Last week saw a complementary $600 million notes offering by (GIB.A-TSX, GIB-NYSE) following a US$1 billion notes offering the week before. Neo Financial is furthering its push to become a full-stack digital bank: the three-year-old startup closed a $64 million Series B round this summer led by Peter Thiel-backed Valar Ventures, which also led Neo’s Series A financing. We published a piece on Sophic client UGE (UGE-TSXV, UGEIF-OTC) highlighting that the company’s solar project backlog continues to be undervalued compared to mid scale project transactions. The stock is trading at an implied US$0.44/W, which represents about a 43% discount to the average US$0.77/W peer transactions, before accounting for any additional project wins. In the USA, Toast, GitLab, and Forge Global could be some interesting new listings to add to your screens. There was also a fair amount of news in the crypto space, with both bullish and bearish takeaways.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

CGI (GIB.A-TSX, GIB-NYSE) announces private offering of $600 million of 7-year notes.

CGI will issue $600 million aggregate principal amount of 7-year senior unsecured notes. The notes will bear interest at the rate of 2.100% per annum. The offering is expected to close on or about September 16, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. This offering supplements the previously announced offering of US$1.0 billion in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes, consisting of US$600 million aggregate principal amount of 5-year notes and US$400 million aggregate principal amount of 10-year notes expected to close on or about September 14, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. https://bit.ly/3tQmCGT

Think Research (THNK-TSXV) switches banks, increases credit facility to $28 million.

Think Research Corporation replaced its existing credit arrangement with the National Bank of Canada, choosing instead to go with the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS). The new arrangement increases the size of Think Research’s total credit facility and credit availability while lowering interest on the loan.  https://bit.ly/3Elbfvj

Magnet Forensics (MAGT-TSX) acquires evidence software company DME Forensics in a $9 million deal.

Digital investigation software startup Magnet Forensics has acquired United States-based video and multimedia evidence solution company DME Forensics in a deal worth $9 million. The purchase marks Magnet Forensics’ first since it went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in April and third acquisition overall. Magnet Forensics is acquiring DME under its United States affiliate. The deal consists of up-front cash consideration of $6.75 million, plus a $2.25 million earn-out over two years based on the achievement of certain integration-focused targets. https://bit.ly/3Am7Wla

SaaS data backup and recovery platform Rewind raises $65 million.

Rewind, a data backup company has raised $65 million of funding. Founded in 2015, the Ottawa company provides data backup services to businesses like Shopify and QuickBooks. Rewind plans to use the funding to, “continue building new backup solutions for Saas, and hire the talent required to get these products to market.” said CEO Mike Potter. This second round of funding comes less than a year after Rewind raised $15 million, but with increasing demand due to many companies shifting to remote or hybrid work, Rewind is looking to capitalize on this increased demand. https://bit.ly/2VNdXIw

Neo Financial secures $64 million led by Peter Thiel-backed Valar Ventures.

Having secured new equity capital from a notable group of investors, Neo Financial is furthering its push to become a full-stack digital bank to compete with Canada’s financial giants. The three-year-old startup closed a $64 million Series B round this summer led by Peter Thiel-backed Valar Ventures, which also led Neo’s Series A financing. The latest raise brings Neo’s total funding to date to $114 million. The Series B capital attracted a mix of new and return investors, with Greenoaks Capital, Altos Ventures, and Breyer Capital joining the fray. https://bit.ly/3AitYp0

Millions.co raises $12.6 million for social commerce platform for athletes.

Millions.co lived up to its name on September 14 when the Toronto-based company announced it raised $12.6 million in its first round of funding. Boston-based Volition Capital led the Series A round for the social commerce platform for professional and semi-professional athletes. https://bit.ly/2XpEufD

Foxquilt raises $8 million series A round to accelerate US expansion Led by Luge Capital.

Toronto-based startup Foxquilt has secured $8 million in series A funding to fuel expansion into the US market. Foxquilt was founded in 2016, and aims to provide customized insurance to small businesses. Foxquil uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to match businesses to the right product, and ensure that their customers aren’t paying more than they need, or aren’t left vulnerable due to lack of coverage. The $8 million they just received brings their total funding up to $14 million. https://bit.ly/2XouenJ

CruxOCM secures $7.6 million to bolster automation software for energy sector operations.

