Thinkific Labs Inc (THNC-TSX), filed a preliminary and short form base shelf prospectus for up to an aggregate of $300 million. D2L filed to go public on TSX, the company expects to raise a nine-figure sum at valuation of more than US$1 billion through its IPO. We attended the company’s investor day a few years ago – and it’s great to see another iconic Canadian tech company go public on the TSX. We counted well over $100 million in funding for private Canadian innovation companies last week, and saw announcements totalling nearly a billion dollars towards VC funds. We published on Clear Blue Technologies’ (Sophic Client, CBLU-TSXV, CBUTF-OTC, 0YA-FRA) ability to automate and digitize day-to-day operations for providing clean wireless power off-grid, while collecting data as a competitive advantage. With over 400 customers, including Orange and Telefonica, it’s Clear Blue sky for the Company. In the USA, venture capital-backed companies completed initial public offerings, reverse mergers and acquisitions worth a record US$582.5 billion so far this year, according to new data from PitchBook. This is the first time U.S. VC exit value has surpassed US$500 billion. Magic Leap, the troubled augmented reality company that underwent mass layoffs and a CEO change last year, has raised US$500 million at a valuation of close to US$2 billion. Stock chart website TradingView was valued at US$3 billion. GitLab jumped 35% in its Nasdaq debut after the code-sharing company priced IPO above expected range. Bitcoin once again approached record highs even as Coinbase wants SEC blocked from crypto and Jamie Dimon called bitcoin ‘worthless’, while Vladimir Putin sees value in cryptocurrencies – but says it’s too early to tell if they can settle oil trades and Stripe is building a crypto team.
Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News
D2L files to go public on TSX.
On October 12, Kitchener-Waterloo based e-learning company D2L filed to go public on the TSX. Founded in 1999, D2L was bootstrapped until 2012, when it secured $80 million in venture financing. The edtech firm has not yet determined how many subordinate voting shares it plans to issue as part of its planned initial offering, or how it plans to price them. According to The Globe and Mail, which was the first to report on D2L’s IPO plans, the company expects to raise a nine-figure sum at valuation of more than US$1 billion through its IPO. https://bit.ly/3DHueiB
Thinkific announces filing of shelf prospectus.
Thinkific Labs Inc, a leading platform for creating, marketing, and selling online courses and other learning products has filed a preliminary and short form base shelf prospectus with the securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada. Subject to the securities regulatory requirements, the shelf prospectus will provide for the potential offering in Canada of up to an aggregate of $300 million of Thinkific’s subordinate voting shares, preferred shares, debt securities, warrants, subscription receipts, and units from time to time over a 25-month period after applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities have issued a receipt for the short form base shelf prospectus. https://bit.ly/3AMku4G
ResQ raises $48 million to bolster restaurant repair and maintenance platform.
Toronto-based SaaS startup ResQ has raised $48.5 million (US$39 million) from a Series A funding round. Co-led by Tiger Global and Canvas Ventures, the raise also saw participation from other investors in the culinary, restaurant technology, and e-commerce industries. Disclosed investors include Tony Xu and Stanley Tang, founders of DoorDash; Bastian Lehman, founder of Postmates; Michael Katchen, founder of Wealthsimple; Max Mullen, founder of Instacart; Homebrew Ventures; Inovia Capital; Golden Ventures; and other returning and new entities committed to ResQ. Mike Ghaffary from Canvas Ventures, and former CEO of Yelp-Eat24, as well as Nilam Ganenthiran, former president of Instacart, will be joining ResQ’s board of directors. https://bit.ly/3AJHOjF
In its goal to modernize trucking operations, Rose Rocket raises $31 million.
Toronto based SaaS provider of transportation management software (TMS) Rose Rocket has raised $31 million in its series A funding round led by Lee Fixel, founder of Addition. Since inception in 2015, Rose Rocket has been supporting the digitalization of trucking companies with its TMS technology. The company’s software includes features such as its customer and partner portals, including a system where clients can choose to receive updates about the status of their delivery and track their businesses’ pickups and deliveries in real time. https://bit.ly/3p7Qf63
Offering a nanotech drywall alternative, Trusscore lands $26 million in Series A funding.
