While this past week was relatively quiet in Canadian public markets, EMERGE Commerce (ECOM-TSXV) announced a $24 million acquisition funded with cash on hand. Consensus expectations call for a busy fall, with regards to “risk-on” driving public capital markets activity in Canada. Private Canadian VC backed companies announced a couple hundred million dollars of funding last week, which appears to be lower than the past few weeks. In the USA, despite lower SPAC activity leading to fewer IPOS in Q2 2021, more companies continue on the path to being public. Last week, Allbirds, Reddit, Samsara, Binance, and NordicTrack were amongst companies that announced plans to go public. Intuit could be in talks to buy Mailchimp for more than US$10 billion, and Robinhood’s stock fell after Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler told Barron’s that banning the controversial practice of payment for order flow is “on the table” and PayPal is exploring a stock-trading service for US customers amid a boom in retail investing, CNBC first reported Monday.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

EMERGE Commerce (ECOM-TSXV) to acquire Battlbox, Carnivore Club for up to $23.8 million.

Toronto-based Emerge Commerce has signed a definitive agreement to acquire two North American brands that offer subscription products: Toronto’s Carnivore Club and Georgia-based BattlBox, which owns Carnivore Club. Emerge has agreed to pay up to $23.8 million for BattlBox, consisting of $12.9 million in cash, $1.9 million in deferred consideration, and contingent earnout consideration of up to $9.9 million. The Transaction is expected to be funded with cash on hand. The guaranteed (upfront and deferred cash) consideration represents a multiple of approximately 3.6 times Adjusted EBITDA, based on the BattlBox Group’s unaudited financial statements for the trailing twelve-month period ended May 31, 2021. BattlBox and Carnivore Club are set to become Emerge’s sixth and seventh North American brands. The company expects the deal to be its “largest and most profitable acquisition to date,” boosting both its subscription revenue and United States presence. “As a profitable, growing market leader in their space, BattlBox Group met all our criteria,” Ghassan Halazon, Emerge’s CEO, told BetaKit. “BattlBox has a very capable operating team and facilities in the US that we can leverage for future acquisitions and scaling logistics.” https://bit.ly/38ExNsw

Toronto tech smashed venture funding records in Q2 with $1.46 billion raised.

Toronto tech set a new record for venture funding during the second quarter of 2021, one of several milestones smashed according to the latest data from Hockeystick and briefed.in. In Q2, Toronto-based tech startups raised a total of $1.46 billion through 68 deals. Toronto saw a 28 percent increase in total investment compared to the first quarter of 2021, and a 555 percent increase since Q2 2020. The quarter was Toronto’s largest ever in terms of investment and maintained Toronto’s first-place lead in Canadian tech for both deals and dollars raised. https://bit.ly/3DM7MWg

Gatik raises $107 million Series B round, announces Texas expansion.

Palo Alto and Toronto-based Gatik has secured $107 million in Series B financing to fuel the expansion of its autonomous vehicle technology to new markets. The round, which Gatik described as “heavily oversubscribed,” was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT). KDT is the corporate venture capital arm of Kansas-based Koch Industries, the multinational conglomerate owned and run by Charles Koch. https://bit.ly/3zMd81A

New York-based FinTech startup Jeeves announces $71.6 million, expansion into Canada.

Armed with a major round of funding, New York-based Jeeves announced September 2 it’s expanding within Canada as well as into Columbia, the United Kingdom, and Europe. The all-in-one expense management platform for global startups said it has raised $71.6 million for a valuation of $600.1 million. That round closed in the last week of August. https://bit.ly/3zLkFNX

Fresh Prep raises $21 million Series B round to bring its meal kits to new markets.

Vancouver-based startup Fresh Prep has secured $21 million in Series B financing to expand its meal kit delivery service to new geographic markets. The startup’s all-equity Series B round, which closed earlier this week, was led by Vancouver-based private equity firm Yellow Point Equity Partners. The round was supported by fellow Vancouver investor Renewal Funds, which led Fresh Prep’s $7 million Series A round in 2020. The new capital brings Fresh Prep’s total funding to date to more than $35 million, including a $3.3 million financing round in late 2018. https://bit.ly/38B7286

D3 Security secures $18.9 million in growth equity, debt financing.

