as before. https://bit.ly/2IBeyqf

Airbnb said to delay IPO filing to distance it from election. Airbnb Inc.’s long-awaited filing for an initial public offering has slipped to next week, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The home-share giant’s public filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could come as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public. https://bloom.bg/3pihjgt

DoorDash releases filing to go public, reports US$149 million in losses on revenue of US$1.9 billion through September. DoorDash, the leading food delivery app in the U.S., filed its IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The company will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DASH. The company said it has 1 million Dashers (delivery workers) and more than 18 million customers. It also had over 5 million customers on its US$9.99 per month DashPass service as of Sept. 30. The offering gives customers free delivery from restaurants part of the program. DoorDash will offer three classes of stock with different voting shares. Class A common stock will grant owners one vote per share. Class B shares will come with 20 votes per share and Class C shares will have no voting rights. DoorDash is one of the most hotly anticipated IPOs of 2020. Though the pandemic threw a wrench in many companies’ plans, Airbnb, Roblox and Wish are all expected to go public by the end of the year, CNBC reported Thursday. DoorDash, whose last private valuation was US$16 billion, has raised US$2.5 billion. https://cnb.cx/3lsnT1L

Instacart taps Goldman Sachs to lead IPO at US$30 billion valuation. Instacart has picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc to lead its initial public offering (IPO), which could come early next year and value the U.S. grocery delivery app at around US$30 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Instacart was valued at US$17.7 billion last month, when it raised US$200 million in a private fundraising round. Were the IPO to push Instacart’s valuation to close to US$30 billion, it would underscore the rapid growth of its business as more consumers turn to it to shop for groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Francisco-based company is accelerating its IPO plans after voters in California backed a ballot proposal last week that upheld the status of app-based delivery drivers as independent contractors. This was a boost for the likes of Instacart and Uber Technologies Inc, which rely on people to work independently and not as employees. https://bit.ly/2UlRY7l

SoftBank’s Son directing daily tech stock trades. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is personally directing a team of stock traders, using US$20 billion of cash raised by the company in asset sales, to “bet on daily moves in tech names including Alphabet, Amazon and Netflix,“ the Wall Street Journal reported. Earlier this year various outlets reported that SoftBank had made big stock bets on tech  names but the Journal report suggests those bets weren’t a one-off. It also says that Elliott Management, the activist investor which has taken a stake in SoftBank, is worried enough about Softbank’s trading that it is hedging against some of his trades by buying put options on an index of tech stocks. SoftBank on Wednesday reported details of its financial performance,  including its stock trading arm which the Financial Times reported had a trading loss of US$3.7 billion so far. SoftBank’s disclosures showed that it had US$16.8 billion of tech stocks at Sept. 30, including US$6.3 billion in Amazon, US$2.2 billion in Facebook, US$1.8 billion in Zoom and US$1 billion in Netflix. The Journal article recounts how SoftBank recovered from near-disaster when the Covid stock plunge began this past spring by selling off major assets, including its stake in T-Mobile, shares in Alibaba and the UK chip firm Arm. Now the question is whether SoftBank will make another big, risky investment, as has been Son’s style. https://bit.ly/38CTR82

SoftBank’s earnings continue to recover on investment gains. SoftBank said it swung to a net profit in the quarter through September thanks to investment gains from the US$100 billion Vision Fund and its much smaller successor, the Vision Fund 2. The latest quarterly results show how the stock market’s rally over the past six months and rising valuations of some of SoftBank’s portfolio companies are driving the Japanese company’s recovery after its worst-ever annual loss in the last fiscal year through March. In the quarter through September, SoftBank recorded a net profit of 627.5 billion yen (US$6.05 billion), reversing from a loss of 700 billion yen a year earlier, thanks to 1 trillion yen in investment gains from the Vision Fund and the Vision Fund 2. One major contributor to the gains was SoftBank-backed Chinese online real estate platform Ke Holdings, whose New York-listed stock has surged since its August IPO. SoftBank said its investment gains from Ke Holdings amounted to more than US$5 billion. https://bit.ly/3lereBf

SoftBank is in talks to sell robot maker Boston Dynamics to Hyundai. Proposed terms of the deal would give the South Korean automaker control of the robotics company in a transaction valued at as much as US$1 billion, said one of the people, all of whom asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The terms have yet to be finalized, and the deal could fall apart, said the people. A sale of Boston Dynamics would mark another twist in the trajectory of a company that spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1990s and operated independently until Google bought it in 2013. It was sold again in 2017, that time to SoftBank. At times, Boston Dynamics has functioned more like a research organization than a business, churning out machines that are technologically advanced and whimsical but unprofitable. That includes Spot, a maneuverable dog-like robot. Videos of its creations regularly rack up millions of views on YouTube; however, the company has said it is not currently generating profits. By contrast, Hyundai makes highly practical industrial robots intended for factory use. https://bloom.bg/3eMhJH3