Trusscore, a material science startup that makes sustainable alternatives for traditional building products, announced a $26 million Series A funding raise. The startup is the first company to receive funding from Round13 Capital’s new Earth Tech Fund that backs companies with matching environmental and commercial mandates. Other investors included Garage Capital, and a number of undisclosed technology entrepreneurs from the Waterloo region. The round closed on October 12. With the new financing, Caputo claimed that Trusscore has achieved an eight-figure valuation. https://bit.ly/3p3wP2n
Alida obtains $20 million Series D funding to fuel expansion.
The Round13 Growth Fund, a late stage growth equity investment fund, is part of the Round13 Capital family of funds.The startup plans to use the funding to fuel its global expansion, invest in mergers and acquisitions, and build on the company’s product roadmap to deliver SaaS solutions in the customer experience management industry. Sanjiv Samant, managing partner of Round13 Capital will join Alida’s board of directors. Founded in Vancouver in 2000 as Vision Critical, Alida claims to have created “the world’s first combined CXM and Insights platform.” https://bit.ly/3aFieSk
Callia secures $6.4 million to move beyond flower delivery, fuel North American expansion.
Following a year of significant growth, Winnipeg-based startup Callia has secured $6.4 million in Series A financing to fuel the expansion of its flowery delivery service and perishable, direct-to-consumer logistics model. The startup’s Series A round, which closed in September, consisted of a combination of debt and equity. The round was supported by investors from across Canada, spanning four provinces: Montreal-based Brightspark Ventures led, while Toronto’s Golden Ventures and Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures supported, the latter through its new fund focused on investing in women entrepreneurs. Saskatchewan-based Conexus Venture Capital, which led Callia’s $1.1 million January seed round, also reinvested as part of the round. https://bit.ly/3DBNpKC
Doctor-backed KixCare secures $2 million to make pediatric care more accessible.
Toronto and Montreal-based healthtech startup KixCare has raised $2 million in seed financing to give more Canadian families access to timely pediatric care. The newly-launched company, which was created in March by founders who identified a gap in access to children’s healthcare that had been exacerbated by COVID-19, is looking to use its fresh funding to take pediatric care virtual. The startup’s all-equity seed round, which closed last month, was led by Montreal-based Esplanade Ventures, which focuses on early-stage digital healthcare companies. The round was also supported by Horizon Capital and other undisclosed angel investors. https://bit.ly/3v9RYc6
CIBC launches $450 million fund focused on venture capital and growth equity funds.
Over the past three years, CIBC has made financial commitments as a Limited Partner to 12 Canadian-based venture capital and growth equity funds, covering every stage of the entrepreneurial lifecycle. CIBC has recently doubled its capital commitment to venture fund investing and is now making Limited Partner investments in select later-stage, U.S.-based growth equity funds supporting the tech and life science sectors. https://bwnews.pr/30oKKpe
Inovia Capital launches $416 million continuation fund to stick with its winners until IPO.
Inovia Capital has launched a new fund, dubbed the Inovia Continuity Fund I, L.P, to extend support to several high-profile companies that possess the potential to go public. The new fund, which closed in September, is worth approximately US$334 million US ($415.5 million). The companies joining the fund are Bench Accounting, Clearco, Top Hat, TrackTik, TripleLift, Vidyard, as well as AlayaCare, AppDirect, and Snapcommerce. The latter three are also co-investments as part of Inovia Growth Fund I in addition to older funds. https://bit.ly/3mP2hyu
Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A
U.S. venture exit value tops US$580 billion.