Vancouver’s Vistara Growth (formerly Vistara Capital Partners) is taking a $12.6 million growth equity stake in D3 Security, a security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) company. D3 Security announced the funding on August 31. Additionally, an unidentified major financial institution is augmenting the $12.6 million with a $6.3 million for a financing total of $18.9 million. https://bit.ly/2VekSub

Audette secures $1 million to help commercial real estate sector build and implement carbon reduction plans.

After testing out its platform in British Columbia and gaining acceptance to the first cohort of Google Canada’s Cloud accelerator program, Victoria-based cleantech software startup Audette has raised $1 million in seed funding to expand to new markets. “What’s happened is that the commercial building sector is squarely in the crosshairs of this new groundswell of regulation … but also financial incentives.” -Christopher Naismith, Audette’s founder and CEO. https://bit.ly/3mUGNC2

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

US IPOs fell 59% in the second quarter as SPACs dried up following a regulatory crackdown.

The number of companies listing shares on US exchanges for the first time dropped almost 60% in the second quarter, as the boom in special purpose acquisition companies cooled sharply in the wake of a regulatory crackdown. Data from FactSet published Wednesday showed that the total number of initial public offerings fell 59% quarter-on-quarter, although they were 128% higher than a year earlier. The decline was more marked within SPAC IPOs. There were just 39 in the three months to June 30, down 87% from 292 in the previous quarter, financial data company FactSet said. Overall, IPOs raised US$50.9 billion in the second quarter, down 64% on the previous three-month period. Within that, SPAC IPOs brought in just US$6.8 billion, compared with US$92.3 billion. https://bit.ly/3tasDhg

Allbirds files to go public.

Allbirds filed to go public, the second direct to consumer brand to do so in a week, following Warby Parker’s IPO filing last week. Like Warby, Allbirds showed that its sales growth was hit hard by the pandemic, when brick and mortar retail stores were shuttered for a time, although it has bounced back so far this year. The shoemaker reported that revenue growth slowed to 13% in 2020 from 54% in 2019, although for the first half of this year revenue is up 26%. But the company remains far from profitable. Its operating loss tripled last year to US$29 million and for the first half of this year it is up slightly to US$14.6 million. The IPO filing showed that Allbirds got close to break even, on a cash burn basis, in 2019. But that changed during the pandemic, when the company’s cash burn jumped to US$49 million. Allbirds raised US$101 million in new equity last year to buttress its balance sheet. The Allbirds IPO offers an exit to investors including Tiger Global, T. Rowe Price and Lerer Hippeau. Allbirds was most recently valued at US$1.7 billion, according to PitchBook. https://bit.ly/3jNOFDz

Reddit seeks to hire advisers for U.S. IPO.

Reddit Inc, the operator of online message boards that became the go-to destination for day traders chasing this year’s frenzy for so-called meme stocks, is seeking to hire investment bankers and lawyers for an initial public offering (IPO) in New York, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Reddit was valued at US$10 billion in a private fundraising round last month. By the time the IPO takes place early next year, Reddit hopes it will be valued at more than US$15 billion, one of the sources said. The sources cautioned that the timing and size of the IPO were subject to market conditions and asked not to be identified because the preparations are confidential. A Reddit spokesperson declined to comment. Reddit’s move to hire advisers for its IPO was previously unreported. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Chief Executive Steve Huffman had said the company was planning to go public but had not decided on the timing. https://reut.rs/3h2xbS2

Andreessen and General Catalyst-backed Samsara files confidentially for IPO.