Calgary-based startup CruxOCM, which provides software that automates the operations of heavy industrial control rooms in the energy sector, has raised $7.6 million  to fuel its product development and expansion efforts. After attracting some early customers and achieving strong product-market fit, CruxOCM plans to use the fresh capital to bolster the user experience of its software and take its tech to new verticals. CruxOCM referred to the round as a “seed extension or seed-plus,” but noted that it was raised on different terms from its prior 2019 angel and pre-seed rounds. The new capital brings CruxOCM’s total funding to date to $11.4 million. https://bit.ly/39bEUsr

MedStack secures $3.93 million to capitalize on increased demand for healthtech.

Healthcare security, privacy, and compliance startup MedStack has raised $3.93 million to bolster its offering and support its expansion plans. The all-equity round was led by existing investors Blu Venture Investors (BVI) and Telus Ventures. Over half of the funding associated with this round came from new investors. https://bit.ly/2XtwH0s

Toronto-based Private AI’s language redaction tool attracts $3.15 million in seed funding.

M12 Ventures, the venture capital arm of Microsoft, and astronaut Chris Hatfield are among the diverse investors in Private AI, a developer of privacy-preserving machine learning and natural language processing tools. Along with Forum Ventures, M12 co-led a $3.15 million round of seed funding for the Toronto-based AI firm. Pre-seed investor Differential Ventures also participated in the heavily oversubscribed seed round. https://bit.ly/3ChTfjz

CarDoor raises $3 million, prepares its online car retail platform for cross-Canada expansion. 

After raising $3 million lead by Framework Venture Partners,CarDoor is ready to expand their online retail platform across Canada. CarDoor is an online buying and delivery vehicle service which currently has 308 vehicles listed. They partner with dealers to ensure an extensive offering of high-quality vehicles. https://bit.ly/39e93Y2

Montreal-based BrainBox, American Internet of Things company partners to lower energy consumption in commercial buildings. 

Montreal’s based BrainBox has announced they are working with an American Internet of Things company to help commercial buildings lower their energy consumption and carbon footprint. On September 14, BrainBox announced they are partnering with KMC controls. BrainBox uses autonomous decision making to predict a buildings thermal load, and then enables the buildings HVAC system to operate autonomously. KMC controls created a smart building platform for commercial buildings of any size. Brainbox claims that their software can result in energy savings up to 25%, along with a 20% to 40% reduction in carbon footprint. https://bit.ly/2Z8F428


Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

Toast sets IPO terms, to be valued at up to $16.5 billion.

Toast Inc. has set the terms of its initial public offering, in which the Massachusetts-based restaurant payment processor looks to raise up to US$717.4 million and be valued at up to about US$16.5 billion. The company is offering 21.74 million Class A shares in the IPO, which is expected to price between US$30 and US$33 a share. The stock is expected to list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “TOST.”  Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters. The company recorded a net loss of US$234.65 million on revenue of US$703.75 million for the six months ended June 30, after a loss of US$124.55 million on revenue of $343.84 million in the same period a year ago. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has rallied 8.3% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 5.0%. https://on.mktw.net/3CdjVCd

Coding platform GitLab reveals surge in growth in U.S. IPO filing.

GitLab Inc, a coding platform backed by the likes of ICONIQ Capital and Khosla Ventures, revealed rapid growth and wider losses when it filed for a U.S. initial public offering on Friday. GitLab did not disclose the terms of its offering. The company was last valued at $6 billion after a secondary share sale in January, according to startup data platform PitchBook. According to the filing, GitLab generated revenue of US$108.1 million for the six months ended July 31, an increase of 69% year-over-year. However, it incurred a net loss of US$69 million in the same period, compared with US$43.6 million a year earlier. GitLab creates online tools to reduce the software development cycle by allowing teams to collaborate and work together. Industry leaders such as Nvidia, Siemens AG and Goldman Sachs are among its customers, according to the company’s website. Over the past few years, GitLab’s valuation has surged several fold and the company has raised capital from large investors such as Altimeter Capital, Franklin Templeton, TCV and Coatue Management. So far, GitLab has raised over US$400 million in external funding. https://reut.rs/39frA6y

Private tech equities trading firm Forge Global to go public in SPAC merger.