U.S. venture capital-backed companies have completed initial public offerings, reverse mergers and acquisitions worth a record US$582.5 billion so far this year, according to new data from PitchBook. This is the first time U.S. VC exit value has surpassed US$500 billion. With a total of 93 startup listings this year, IPOs represented 88.2% of total exit value. Exit value is far from the only new record. U.S. startups have raised an astonishing US$238.7 billion so far this year, a 40% jump from the previous record set in 2020. Nontraditional investors, such as hedge funds and public equity investors, are responsible for the sharp rise in investment, according to PitchBook’s data. Finally, 161 new VC firms completed fundraising for the first time in the third quarter, bringing the total funds raised in 2021 so far to a record US$96.0 billion. https://bit.ly/3j7Mrhx
Expense management software maker Expensify files to go public.
Expensify Inc. filed for an initial public offering, disclosing growing revenue and income. The maker of expense management software in its filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission listed the size of the offering as US$100 million, a placeholder that will change when terms of the share sale are set. https://bloom.bg/3aHgxUv
Bitcoin mining firm Bitfury is reportedly planning to go public in what would be Europe’s biggest crypto.
Bitcoin mining firm Bitfury Group is planning to go public in the next 12 months in what would be Europe’s biggest cryptocurrency-related debut. Bitfury was seeking advice from Deloitte, a New York-based consultancy, to review how ready it is to go public. The mining firm, headquartered in the Netherlands, was valued at around US$1 billion in its latest fundraising. Among Bitfury’s investors are Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital and Australian investment bank Macquarie. https://bit.ly/3lA372J
Magic Leap raises US$500 million ahead of new AR headset launch.
Magic Leap, the troubled augmented reality company that underwent mass layoffs and a CEO change last year, has raised US$500 million in funding at a valuation of close to US$2 billion. That is well up on last year, when investors had written down their stakes in the company to a value of US$450 million, although it is well short of the US$6.4 billion at which Magic Leap raised money in 2019. The company did not disclose the source of the latest funding. The company unveiled the funding as CEO Peggy Johnson appeared on CNBC to offer a first look at the Magic Leap 2, the successor to Magic Leap’s original AR headset. The Magic Leap 2, aimed at the business market, closely resembles the design of the original and features a cable, presumably intended to connect the goggle-like headset to an external computing device. Testing of the device is underway with a release planned for 2022. Magic Leap says its second-generation headset will feature an expanded field of view, allowing AR content to occupy more of the wearer’s vision, and claims that it will be the first-to-market with a dimming feature that lets the device display content more clearly in bright environments. The company did not announce pricing or other technical details at this time, but The Information was first to report Magic Leap’s plans to use a semi-custom AMD chip in the device. Later that year, The Information reported that Magic Leap’s original device had sold far short of expectations. In early 2020, the Florida-based company announced a pivot to enterprise sales and laid off close to 1,000 employees, many of whom worked on ambitious AR entertainment projects. Business Insider recently reported that founder and original CEO Rony Abovitz left Magic Leap’s board of directors to focus on Sun and Thunder, his new AI startup. https://bit.ly/3n3VK39
Stock chart website TradingView valued at US$3 billion.
London-based TradingView has raised new funding at a US$3 billion valuation as the company running the popular stock chart website became the latest to capitalize on the retail trading boom. The funding round of US$298 million was led by Tiger Global Management, according to Bloomberg. The report said the firm was profitable and the TradingView website now had 29 million monthly unique visitors, with traffic up 237% during the pandemic. TradingView offers chart and tracking services for stock traders for a subscription fee from US$15 a month. Like Robinhood in the United States, a host of European-based financial technology companies have profited off the influx of new traders to the public markets since last year. Apps that offer low-cost stock buying like London’s Revolut and Berlin’s Trade Republic have seen their valuations soar in recent funding rounds. https://bit.ly/2Xk5Vrx
GitLab jumps 35% in its Nasdaq debut after the code-sharing company priced IPO above expected range.
GitLab shares rose 35% in their first day ofd trading Thursday after the provider of software sold shares well above its expected range in its IPO. Trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ‘GTLB’ the stock was priced at $77 late Wednesday, valuing the company at roughly $US 11 billion. The stock closed Thursday at $103.89, raising the market cap to $14.9 billion. Earlier, GitLabs had said it would likely sell their shares at $66 to $69 each. https://cnb.cx/3aI6oH2
Plug Power jumps 13% after it partners with Airbus to study and develop hydrogen-powered air travel.