Samsara Inc., a software company valued at US$5.4 billion last year, has filed confidentially for an initial public offering. The San Francisco-based company has submitted a confidential draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a statement Wednesday. Samsara hasn’t determined the price range or number of shares to be sold in the offering, which is expected to take place after an SEC review, it said. https://bloom.bg/38SAh6J

The maker of NordicTrack exercise equipment files to go public and wants to raise US$100 million from its IPO.

iFIT Health & Fitness, which makes NordicTrack treadmills and other exercise equipment, is planning an initial public offering from which it’s aiming to raise US$100 million to compete in the nearly US$6 trillion health and wellness market. The company is planning for its Class A shares to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “IFIT,” according to a filing with the Secuirites and Exchange dated Aug. 31. It didn’t specify the number of shares it will offer and didn’t list a proposed selling price. https://bit.ly/2Vh2BMO

Kakao pay cuts IPO to US$1.3 billion as valuation concerns grow.

Kakao Pay Corp., South Korea’s largest online payment service, lowered its targeted initial public offering to US$1.3 billion at the behest of Korean regulators concerned about soaring tech valuations. The fintech startup follows PUBG-developer Krafton Inc. in scaling back IPO targets after regulators questioned tech valuations and comparisons with high-flying overseas peers. The Pangyo-based company is now seeking to sell 17 million shares at a lowered range of 60,000 won to 90,000 won, versus a previous 63,000 to 96,000 won. https://bloom.bg/3h2qJKD

South Korean web-based social casino game maker’ DoubleDown’s IPO prices at US$18 per ADS, low end of proposed range.

DoubleDown Interactive Co. Ltd., a South Korean developer and publisher of mobile- and web-based social casino games, said Tuesday its initial public offering priced at US$18 per American Depositary Share, the low end of its proposed range of US$18 to US$20. The company issued 6.3 million shares to raise US$113.7 million. The ADSs will start trading later Tuesday on Nasdaq, under the ticker “DDI.” https://on.mktw.net/3gY3nFY

Binance’s US arm is considering an IPO within the next 3 years, boss Changpeng Zhao says.

Crypto exchange Binance is planning an initial public offering for its US arm within the next three years depending on business growth, CEO Changpeng Zhao told The Information in a recent interview. “Binance.US is just going to do what Coinbase did,” Zhao told the tech-based publication in a Zoom interview published Wednesday. He suggested Binance has an edge over Coinbase in terms of cost structure. “The users using Binance.US pay about one-fifth of the fees that they pay on Coinbase – so it’s about five times cheaper,” he said. https://bit.ly/3DMdHLa

China launches another stock exchange in bid to promote innovation.

China has announced the start of yet another stock exchange meant to drive capital to innovative companies, even as access to U.S. markets, where many of China’s top tech companies got funding, gets harder. Underscoring the importance of the matter, the announcement of the new board, called the Beijing Stock Exchange, was made by President Xi Jinping himself. The board is a relaunch of an exchange that had been set up for professional investors to trade equities in companies, the Wall Street Journal said. Volume in the National Equities Exchange and Quotation exchange, also known as the New Third Board, has been thin. The repackaging of an existing exchange in Beijing happens even as IPOs in another tech-oriented market have been struggling. In recent months, several high tech companies have suspended plans to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Science and Technology Innovation Board, known as the Star Market, which was billed as China’s answer to Nasdaq, while some 40 IPOs have been suspended pending an investigation related to their listings in Shanghai and Shenzhen. https://bit.ly/3DEHMw9

TikTok owner ByteDance takes first step into virtual reality with latest acquisition.

TikTok owner ByteDance has made its first foray into virtual reality (VR) through the acquisition of a start-up called Pico. Beijing-headquartered ByteDance did not disclose the size of the deal but said in a statement that Pico’s “comprehensive suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as the talent and deep expertise of the team, will support both our entry to the VR space and long-term investment in this emerging field.” Pico was the third-largest virtual reality headset maker globally in the first quarter of 2021, with shipments growing 44.7% year-on-year, according to IDC. https://cnb.cx/2YjevGV

Intuit in talks to buy Mailchimp for more than US$10 billion.

Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax and QuickBooks software, is in talks to buy email marketing firm Mailchimp for more than US$10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. No final decision has been made and discussions could fall through, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Another buyer could also emerge for the company and others are interested, they added. https://bloom.bg/3h1ZHDk

Robinhood tanks after SEC chair tells Barron’s that banning payment for order flow is a possibility.