Uber in talks to sell ATG self-driving unit to Aurora. Eighteen months ago, Uber’s self-driving car unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, was valued at US$7.25 billion following a US$1 billion investment from Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Now, it’s up for sale and a competing autonomous vehicle technology startup is in talks with Uber to buy it, according to three sources familiar with the deal. Aurora Innovation, the startup founded by three veterans of the autonomous vehicle industry who led programs at Google, Tesla and Uber, is in negotiations to buy Uber ATG. Terms of the deal are still unknown, but sources say the two companies have been in talks since October and it is far along in the process. https://tcrn.ch/36EZIXN

Apple has reportedly held talks to buy Wondery, the world’s largest independent podcast producer. Wondery wants up to US$400 million for the deal. Apple and Sony have separately held talks with podcast producer Wondery about a potential acquisition, Bloomberg reported last Friday, citing sources close to the matter. Wondery, which is behind podcasts such as “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” “American History Tellers,” and “Business Wars,” wants between US$300 million and US$400 million, the sources said. At the higher end of the range, any deal would be the industry’s biggest deal yet. In July, satellite radio company SiriusXM bought podcast company Stitcher for US$325 million. At least four companies have held talks with Wondery, Bloomberg reported, and a deal is expected in coming months. https://bit.ly/38saZNu

Apple’s contract manufacturers take revenue hit from iPhone delay. Apple’s decision to push back the launch of the iPhone 12 has had ripple effects on its two biggest contract manufacturers, Foxconn and Pegatron. The Taiwanese firms both said on Wednesday that revenue in the third quarter was down year-on-year because of clients who delayed their product launches. The companies contractually aren’t allowed to mention Apple by name. Foxconn, which makes between 60% and 70% of the world’s iPhones, reported revenue of US$45.3 billion in the third quarter, down 7% when compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, Pegatron reported revenue of US$11.8 billion in the July-September quarter, which was down 5.4% when compared with the year-ago period. However, both said they expected revenues to recover in the first quarter of next year. While Apple also took a hit to iPhone sales in the quarter ending in September, it still reported higher revenue year-on-year thanks to sales of other products such as Macs, iPads and wearables. https://bit.ly/35o2QYA

Emerging Technologies

Startup Buoy Health raises funds at near US$200 million valuation. Buoy Health, a startup that makes a widely used Covid-19 symptom checker, has raised $37 million from investors including the venture arms of major insurers Cigna Holding Co., Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group. The Series C investment round values Buoy at just under US$200 million, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Boston-based Buoy Health uses artificial intelligence to help patients identify possible ailments and direct them to appropriate treatment. Founded in 2013, it has been used by 10 million people since the software launched publicly in 2017, co-founder and Chief Executive  officer Andrew Le said in an interview. Buoy’s software presents a text-based chat that mimics the kind of conversation a patient and doctor might have. Users answer questions about symptoms, and the algorithm steers the conversation based on data from thousands of medical studies. It eventually produces as many as three suggestions for what to do next, like talk to a clinician on a virtual visit or seek a test. In January Buoy raced to incorporate Covid-19 symptoms into the program. Its Covid symptom checker was available to 190 million people through large health plans and deals with states including Massachusetts and Virginia, Le said. https://bloom.bg/36xhpIu

Walmart and Cruise launch pilot to deliver orders via self-driving cars. GM-backed autonomous vehicle startup Cruise announced a partnership with Walmart to deliver orders from a Scottsdale, Arizona store to customers’ homes. As part of the pilot, which is scheduled to begin in early 2021, customers will be able to place orders from a Walmart store and have them delivered via one of Cruise’s electric self-driving Chevy Bolts. Driverless vehicle technology has already begun to transform industries. TuSimple, Einride, and others have raised tens of millions for freight systems that transport logs, shipping containers, and other cargo autonomously. Some experts predict the coronavirus outbreak will hasten adoption of autonomous delivery solutions. Despite the public’s misgivings about self-driving cars and the vehicles’ need for regular disinfection, they promise to minimize the spread of disease by limiting driver-rider contact. Cruise and Walmart shared few details about the pilot, which will involve an undisclosed number of cars with at least one safety driver behind the wheel. But a Cruise spokesperson said that if the tests go well, the company will consider launching on-demand delivery programs with other merchants in the future. Earlier this year, Cruise announced a deal with DoorDash to test food and grocery delivery in San Francisco for select customers. https://bit.ly/3kpLnDa