Plug Power surged as much as 13% on Wednesday after the hydrogen fuel-cell developer said it inked partnerships with Airbus and Phillips 66. The Latham, NY-based company partnered with Airbus to conduct a feasibility study of bringing hydrogen to future aircraft and airports. Airbus is working towards a goal of bringing zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035, and it thinks hydrogen could play a role in that goal. Separately, Plug Power signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of hydrogen-based business opportunities with Phillips 66, a diversified oil refiner that also operates retail gas stations. https://bit.ly/3p466T2
Blackstone to invest US$1 billion in music with Hipgnosis as adviser.
On Tuesday Blackstone announced it will team up with Hipgnosis Song Management Ltd to invest US$1 billion to acquire music rights and manage catalogues. Blackstone will also acquire an undisclosed stake in Hipgnosis as part of the deal. Hipgnosis advises on music assets and is investment adviser to Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd., the largest U.K.-listed investor in music catalogs and royalties with gross assets of about US$2.2 billion. https://on.mktw.net/3pbpqxI
U.S. Army confirms delays for US$21.9 billion Microsoft AR project.
The U.S. Army published a response to a story first reported by defense intelligence company Janes, clarifying that the Microsoft IVAS AR headset program is still underway. The Army has updated its project timeline with delayed dates for the Operational Test phase and for the first fielding of the IVAS, which have been shifted back about 10 months to May 2022 and September 2022 respectively. The original report suggested a pause on the US$21.88 billion contract. Work began on headsets and software for IVAS, which stands for Integrated Visual Augmentation System, after Microsoft won an initial US$480 million Army contract in 2018. Development of IVAS has moved quickly since then, with a recent report in Defense News indicating operational tests were planned for 2022. The IVAS headsets are customized versions of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 hardware, with added features like 3D map display and night vision enhancement. Azure cloud services for the IVAS devices account for a significant portion of the contract. Beyond IVAS, Microsoft has focused on selling the expensive HoloLens headsets to a small but growing pool of enterprise customers. Earlier this week, it was also reported that Microsoft is planning to review its government contracts for potential human rights issues. https://bit.ly/3j9t9s2
Apple studying potential of AirPods as health Device.
Apple is studying ways to make AirPods into a health device, including for enhancing hearing, reading body temperature and monitoring posture, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the plans. The plans further demonstrate Apple’s ambition to add health and wellness features to devices beyond the Apple Watch, where most of the company’s health functions exist today. Apple is also working on technology that aims to use iPhones to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline, the Journal reported last month. https://on.wsj.com/3mYqcM3
Aurora’s autonomous trucks and taxis will be available to customers via subscription.
Aurora, the autonomous vehicle company founded by the former lead engineer for Google’s self-driving car project, announced that its autonomous trucks and taxis will be available to customers via subscriptions. Aurora doesn’t expect to roll out its self-driving trucks and ride-hailing vehicles until 2023 and 2024, respectively, but the company is providing more detail about how it plans on putting them into commercial operation. https://bit.ly/3aBhi1a
Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting
Apple TV+ to reach nearly 36 million users by 2026.
Earlier this week, research firm Digital TV Research reported that Apple TV+ is expected to reach nearly 36 million subscribers by the end of 2026. According to the research, Disney+ has the best case scenario when looking ahead. Data suggests that Disney’s streaming service will reach 284.2 million subscribers by 2026, thus taking the top spot from Netflix — expected to have 270.7 million subscribers by then. While Netflix still has impressive numbers, expectations for the company’s platform have dropped by a few million when compared to last year’s data. Amazon Prime Video is also expected to grow significantly, but it should remain in third place with 243.4 million users. https://bit.ly/3ACgZh9
DraftKings stock jumps after deal with NHL to be an official sports betting, fantasy partner.