Shares of Robinhood dropped Monday amid several bouts of bad news for the brokerage app. Robinhood’s stock fell 6.9% to US$43.64 per share after Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler told Barron’s that banning the controversial practice of payment for order flow is “on the table.” Gensler told the outlet that payment for order flow — the back-end payment brokerages receive for directing clients’ trades to market makers — has “an inherent conflict of interest.” https://cnb.cx/3DIUyd0

Virgin Galactic slips after the FAA says the company is grounded pending an investigation into a mishap during Branson’s trip to space.

Shares of Virgin Galactic tumbled on Thursday after the Federal Aviation Administration announced that the company’s flights are grounded pending an investigation into a mishap during Sir Richard Branson’s trip to space in July. Virgin Galactic’s stock price on Thursday slipped 7.26% to an intraday low of US$24.85. “Virgin Galactic may not return the SpaceShipTwo vehicle to flight until the FAA approves the final mishap investigation report or determines the issues related to the mishap do not affect public safety,” the federal agency told Insider via email. https://bit.ly/3BAVBKb

Globalstar stock rockets after report says Apple could add satellite communications to next iPhone.

Shares of Globalstar Inc. were up 49% in Monday morning trading after a report indicated that Apple Inc. may be looking to add satellite communications to its next iPhone and could work with Globalstar to do so. MacRumors cites a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo saying that Apple’s iPhone 13 will offer low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications that will let users send messages or make calls even if they don’t have 4G or 5G cellular connections. https://on.mktw.net/2WVJ70R

Emerging Technologies

Amazon is reportedly planning to release an Amazon-branded TV as soon as October.

Amazon is set to release Amazon-branded TVs as soon as October in the US, according to Insider. The TVs will have Alexa, screen sizes “in the range of 55 to 75 inches,” and will be designed and manufactured by third parties such as TCL, Insider reports. The company is also developing a TV designed in-house, Insider says, but it’s unclear when that might be released. Amazon already has many irons in the fire with TVs — it partners with Best Buy to sell Toshiba and Insignia TVs that run Amazon’s Fire TV software, offers an AmazonBasics-branded TV in India, and has the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Cube, which you can hook up to your TV. But this rumored new Amazon-branded TV could indicate that the company is stepping up its television efforts to take on TV stalwarts like LG and Samsung more directly. https://bit.ly/2YqyQKE

Apple’s AR/VR headset will require a connection with an iPhone to work.

Apple’s anticipated virtual reality and augmented reality headset will need to be wirelessly tethered to a phone or a similar device for the most advanced features, according to a new report. The Information says this AR/VR headset will work similarly to early versions of the Apple Watch, which required users to carry their iPhones with them. The report claims that Apple completed work last year on the chip and its physical design is ready for trial production. Two people familiar with the matter said Apple’s longtime partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is manufacturing the three chips, which are at least a year away from mass production. https://bit.ly/3jJ1lLy

IPhone 13 to support LEO satellite communication, allowing users to make phone calls and send texts without cell signal.

The iPhone 12 has been a massive sales hit for Apple thanks to the launch of 5G. It seems Apple wants to keep the momentum by adding another new radio technology to the iPhone this year. In an investor note, Ming-Chi Kuo today said that he expects the upcoming iPhone 13 models to feature a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communication mode. This would allow an iPhone 13 user to send messages and make phone calls, even when they are not within standard 4G/5G cell tower coverage. https://bit.ly/3gZsUPa

Apple plans new sleep tracking features, blood pressure tech, and more for future Apple Watch.

Amid reports that the Apple Watch Series 7 is facing production delays and won’t feature any new health sensor technology, a new report today reiterates that the Apple Watch is still “at the center of Apple’s health ambitions.” Apple is exploring a variety of new health features for the Apple Watch for the coming years, the Wall Street Journal says today. https://bit.ly/3zLld6t

Apple rumored to start Apple Car production in 2024.