Forge Global, an online marketplace for buying and selling shares in private companies, is going public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Motive Capital. Through the merger, Forge is expecting to raise more than US$500 million. The merger values Forge at US$2 billion. The company wrote in a press release that it has almost 400,000 users, including over 123,000 accredited investors, and handles over US$10 billion of trades in the shares of more than 400 companies. In a presentation to be shown to investors Monday, the company cited data that projects private market assets under management to nearly double to US$13 trillion by 2025 from US$7 trillion in 2020. The company also reported that 142 unicorns traded on their platform, and see the remaining 620 billion-dollar startups as targets moving forward. The company reported that it turned a profit, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, of US$2.8 million in 2020, up from a loss of US$6.5 million in 2019. The company projects profits to rise to US$19 million by 2023. https://bit.ly/2YZXB0n

Gogoro will go public on Nasdaq after US$2.35 billion SPAC deal.

The electric smart scooters company Gogoro announced this week that it will list on the Nasdaq through a merger with Poema Global. The company will trade with the ticker “GCR” and the deal sets their enterprise value at $2.35 billion. The capital raised will be used to focus on Gogoro’s expansion in China, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as further develop their tech ecosystem. The company was founded 10 years ago in Taiwan, and their technology includes smart swappable batteries that monitor the condition and performance of vehicles and batteries. In less than 5 years the company has attracted more than 400,000 subscribers and generated more than $1 billion in revenue. https://tcrn.ch/3zjlMDD

Coinbase looking to raise US$1.5 billion through debt offering.

Coinbase Global Inc is planning to raise about US$1.5 billion through a debt offering to invest in product development and potential mergers and acquisitions The fundraising plans come less than a week after the company said U.S. regulators would sue the exchange if it went ahead with plans to launch a program allowing users to earn interest by lending digital assets. A month after listing, the company had said it would offer $1.25 billion in senior notes due 2026, to raise funds for general corporate purposes. https://reut.rs/394JVmA

Intuit to acquire email marketing firm Mailchimp for US$12 billion.

Intuit is acquiring marketing software provider Mailchimp in a cash and stock deal worth US$12 billion, a move that will enable the financial software maker to expand its range of offerings for the small and medium-sized companies that have long been its focus. The deal shows how Intuit is taking advantage of its soaring stock price–shares have risen 110% since the start of 2020, giving the company a market capitalization of more than US$150 billion–to augment a product lineup that includes applications like TurboTax and QuickBooks. Intuit is paying about 15 times revenue for Mailchimp, which hasn’t taken any outside funding since its founding in 2001 and reportedly had around US$800 million in sales last year. This is the largest deal in Intuit’s 38-year history, surpassing its US$7 billion acquisition of personal finance software maker Credit Karma in February 2020. https://bit.ly/3kocqly

Transunion confirms to acquire Neustar for US$3.1 billion in cash.

TransUnion said Monday it has agreed to acquire Neustar from a group led by Golden Gate Capital Communications for US$3.1 billion in cash. The Chicago-based consumer-credit reporting company said it expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. Neustar, an identify-theft and fraud company, is expected to generate about US$575 million of revenue in 2021. The deal “expands TransUnion’s powerful digital identity capabilities through the addition of Neustar’s distinctive data and analytics, enabling consumers and businesses to transact online with greater confidence,” the company said in a statement. https://on.mktw.net/3kdYb33

App Annie and co-founder charged with securities fraud, will pay US$10million+ settlement.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged App Annie, a leading mobile data and analytics firm, as well as its co-founder and former CEO and Chairman Bertrand Schmitt, with securities fraud. App Annie and Schmitt have agreed to pay over US$10 million to settle the fraud charges which are related to “deceptive practices and making material misrepresentations about how App Annie’s alternative data was derived,” the SEC said. https://tcrn.ch/3hE8efV

Emerging Technologies

Zoom is adding live translation services and coming to Facebook VR.