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

TikTok-owner ByteDance to rake in US$27 billion ad revenue by year-end. TikTok-owner ByteDance is on track to generate at least 180 billion yuan (US$27.2 billion) in advertising revenue in China this year, which will cement its no. 2 spot in China’s digital ad market, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The company’s overall revenue goal for 2020 is around US$30 billion, Reuters previously reported, so the latest figures mean it is performing in line with its plan. While TikTok is what ByteDance is best known for globally, the app contributes little to the Chinese company’s revenue overall. It relies on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, for nearly 60% of ad revenue, followed by news aggregator Jinri Toutiao for 20% and long-form video platform Xigua for under 3%, according to one of the sources. ByteDance is in talks with investors to raise around US$2 billion in a new financing round that will value it at US$180 billion after the investment, more than double its valuation in the last fundraising round two years ago, Reuters has reported. It is also exploring whether to pursue a standalone public listing for Douyin or list some of its Chinese operations including Douyin and Toutiao as a package in Hong Kong or Shanghai. https://reut.rs/2Ukn52Z

Disney Plus reaches 73.7 million global subscribers. Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Plus streaming service finished September with 73.7 million global subscribers, up 28% from the end of June, and demonstrating how rapidly the streaming service has grown since last November’s launch. The report came as Disney reported a 23% drop in September quarter revenue and a 82% decline in operating income. The revenue decline was an improvement from the June quarter, when most of Disney’s older businesses were slammed by the Covid-19 pandemic. As was the case in the June quarter, most of the decline in the latest period came in Disney’s theme parks operation. Disney’s TV networks’ revenue rose 11%, thanks to growth at FX, the Disney Channel and the ABC broadcast TV operations. ESPN hurt profits in the division, thanks to higher production and programming costs. Revenue at the direct to consumer and international division, which houses Disney’s streaming business, rose 41% to US$4.8 billion and its loss shrank to US$580 million from US$751 million. https://bit.ly/3ltmZBX

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

Amazon charged with antitrust violations by European regulators. European Union regulators brought antitrust charges against Amazon on Tuesday, saying the online retail giant broke competition laws by unfairly using its size and access to data to harm smaller merchants that rely on the company to reach customers. https://nyti.ms/2JUaqln

Google breakup should ‘be on the table’ says Sen. Klobuchar, who is a possible Biden pick for attorney general. During a virtual keynote speech for the American Bar Association’s Fall Forum, Klobuchar praised the Justice Department for leaving open the option of so-called structural remedies in its recent antitrust lawsuit against Google. “In a serious monopolization action like this one, it’s important that a breakup remedy be on the table,” she said. Klobuchar could have more power if the Democrats win control of the Senate by winning two run-off races in Georgia. That outcome would split the Senate 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris acting as the tiebreaker vote. Such a split could give Klobuchar and Democrats more power to set the agenda and push through legislation. Klobuchar said the Google case was an “important start” but noted that state attorneys general could still join and broaden the case, which will soon fall to the incoming Biden administration. She also made clear that Congress needs to take action to ensure robust antitrust enforcement. She said a number of Supreme Court cases have made it more difficult for the government to succeed in antitrust challenges, leaving it up to lawmakers to reset expectations in the courts. https://cnb.cx/32KMt6R

Microsoft: Hackers targeting firms developing Covid-19 vaccines. Microsoft says hackers in Russia and North Korea have been launching phishing attacks and trying to break into email accounts of pharmaceutical firms that are working on Covid-19 vaccines. This shows how attackers that have been targeting people working from home during the pandemic are expanding their efforts to a new front. One question is whether the attackers are trying to thwart researchers’ efforts to develop a vaccine that could end the Covid-19 pandemic or attempting to steal confidential data related to those efforts. In any event, the situation shows how Microsoft’s practice of embedding security monitoring tools in its desktop PC and server operating systems gives it a comprehensive view of global cybersecurity trends. The vaccine hacking warning comes two months after Microsoft warned that hackers in Russia, China and Iran were aiming to disrupt the U.S. presidential election. https://bit.ly/32JFM4E

eCommerce

‘A whole new baseline in digital shopping’: Orders from social media sites increased 84% in the third quarter, according to a new report. In recent years, social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have used ecommerce as a means of monetizing their audiences. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that trend has accelerated, with orders over social media increasing 84% in the third quarter, according to a Salesforce study. “For all intents and purposes, it becomes the next shopping mall,” Rob Garf of Salesforce said at Business Insider’s Ignition event Thursday, presented by Salesforce. Two-thirds of Generation Z-ers surveyed said that they had made a purchase on social media, and 27% of millenials said they were interested in shopping on social media platforms come this holiday season, according to research by Salesforce. https://bit.ly/3nqnjSU