According to a new report from Digitimes, Apple is targeting 2024 for the mass production of the Apple Car. Digitimes says Apple is in conversations with Japanese and Asian suppliers, including visits to Toyota, LG Electronics and SK Group. The Apple Car project has taken a circuitous route through the rumor mill. After a flurry of development around 2015, Apple scaled back the project in 2017 to focus on the underlying autonomous driving technology. However, as recently as 2019, it appears Apple has once again set its sight on making an actual car. https://bit.ly/3gZZtN3

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

YouTube music services hit 50 million subscribers in race to catch Spotify.

The expanded subscriber base makes Google a genuine competitor in the paid music streaming market after a series of failed product launches over the years. YouTube’s paid music streaming services have amassed 50 million subscribers, a milestone for Google as it competes with Amazon, Apple and Spotify in the fiercely competitive market. After a slow start since launching in 2018, YouTube’s music streaming services have attracted millions of paying users in recent months to reach 50 million subscribers in August, according to two people briefed on the figures. https://on.ft.com/3tdFfEi

Facebook enters the fantasy gaming market.

Facebook is getting into fantasy sports and other types of fantasy games. The company this morning announced the launch of Facebook Fantasy Games in the U.S. and Canada on the Facebook app for iOS and Android. Some games are described as “simpler” versions of the traditional fantasy sports games already on the market, while others allow users to make predictions associated with popular TV series, like “Survivor” or “The Bachelorette.” https://tcrn.ch/3BFLPqc

ESPN is reportedly looking to license its brand for at least US$3 billion amid a boom in the sports-betting industry.

Walt Disney’s ESPN is looking to license its brand for at least US$3 billion over the course of several years amid a boom in the sports-betting industry, The Wall Street Journal first reported. This means an opportunity for approved sports-betting companies to use the ESPN brand and the possibility of renaming their sportsbooks after the television network, sources told WSJ. There is, however, no guarantee the sports-media giant will ever close a deal. ESPN is now in discussion with firms including casino operator Caesars Entertainment and online gambling company DraftKings, sources told WSJ. It currently has existing partnerships with both. https://bit.ly/3n0D0mA

Telegram tops 1 billion downloads.

Popular instant messaging app Telegram has joined the elite club of apps that have been downloaded over 1 billion times globally, according to Sensor Tower. The Dubai-headquartered app, which was launched in late 2013, surpassed the milestone on Friday, the mobile insight firm told TechCrunch. As is the case with the app’s chief rival, WhatsApp, India is the largest market for Telegram. The world’s second-largest internet market represents approximately 22% of its lifetime installs, Sensor Tower said. https://tcrn.ch/3zHGBcT

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

Facebook’s WhatsApp hit with US$266 million fine over user data transparency breaches.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been ordered to pay a US$266 million penalty for “failing to be transparent about how it handled personal information” under new European Union data protection regulations. As reported by Bloomberg, this is the first time WhatsApp has been fined under the new GDPR law. The fine was handed down by the Irish Data Protection Commission, which said that it found violations in how WhatsApp explained “how it processed users’ and non-users’ data.” The regulator also found discrepancies in how user WhatsApp user data was shared with Facebook and Instagram. https://bit.ly/3DMdl7i

Apps used by children must meet new UK privacy standards from today.

Apps used by children – defined as any app “likely to be used by children,” even if they are not the target audience – must meet new UK privacy standards from today. The Children’s Code (more formerly known as the Age Appropriate Design Code) officially came into force last year, but developers and online service providers were allowed a grace period to bring their apps into compliance. That grace period expired today. The code requires a number of measures to be implemented, beginning with a high default level of privacy for the app. https://bit.ly/38E1j1y

U.S. DOJ readying Google antitrust lawsuit over ad-tech business.

U.S. antitrust officials are preparing a second monopoly lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.’s Google over the company’s digital advertising business, according to a person familiar with the matter, stepping up the government’s claims that Google is abusing its dominance. The Justice Department has accelerated its investigation of Google’s digital advertising practices and may file a lawsuit as soon as the end of the year, said the person, who declined to be named because the investigation is ongoing. No final decisions have been made and the timing could be pushed back. https://bloom.bg/38Dab7n

Australia considering new regulations for Apple Pay and other digital payment services.