Shares of DraftKings Inc. rallied 2.4% in morning trading Wednesday, after the digital sports entertainment and gaming company announced a deal with the National Hockey League to be an official sports betting, daily fantasy sports and iGaming partner. In addition, DraftKings also announced a deal with Turner Sports, including Bleacher Report, to be the exclusive sportsbook and daily fantasy sports provider for their NHL coverage. “The NHL has some of the most passionate fans in all of sports and we are delighted to be working with the league once again, while developing a rich and engaging viewership and content experience that matches this fanbases’ enthusiasm through our deal with Turner,” said DraftKings Chief Executive Jason Robins. The stock has tacked on 5.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has slipped 0.3%. https://on.mktw.net/3aCiJwe
Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory
DoorDash introduces search-page ads for restaurants.
DoorDash Inc. has started selling restaurant ads that appear atop the search results in its app, as companies in the largely unprofitable food-delivery industry dive deeper into advertising to boost revenue. In addition to the new services for restaurants, DoorDash is launching “featured listings” for consumer packaged goods brands to boost their placement within the convenience and grocery categories. https://on.wsj.com/3oYIBLe
Facebook whistleblower eyes state AGs, expanding regulatory threat beyond Washington.
Led by Connecticut, more than a dozen state attorneys general are asking Facebook for information related to Frances Haugen’s leaked documents. John Tye, a lawyer representing Huagen through the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid, said that his team has shared some of the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commision with state attorneys general offices in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Nebraska, and Tennessee. More than a dozen Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter to Facebook on Wednesday, demanding more information about the company’s handling of vaccine misinformation, in response to a Wall Street Journal article based on internal documents Haugen leaked to the outlet. To date, most of the tech-related action at the state level has been focused on antitrust, and early setbacks have indicated how challenging it can be for states to go up against the tech industry. https://wapo.st/3lKl3HV
New Senate bill takes aim at tech self preferencing.
A new bill coming to Capitol Hill aims to block tech companies like Google and Amazon from promoting their services ahead of rivals on their platforms, another attempt to regulate Silicon Valley’s business practices formed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Work on the bill by the group, led by Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, was spurred in part by disclosures by a Facebook whistleblower that raised new questions about how much consumers should trust tech companies, Klobuchar told The Wall Street Journal. The bill, which will be announced early next week, would ban big tech platforms from giving their products and services an edge over rivals by, for example, using business data from search, social media or ecommerce platforms to get an advantage over rivals or forcing a business to buy their goods in exchange for better placement. A House of Representatives committee passed a similar bill earlier this year, part of a torrent of bills aimed at breaking up tech companies or reigning in their power. Big technology firms have broadly said in response to antitrust challenges and such regulatory proposals that consumers choose to use their goods and services and that they behave competitively. https://bit.ly/3BSAYcT
Microsoft says it mitigated the largest DDoS attack ever recorded.
Microsoft says it was able to mitigate a 2.4 terabytes per second (Tbps) Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack in August. The attack targeted an Azure customer in Europe, and was 140 percent higher than the highest attack bandwidth volume Microsoft recorded in 2020. It also exceeds the peak traffic volume of 2.3Tbps, the previous largest attack, which was directed at Amazon Web Services last year. Microsoft says the attack lasted more than 10 minutes, with short-lived bursts of traffic that peaked at 2.4Tbps, 0.55Tbps, and finally 1.7Tbps. “The attack traffic originated from approximately 70,000 sources and from multiple countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, and China, as well as from the United States,” explains Amir Dahan, a senior program manager for Microsoft’s Azure networking team. Microsoft doesn’t name the Azure customer in Europe that was targeted, but such attacks can also be used as cover for secondary attacks that attempt to spread malware and infiltrate company systems. https://bit.ly/3FBYAEW
Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
Stripe is building a crypto team.