Zoom plans to expand its support for automatic live transcriptions with the addition of live translation, and turn its whiteboard feature into a more of a fully-featured app, among several other changes the company announced at its Zoomtopia conference on Monday. Early next year, Zoom is coming to Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms. The shared VR meeting space will be able to host video meetings and connect to Zoom Whiteboard, according to Zoom. In VR, you can pin a Zoom Whiteboard to your virtual desk or to the wall for everyone to see, and draw along with colleagues attending a meeting through a traditional computer. https://bit.ly/3Es0kjH

Apple VR headset plans progress as company tests 3,000 dpi display.

Plans for an Apple VR headset continue, with the company reportedly now testing a display panel with a massive pixel density of 3,000 dots per inch (dpi). Conventional OLED panels max out at 600 dots per inch, and Apple has so far used the term Retina to describe displays as low as 227 dpi. Apple is believed to be working on two distinct head-worn devices. In the longer term, it is expected to launch Apple Glasses – before then, however, we’re expecting to see a first-generation Apple headset with both virtual reality and augmented reality functionality. https://bit.ly/39c0qNP

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak creating new space company ‘Privateer’.

In a brief tweet, Steve Wozniak announced he is co-founding a new private space company. The company was co-founded by Steve Wozniak and Alex Fielding. Wozniak is known for his co-founding of Apple; while Fielding founded the robotics company Ripcord, Inc. Space startups seem to be the next big thing. With reusability and dedicated smallsat rockets growing, it is easier to get payloads launched than ever. Without details on the plans Steve Wozniak has for his new space company, it’s hard to guess. With more details coming at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) conference, it could be anybody’s guess. https://bit.ly/3zbHMA5

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

China slows videogame approvals after imposing new limits on minors.

China is asking video game developers to resubmit their video games to regulators with stricter criteria for content and child protection, Bloomberg reported. The policy change is likely to slow down game approvals in the world’s largest videogame market and impact Chinese videogame giants such as Tencent and Netease. China requires all videogames to be cleared by regulators before they can be sold in the country. Bloomberg said that China’s National Press and Publication Administration is re-assessing submissions to make sure they comply with new regulations regarding playtime for minors. The move comes after China in late August issued strict limits on how much time children can play video games, restricting them to only one hour of gameplay on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. https://bit.ly/3kkBREI

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

Epic has appealed Friday’s ruling in the Epic v. Apple case.

Epic Games has filed an appeal to a Friday’s ruling in its lawsuit against Apple, calling on a higher court to reexamine the case and overturn the judge’s ruling. Few details are given about the legal basis for Epic’s appeal, but it is likely to continue to press on the federal antitrust allegations dismissed by the court. At trial, Epic argued Apple had a monopoly because of how it requires developers to use its payments system for in-game purchases. But Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled Friday that Epic should pay damages to Apple for violating rules around its in-app purchasing system, while undoing Apple’s most restrictive rules on steering customers to alternate payment systems. Most notably, the judge found that Epic failed to make the case for Apple as a monopoly in the mobile gaming marketplace. https://bit.ly/3nytMhJ

China tells Alibaba and Tencent to break down their walls.

China’s government told Alibaba and Tencent to open up their platforms to each other and stop blocking each other’s web links. Reuters cited a report from the state-owned 21st Century Business Herald which said that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had called a meeting last Friday including Tencent and Alibaba as well as ByteDance, Baidu, Huawei and Xiaomi. The report said that the ministry gave them a deadline by which to comply, but didn’t specify when it was. On Monday, the ministry said at a briefing that it had ordered the companies to remove the restrictions. Blocking sites “affects the user experience, damages the rights of users and disrupts market order,” said a government spokesperson, according to Reuters. Right now, fierce rivals Tencent and Alibaba largely operate as separate universes with users unable to easily cross between the two to access services or links. https://bit.ly/3Ey4OVK

TikTok’s lead EU regulator opens two data privacy probes.