Over the last year, Australia has been tightening its laws to regulate Big Techs. Now, the government is considering new laws to regulate digital payment services like Apple Pay. According to a report by Reuters, Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg said “he would ‘carefully consider’ that and other recommendations from a government-commissioned report into whether the payments system had kept pace with advances in technology and changes in consumer demand.” https://bit.ly/3ByWAdC

China issues strict new limits on children playing videogames in blow to Tencent, Netease.

China announced strict new limits on how much time children can play video games, restricting them to only one hour of gameplay Fridays, Saturdays and holidays in a move that’s a blow to videogame giants Tencent and Netease. China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the new rules Monday, citing the National Press and Publication Administration. The tough limits were set to prevent online gaming addiction and to protect the physical and mental health of minors, it said. This is the latest in a series of Beijing’s regulatory crackdowns that have sharply curtailed Chinese tech giants’ sprawling power over everything from online shopping to ride hailing, finance and online tutoring. Tencent, the social network and gaming giant that owns some of the world’s most popular games and videogame studios, has tried to keep one step ahead of the government. Earlier in August, it said it would initially limit minors’ use of its flagship “Honor of Kings” game to an hour a day on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays. Shares of Tencent have fallen nearly 19% this year so far. Tencent’s game revenue accounted for 31% of its total revenue in the quarter through June. Games revenues increased by 12% to RMB43.0 billion (US$6.6 billion) in that quarter. The company said gamers under 16 in China accounted for 2.6% of game gross receipts in the second quarter of the year. “Since 2017, Tencent has explored and applied various new technologies and functions for the protection of minors. That will continue, as Tencent strictly abides by and actively implements the latest requirements from Chinese authorities,” the company said in a statement. https://bit.ly/2YpEs7X

Alibaba to set aide US$15.5 billion for China’s “Common Prosperity” campaign.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said it would set aside 100 billion yuan (US$15.5 billion) for investments aimed at promoting social equality in China, in a move that is in line with President Xi Jinping’s push for “common prosperity.” The amount is significant. Alibaba’s annual net profit for the last fiscal year though March was 150 billion yuan. As Chinese internet giants grapple with Beijing’s escalating regulatory crackdown, they are launching new charity and social responsibility programs that are in line with the Communist Party’s policy goals. Last month, Alibaba’s e-commerce rival Pinduoduo said it would donate a total of 10 billion yuan to China’s agricultural industry by giving away its quarterly profits. Tencent said it would set aside 50 billion yuan for the “common prosperity” initiative, which calls for income redistribution and more efforts by the wealthy to give back to society. Over the past several months, the Chinese government has ramped up its effort to tighten its control over internet companies through antitrust investigations, cybersecurity reviews and other measures. In April, China’s regulator imposed a record $2.8 billion anti-monopoly fine on Alibaba, saying that the company had abused its market dominance. https://bit.ly/3gZDxS5

South Korea bill to force more app store payment options.

South Korea’s National Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill that will force Google and Apple to allow competitors’ payment systems in their app stores, the first country to do so and a move that could crimp the revenue the tech giants collect from sales in their dominant mobile marketplaces. The law stops Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use only their in-app payment systems. Breaches of the law could result in fines for the tech companies of up to 3% of their revenue in the country. The law could be the first of several globally as lawmakers in the U.S. and EU consider different ways to weaken Apple and Google’s dominance in the market for purchasing apps, games and digital goods. “We’ll reflect on how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store, and we will share more in the coming weeks,” a Google spokesperson said. An Apple spokesman said the bill will put consumers who buy digital goods at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections and make it hard to manage their purchases. “We believe user trust in App Store purchases will decrease as a result of this legislation,” he said. The South Korea news comes after a new filing over the weekend in the states’ antitrust suit against Google that revealed just how valuable Google Play likely was to the company in 2019 based on the group’s two-year investigation: US$11.2 billion in revenue and US$7 billion in operating income. https://bit.ly/3jHaK6m


Walmart is teaming up with Instacart to take another shot at delivering groceries in New York City.