Online payments company Stripe is hiring at least four crypto engineers tasked with laying “the foundation to support and inform Stripe’s crypto strategy,” according to new job listings. The new team will report to Guillaume Poncin, the company’s former head of engineering, banking and financial products, he announced on Twitter Tuesday morning. Poncin was previously the chief product officer at Osmo, a children’s gaming company. Stripe’s announcement reflects a major push into crypto payments for the US$95 billion valuation business, which ended support for Bitcoin payments back in 2018. Stripe’s decision to reinvest in the fast-growing cryptocurrency industry comes amid an explosion in investment in crypto technologies, including payments companies that could become competitive with Stripe. Stripe is widely expected to complete an initial public offering or direct listing next year. https://bit.ly/3BQEjZR
Coinbase wants SEC blocked from crypto.
Coinbase wants Congress to prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from regulating the crypto industry, according to a policy blueprint reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Instead, the crypto exchange wants Congress to create a new regulator just for digital assets, a position that directly opposes that of the SEC’s chair. The policy document is just the latest example of growing tensions between Coinbase, which is the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. by trading volume, and regulators. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong accused the SEC of “some really sketchy behavior” in September when he said the regulator threatened to sue Coinbase if it released a crypto lending product. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has specifically called out Coinbase for not registering with the SEC and indicated that the cryptocurrencies the company trades are likely securities. Gensler has also advised Congress not to establish a separate crypto regulator. The Coinbase policy blueprint, which the newspaper said was planned for public release, argues that one is needed to keep digital assets from being threatened by multiple regulatory agencies and to help create new, modern rules for the rapidly growing crypto industry. https://bit.ly/3vgInQK
Jamie Dimon calls bitcoin ‘worthless’ and questions its 21 million supply cap.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon still isn’t buying into the hype surrounding bitcoin, saying at an event on Monday that he believes the popular cryptocurrency is “worthless.” But Dimon’s skepticism hasn’t stopped his his bank from doing business with clients that want access to the cryptocurrency. While Dimon may not believe in the value of bitcoin, investors have been pouring in over the last few weeks, lending the cryptocurrency a US$1.1 trillion valuation as of Monday. Part of Dimon’s skepticism is around supply, and whether the total number of bitcoins that can exist is in fact capped at 21 million. The finite supply is often cited as a reason to be bullish on bitcoin, as no more can be created once all the coins are mined in about 100 years. This is a common argument for bitcoin’s appeal as an inflation hedge. https://bit.ly/3atfx66
Vladimir Putin sees value in cryptocurrencies – but says it’s too early to tell if they can settle oil trades.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said cryptocurrencies may hold some value, but it’s too early to tell if they can be used in the oil trade. Russia has been considering replacing the dollar in crude-oil payments in response to challenges from Joe Biden’s administration and economic sanctions imposed by the US. But it may be premature to consider cryptocurrencies as a replacement, according to Putin. Putin separately predicted Wednesday that oil could hit US$100 a barrel, from the current range of around US$80, as global demand skyrockets in a tightening market. He also indicated that the negative environmental impact from bitcoin mining, which is said to take up roughly 0.5% of energy consumption worldwide, is another obstacle the digital asset faces for widespread use. https://bit.ly/3peEkmS
The US unseats China as world’s biggest bitcoin miner, accounting for a third of the global hash rate after Beijing’s crackdown.
The US share of the global rate has more than doubled to 35.4% from 17% in April, according to a report from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance published on Wednesday. China’s global hash rate, meanwhile, plunged to zero from 44% in that time. Hash rate is a key measure of how much computing power is required to support the network and to create bitcoin. It is also important to the bitcoin security protocol that prevents any double-spending of bitcoin. The increase in the US hash-rate share came after China in September banned all cryptocurrency transactions. https://bit.ly/2YR49yY
Coinbase to launch NFT marketplace. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said Tuesday that it’s creating a marketplace for buying and selling non-fungible tokens.