TikTok’s lead data privacy regulator in the European Union has opened two inquiries into the Chinese-owned short-video platform related to the processing of children’s personal data and transfers of personal data to China. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which is lead EU regulator for many of the world’s top internet firms due to the location of their regional headquarters in Ireland, is allowed to impose fines of up to 4% of global revenue. TikTok in August announced stricter privacy controls for teenagers, seeking to address criticism that it has failed to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content. https://reut.rs/2Z1GL18

S.Korea fines Google US$177 million for blocking Android customisation. South Korea’s antitrust regulator has fined Alphabet Inc’s Google 207 billion won (US$176.64 million) for blocking customised versions of its Android operating system (OS), in the U.S. technology giant’s second setback in the country in less than a month. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday Google’s contract terms with device makers amounted to an abuse of its dominant market position that restricted competition in the mobile OS market. Google said in a statement it intends to appeal the ruling, saying it ignores the benefits offered by Android’s compatibility with other programs and undermines advantages enjoyed by consumers. https://reut.rs/3zmyGkf


Walmart+ is gaining momentum, hits 32 million members, Deutsche Bank estimates.

Research by Deutsche Bank shows that Walmart’s new membership program is gaining momentum, attracting younger, high-income shoppers. Walmart+ has secured 32 million subscriptions in the U.S. after just one year of operation. The subscription costs US$99 a year, or US$12.95 on a month-to-month basis, and includes perks like free grocery delivery on orders more than US$35, fuel discounts, and access to an app that allows them to skip checkout lines. Walmart+ users are very similar to Amazon prime users with 86% of them saying they also have Amazon Prime. The demographics are also similar with 63% of Walmart+ users having a family income of more than US$50,000 and 33% making more than US$100,000, compared to 63% and 28% with Prime members. https://cnb.cx/3EoeKkR

Amazon, Deliveroo partner to offer prime members free delivery.

Amazon.com Inc. is offering its Prime members in the U.K. and Ireland access to Deliveroo Plus for one year, deepening its tieup with the British company beyond its financial investment. Prime customers will get free delivery on food orders over 25 pounds (US$35), the companies said in a statement Wednesday. Deliveroo, headquartered in London, says the arrangement will help it attract new customers and deepen the loyalty of existing users. https://bloom.bg/3nF40IA

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Adobe adds payment services via PayPal to its Adobe Commerce platform.

Adobe announced the launch of their own payment service for Adobe Commerce to add native payments to its customers’ digital storefronts. This announcement brings Adobe into the crowded payment space, but customers will be able to manage payments without dealing with third party providers. Adobe is currently using PayPal services which will be available for customers until the end of the year. Payment services for Adobe Commerce includes, accepting and processing payment, competitive processing fees, and advanced financial reporting. https://zd.net/3tSLJZt

China wants Ant Group to create new separate app for loans.

China’s government wants to break up Ant Group’s Alipay mobile app and make the Chinese financial technology giant create a separate app for its lending businesses, the Financial Times reported. Alipay, China’s biggest mobile payment app, offers a wide range of features including Huabei, a virtual credit card service, and Jiebei, which offers small loans. Chinese regulators now want Ant to split Huabei and Jiebei into a new app that is independent from Alipay, according to the FT. Such a move would be the latest development in Beijing’s crackdown on Ant, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Since Chinese regulators forced Ant to scrap its $37 billion initial public offering last November, the government has been taking steps to tighten its control over Ant’s financial services as well as the vast troves of data its Alipay app collects from users. In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ant was in talks with state-owned enterprises to create a credit-scoring company where Ant’s consumer data would come under regulators’ supervision. https://bit.ly/3hLSp6X

U.S. to target crypto ransomware payments with sanctions.

The Biden administration is preparing an array of actions, including sanctions, to make it harder for hackers to use digital currency to profit from ransomware attacks, according to people familiar with the matter. The government hopes to choke off access to a form of payment that has supported a booming criminal industry and a rising national security threat. The Treasury Department plans to impose the sanctions as soon as next week, the people said, and will issue fresh guidance to businesses on the risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments, including fines and other penalties. Later this year, expected new anti-money-laundering and terror-finance rules will seek to limit the use of cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism in ransomware attacks and other illicit activities. The actions collectively would represent the most significant attempt yet by the Biden administration to undercut the digital finance ecosystem of traders, exchanges and other elements that cybersecurity experts say has allowed debilitating ransomware attacks to flourish in recent years. https://on.wsj.com/3zh61wY

Top US regulator Gary Gensler ups the pressure on crypto exchanges after Coinbase spat, saying they need to ‘come in and talk to us’.