Walmart is preparing for a surge of holiday orders by adding ecommerce fulfillment centers to its distribution warehouses. Walmart plans to add 42 “pop-up eCommerce Distribution Centers” to help handle the surge of orders with the upcoming holiday season. These pop-ups will be added to regional distribution centers, and are expected to handle about 30% of the retailer’s holiday shipments. This is another measure to keep ecommerce orders processing smoothly this holiday season. Walmart is hiring 20,000 employees to help as well. https://bit.ly/35wq5zR

Alibaba smashed last year’s Singles Day record with over US$74 billion in sales amid worries over the pandemic. Alibaba’s Singles Day sales were over $74 billion, the Chinese retail giant reported. This year, Alibaba has adopted some of the same strategy as US retailers around Black Friday, expanding the sale. Alibaba Group Executive vice chairman Joe Tsai said in a livestreamed event that the Chinese economy has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, pointing to the 17% growth year over year of ecommerce in China. As of 11 p.m. in China, US businesses passed US$5 billion in sales, the most of any country outside of China. https://bit.ly/3kwJqVN

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Biden presidential win seen as a ‘good thing’ for cryptocurrency. With Joe Biden poised to become President of the United States in January, Bitcoin enthusiasts are also hoping the new White House will have a friendlier tone toward cryptocurrency than Donald Trump did. “I think we have opportunity in a Biden administration,” said Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, a trade group representing the cryptocurrency industry. https://bit.ly/2K0Lf0G

Semiconductors

Apple launches three new Macs to kick off switch From Intel. Apple Inc. kicked off its transition away from Intel Corp. chips on Tuesday, revealing the first Mac computers with a main processor designed in-house by the iPhone maker. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant announced a new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini with new Apple M1 processors at its virtual “One More Thing” event. https://bloom.bg/32BBgoO

ESG

IEA: global renewables capacity to grow in 2020 despite pandemic. In a significant turnaround from a spring forecast clouded by COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the International Energy Agency has revised its expectations for 2020 global renewables additions. The agency’s latest report, released Tuesday, now expects capacity additions to grow 4 percent from 2019, hitting a record of nearly 200 gigawatts this year and bumping up forecasts by 18 percent from the crunch the agency projected in May. https://bit.ly/2IsJW9O

Sophic Capital Client Insights

Kontrol Energy Corp (KNR-CSE, KNRLF-OTCQB): Kontrol-ing COVID-19 As Solutions Progress. Many businesses devastated by the pandemic can’t wait for a vaccine to be approved, manufactured, and distributed. Until any effective vaccine can prevent COVID-19, virus detection and contact tracing is the best intermediary method to protect people and stem the spread and help businesses to survive. Unfortunately, many experts believe COVID-19 won’t be the last global pandemic. Kontrol Energy’s BioCloud can detect airborne COVID-19 in real-time and has the potential to detect future viruses. https://bit.ly/38LsXLi

Kontrol Energy Corp (KNR-CSE, KNRLF-OTCQB): Promising Vaccine News, But Health Threat Remains. The world breathed a collective sigh of relief at Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate passing phase 3 trials. While recent market moves signal that the risks from COVID-19 has passed, we believe that the virus could continue to impact the world for some time to come. Virus detection is the bridge between the cure and for controlling case loads. https://bit.ly/35xKLYg

UGE International (UGE-TSXV, UGEIF-OTC): Sizzling Solar Project Valuations Bode Well For UGE. Solar projects under construction sell for multiples much higher than what the markets value UGE International. https://bit.ly/2IFwOOG

AnalytixInsight (ALY-TSXV, ATIXF-OTC): AnalytixInsight AI/ML Financial Services Platform. Investment research is under pressure. Capital markets regulations forcing the separation of “sell-side” investment research costs from trading fees is massively disrupting the business model for producing traditional equity research. Unless a broker invests in a team of analysts, the only way to provide equity research on thousands of issuers and ETFs is to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning. CapitalCube by AnalytixInsight [TSXV:ALY; OTC: ATIXF] leverages artificial intelligence/machine learning to generate comprehensive company analysis on over 50,000 global equities and North American ETFs. https://bit.ly/3lytLqj

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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.