Sales of these digital, blockchain-based assets known as NFTs have skyrocketed in the past three months, and more crypto companies are looking to get a piece of the action. A Coinbase rival, FTX.US, launched an NFT marketplace on Monday. Coinbase’s offering, which is called Coinbase NFT, won’t be available until later this year and has a waitlist for early access. Adding in a NFT marketplace makes both of these exchanges more of a one-stop shop for all things crypto. Coinbase also emphasized that creators will play an important role in its NFT marketplace, showing the widening intersection between the creator economy and crypto. The company said Coinbase NFT will allow creators to “own, control, and benefit from their creations” and that the marketplace will help them build online fan communities. https://bit.ly/3DO411P
Roblox pushes toward avatar realism, plans to add NFT-like limited edition items.
At their annual developer conference on Thursday, Roblox painted a picture of what’s next for the fast-growing online multiplayer portal. Roblox co-founder and CEO David Baszucki outlined plans to spruce up player avatars, introduce new in-game monetization streams and streamline the experience for developers dreaming up the user-generated content that turned the company into a massive success at the intersection of gaming and social networking. Roblox also announced plans to introduce limited edition items, an interesting new way for people to make money from its bustling in-game economy. Creators can also generate money off of subsequent sales by enabling royalties – a perk that Roblox’s in-game items will share with some NFTs. In 2021, the company is on track to pay out US$500 million to developers who craft content for its user-generated game worlds. https://tcrn.ch/3vf8Gqx
Apple cuts iPhone 13 production by 10 million units, due to ongoing chip shortages.
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has significantly cut its production schedule for the iPhone 13 series. Due to ongoing chip shortages, the supply chain is supposedly unable to deliver its original targets for iPhone 13 shipments. The report says Apple is now expecting to make as much as 10 million fewer phones in 2021, than originally planned. Apple shares dropped 1% in aftermarket trading on the news. Apple is set to announce its next earnings report on October 28, where it will tell investors how well the iPhone 13 is faring in the market and likely give some insight on the supply situation. https://bit.ly/3v76cu8
Chip shortage weighs on smartphone shipments.
Ongoing semiconductor shortages took a toll on smartphone makers in the third quarter, pushing down their worldwide shipments 6%, according to technology data and analytics firm Canalys. The data confirm supply shortages of devices that wireless retail store workers have reported in recent months and are a sign that supply of iPhones and Android devices alike may run low as holiday shopping picks up. The third-quarter decline in global smartphone shipments follows 28% and 11% year-on-year increases in shipments during the first and second quarters of the year, respectively. During those periods devicemakers rebounded from Covid-related interruptions last year as did consumer demand. “In early 2021, we saw pent-up demand from 2020 drive an acceleration in sales. But from mid-year, the chipset famine is stifling volume,” said Ben Stanton, principal analyst at Canalys. The shortages are likely to continue well into 2022, he said, and chipset makers are hiking prices to keep device makers from over-ordering. In the third quarter, Samsung held a 23% share of global shipments, the same as the prior year, while Apple reclaimed the second place spot with 15%, an increase from 12% in the third quarter of 2020. Xiaomi was in third with 14% of shipments. https://bit.ly/3vhHkA5
TSMC plant in Japan planned in US$7 billion deal with Sony and govt.
Potential plans for a TSMC plant in Japan have leaked, with the chipmaker said to be seeking to boost production to help address the global chip shortage. TSMC has confirmed the plans, but it is now clear that the plant won’t make Apple chips, as the company says it will focus on much older 22nm and 28nm processes used for far less advanced chips. Setup costs of US$7 billion are expected to be split between TSMC, Sony, and the Japanese government. https://bit.ly/2Xhq3KS
Sophic Capital Client Insights
Sophic Client Clear Blue Techonologies (CBLU-TSXV, CBUTF-OTC, 0YA-FRA): The Next Revolution – Wireless Smart Off-Grid Technology.
Clear Blue Technologies Inc. provides clean, wireless power for mission critical off-grid infrastructure. Clear Blue’s ability to automate and digitize day-to-day operations while collecting data collected is competitive advantage. With over 400 customers, including Orange and Telefonica, it’s Clear Blue sky for the Company. https://bit.ly/3j9fdhE
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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. 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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.