Just days after clashing with trading platform Coinbase over one of its products, Securities and Exchange Commission boss Gary Gensler has said crypto exchanges need to “come in and talk” to the markets regulator, The SEC boss said exchanges need to register with the Commission, because some of their tokens or products may be securities. That’s unlike bitcoin, which regulators think is more like a commodity. In response, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong accused the SEC of “really sketchy behavior” and said he failed to see how the lending product was a security. The spat goes to the heart of a key issue facing the SEC, which is how to treat crypto products that have only been developed over the last few years. Gensler said in his prepared remarks that the SEC is working with the commodities regulator, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and other bodies on a regulatory framework. https://bit.ly/3zaup3i

Mark Cuban-backed OpenSea says it’s found evidence of insider trading on its NFT platform.

Backed by Mark Cuban, Non-fungible token (NFT) company OpenSea said in a statement that it has uncovered evidence of insider trading by an employee. The employee apparently purchased digital tokens knowing that they would be featured on OpenSea’s front page before the news was made public. NFTs are unique digital items that have soared in popularity this year. They are stored on a blockchain and can be bought or sold on platforms like OpenSea. In August alone, the company saw more than $3 billion worth of transactions. https://bit.ly/3EpBVep

Coinbase applies to offer trading in crypto derivatives and futures on the exchange.

On Wednesday, Coinbase, The largest publicly listed crypto exchange announced they plan to expand their product offering to include trading in futures and derivatives. In a tweet, the company stated that they have submitted an application to the National Futures Association. Coinbase stated, “This is the next step to broaden our offerings and offer futures and derivatives trading on our platform.”.  After listing on the US stock exchange in February, Coinbase has continued to make strides in growing their business, most recently by announcing they plan to raise $2 billion through the sale of bonds to raise capital for future takeovers, and product development. https://bit.ly/3hHYuRS

Fidelity pushed for its bitcoin ETF in a private meeting with the SEC as the regulator stalls on making its 1st approval.

Fidelity Digital Assets met with SEC officials privately to push for the approval of their proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund and argued the cryptocurrency market is now big enough to support it. Although no similar product has been approved in the US yet, the securities regulator is considering applications from more than 20 companies, including Galaxy Digital, VanEck, Valkyrie Investments, and FirstTrust/SkyBridge. It has extended the decision to approve VanEck’s ETF by 60 days to November 14. https://bit.ly/39a372z 

Billionaire Steve Cohen has reportedly agreed to personally back a new crypto quant trading firm.

Steve Cohen, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Point 72 Asset Management, has agreed to back a new cryptocurrency-trading platform. Cohen has agreed in principle to personally invest in Radkl, a quantitative trading firm with a focus on digital assets. The company is led by a team from York-based high speed trading firm GTS. According to the WSJ, Cohen’s stake in Radkl has not been disclosed. While Cohen is investing personally, his Point 72 hedge fund has also thrown its weight behind the crypto space this year. In August, the firm made its first investment in the sector, backing crypto analytics firm Messari. Point 72 led a $21 million funding round in the company. https://bit.ly/3nBWDSr

Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital is launching an NFT platform.

SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund led by former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, announced it is launching a platform to trade non-fungible tokens. The company – called Flatter – will specialize in art and collectibles, as well as experiences. In August alone, NFT marketplace OpenSea saw US$2 billion worth of transaction volume. https://bit.ly/3nAFyZ7

MicroStrategy buys more bitcoin while it sells more stock.

MicroStrategy has been making waves by announcing a plan to sell up to $1 billion in stocks, while continuing to acquire more bitcoin. During the third quarter, the company purchased 5050 bitcoins for a total price of US$242.9 million. This purchase brings their total bitcoin holdings to 8957 with a total purchase price of US$419.8 million. At the same time, the company sold 555,179 shares of stock for a total value of US$399.9 million. MicroStrategy’s stock has rallied 58.4% year to date compared to 18.7% for the S&P. https://on.mktw.net/3AjrO8s

Litecoin price jumped 20 percent after hoax linked the cryptocurrency to Walmart.