Walmart said Tuesday it is partnering with Instacart to deliver groceries to parts of New York City, The Wall Street Journal first reported. Customers in areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx will be able to have groceries collected by Instacart drivers from stores outside the city and delivered to their homes. Instacart is a same-day delivery service that pairs users with gig workers who shop for and deliver their orders. Walmart previously offered grocery delivery in New York through its Jet.com service, which was shut down in 2020. Aside from this, the retail giant has made few moves into the New York City market and does not currently have stores there. https://bit.ly/38B7yTA

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

PayPal is reportedly exploring stock-trading service for US customers.

PayPal Holdings is exploring a stock-trading service for US customers amid a boom in retail investing, CNBC first reported Monday. To help launch the effort, the San Jose, California-based firm hired Rich Hagen to be the CEO of a division called “Invest at PayPal,” CNBC reported. This is reflected on Hagen’s LinkedIn profile. An industry veteran, Hagen was previously with Ally Invest. “Leading PayPal’s efforts to explore opportunities in the consumer investment business,” Hagen’s profile said. It is unlikely, however, that the service would be launched this year, sources told CNBC. https://bit.ly/3hj77ST

Reddit-inspired day traders bought stocks at a record pace this summer – and their recent push into altcoins has crypto markets looking frothy, JPMorgan says.

Retail investors have been buying stocks at a record pace over the summer, helping push markets to record highs, according to a Wednesday note from JPMorgan. The bank estimates that retail investor net flow into US stocks hit a record high of almost US$16 billion in July, and stood at about US$13 billion in August. The previous record was US$10 billion last June, JPMorgan highlighted. That buying frenzy in stocks also spilled over into “altcoins” in August, as investors piled into non-fungible tokens. The surge in NFTs and DeFi activity has helped not only ethereum, but also cryptocurrencies that facilitate smart contracts such as Solana, Binance Coin, and Cardano to soar. https://bit.ly/2WRugEO

Crypto platforms need regulation to survive, says SEC boss.

Gary Gensler was disappointed with the response to his call for crypto trading venues to register with the SEC. ‘Talk to us, come in,’ he said. The chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission is warning that cryptocurrency trading platforms are putting their own survival at risk unless they heed his call to work within the nation’s regulatory framework. Gary Gensler told the Financial Times that while he remained “technology neutral”, crypto assets were no different than any others when it came to such public policy imperatives as investor protection, guarding against illicit activity and maintaining financial stability. https://on.ft.com/3yFr0sP

Facebook, Xiaomi eye India’s US$1 trillion digital loan market.

India’s digital loan market is becoming a battleground for companies from Facebook Inc. to Xiaomi Corp., seeking a foothold in what’s set to be a US$1 trillion industry. Facebook this month said India would be the first country where it rolls out its small business loan program offering loans via a partner to firms that advertise on its platform. The loans will range from 500,000 rupees to 5 million rupees with interest rates of 17%-20%, potentially without collateral. https://bloom.bg/3jFfutd


Google plans to build its own semiconductor chips to power Chromebook laptops and tablets in 2023, a report says.

Google is planning to build its own semiconductor chips to power its Chromebook laptops and computers from around 2023, Nikkei Asia reported Wednesday. Unnamed sources close to the matter told Nikkei that the company hopes to use its own chips to run devices that use the Chrome operating system. They will be based on chip blueprints of Arm, a UK chip design company, the sources said. https://bit.ly/3tbdsnQ


Tesla temporarily halted some production in China due to chip shortage.

Tesla halted some of its production in China last month due to a chip shortage, Bloomberg reported. The global chip shortage that has thwarted other carmakers has impacted Tesla, too, in one of its most important markets where it halted some output for four days, the report said. Bloomberg said that one of the shortages was of electronic control units, with control electrical systems in a car. That would impact output of the Tesla Model Y, the report said. Other carmakers including Toyota and Nio Inc. are reporting that they are having to cut back output because of the ongoing chip shortage. https://bit.ly/38HwUzj


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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.