On Monday, a fake press release claimed that Walmart would start accepting Litecoin as payment. This caused the stock to jump 20% in anticipation of more popularity. The press release was only posted for a short period of time and when GlobeNewswire became aware that it was a fraudulent user behind the release they took it down and issued a notice to disregard. https://bit.ly/394bahh

Cathie Wood predicts bitcoin will surge to US$500,000 in 5 years – and says Ark Invest’s confidence in ether has shot up dramatically.

Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood expects bitcoin to soar to US$500,000 in five years, and her firm’s conviction in ether has strengthened tremendously, the star stock-picker said in an interview with CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin at the SALT Conference on Monday. Her price prediction depends on whether companies continue to diversify their balance sheets into the biggest cryptocurrency by market value and institutional investors begin to allocate 5% of their funds to it. If that happens, “we believe that the price will be ten-fold of where it is today,” she said. “So instead of US$45,000, over US$500,000.”. https://bit.ly/3AgDSXX 

AMC ticket buyers will be able to pay in ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash by the end of the year.

The movie chain’s CEO says AMC CEO Adam Aron said on Wednesday that he expects they will accept ether, litecoin, and bitcoin by the end of the year. AMC is widely  known mostly for their 2000% year-to-date return after it became popular on well-known reddit site Wall Street Bets, which they have capitalized on by selling more shares. After the announcement many social media users were urging AMC to also accept the recent internet craze, “Dogecoin” but for now it appears they will not be. https://bit.ly/3nX1IVJ


Chip shortage drives tech companies and car makers closer.

Cooperation between semiconductor companies and the automotive industry is moving into the fast lane, driven by a chip shortage and a recognition that cars are becoming ever-more digital. More than a year into the crisis, executives from car and chip makers are establishing closer ties to address the shortage and working together to introduce new products. The shift was on display as executives from such chip companies as Intel Corp. INTC 2.14% , Qualcomm Inc. QCOM 0.51% and Nvidia Corp. NVDA -1.45% flocked to Munich last week for an annual auto show, lured by the promise of selling chips for new car displays, driver-assistance features and other vehicle applications. https://on.wsj.com/2XnbO76



10-year solar ITC extension, standalone storage credit and PTC revival included in draft budget bill.

A domestic content bonus could meanwhile boost tax credits for solar projects to 40%, while a revival of the production tax credit (PTC) for solar and the addition of an ITC for energy storage projects have also been included within the proposals. https://bit.ly/3z3XP32

Wood Mackenzie: US battery storage deployments worth US$5 billion forecast in record setting year.

The US is likely to install record setting amounts of battery storage this year, demonstrating the acceptance the technology has found in the power sector and as an integral part of the clean energy transition. That’s according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables senior energy storage analyst Vanessa Witte, commenting on the latest quarterly edition of the research firm’s US Energy Storage Monitor market report. https://bit.ly/2Xru3se

Sophic Capital Client Insights

UGE (Sophic Client,UGE-TSXV, UGEIF-OTC) backlog continues to be undervalued.

Management has continued to build it’s business since our last report in February 2021. Mid-scale solar projects under development have sold for between US$0.46/W and US$1.19/W. Based upon UGE’s September 15, 2021 stock price of C$1.46 per share, the market currently values UGE at US$0.44/W, which represents about a 43% discount to the average US$0.77/W peer transactions have commanded and approaching the US$0.46/W low end of these transaction values. Applying US$0.77/W industry average for solar project acquisitions to UGE’s June 30th pro forma 83.7MW backlog estimate suggests that UGE’s backlog alone could be worth between C$2.60 to C$2.70 per share. Our C$2.60 to C$2.70 range excludes future project wins, giving no value to the Company’s 441MW overall project pipeline (~357MW net of backlog) as of UGE’s Q2 (June 30, 2021) financials. If we conservatively assume that 33% of the ~357MW net pipeline converts over time, back-of-the-envelope math implies another C$3.50 to C$4.00 per share could be added to the C$2.60 to C$2.70 per share estimate over time. https://bit.ly/3Ew67Vj


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