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Weekly Cache

Weekly Investment News and Analysis

Please see what we’ve been reading in technology and ESG related investing this week. Please feel free to send us what you’ve found interesting.

Latest Invesment News

June 23, 2024: Despite Weak Close, Markets Still Close Week Up

Despite some market weakness late last week, Dow Jones was up 1.45%, S&P 500 gained 0.6% and Nasdaq composite rose marginally for the week ended June 21. Cerebras, a developer of AI chips, trying to compete with Nvidia, has filed for an IPO confidentially. Brazilian fintech PicPay is working on a US IPO. Investing app, Acorns is eyeing an IPO in the next couple of years. Most stocks hyped as winners from the AI boom have fallen this year, according to Citi. Nvidia plans to design server racks could pressure server designers such as Dell, HPE and Supermicro. Apple on Friday told media outlets that its new artificial intelligence features won’t be available in the European Union because of concerns that the Digital Markets Act could compromise user privacy and data security. Apple has also reportedly halted work on Vision Pro and is aiming to release cheaper Vision headset next year. Accenture expects strong AI demand to power its 2024 revenue growth. Amazon is planning to revamp its Alexa voice assistant business with two tiers of new generative AI features, one of which will charge a subscription fee of US$5 to US$10 a month. Green bonds are on track to hit a total of US$1 trillion of issuance this year. The rush into sustainable debt contrasts sharply with investor outflows from stock funds focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. In Canada, Sophic Client, Plurilock announced a US$6 million+ contract with the U.S. Treasury. Sophic Client, Kraken Robotics received a $2.2 million order for subsea batteries.

Invesment News in the Past Weeks

March 24, 2024: Dovish Fed, AI prospects, And IPO Pops!

March 24, 2024: Dovish Fed, AI prospects, And IPO Pops!

The market had another strong week, buoyed by a dovish Fed, bullish AI prospects and a couple positive IPO debuts. Major indexes performed well, hitting record highs, and then backing off Thursday’s intraday highs. For the week, Dow Jones was up 2%, S&P 500 gained 2.3%, Nasdaq composite rose 2.85%. The IPO pop is back — Reddit ended its first day on the public markets up 48% from its offering price. Astera Labs, ended its Thursday above US$64, about a three-quarters rise from its IPO price two days ago. Walmart-backed Ibotta filed for an IPO. CoreWeave, a cloud computing provider that’s among the hottest startups in the artificial intelligence race, is in talks to raise equity capital in a transaction that would more than double its valuation to US$16 billion. Telegram raised US$330 million through a corporate bond issued last week. The government of Saudi Arabia plans to raise US$40 billion for a fund focused on artificial intelligence investments, partnering with Andreessen Horowitz. Nvidia on Monday unveiled its next artificial intelligence chips, Blackwell, during its annual conference for app developers. The Justice Department and several states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple on Thursday. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken Robotics, announced $2.4 million of sonar and subsea power contracts. Abaxx announced the upsizing of its Bought Deal financing to $16.25 million. Nuvei, is nearing a buyout deal. Private-equity firm Advent International is in advanced talks with Nuvei for a transaction that could be announced soon, according to the WSJ. Hamilton-based oncology firm Fusion Pharmaceuticals will be acquired by AstraZeneca for up to US$2.4 billion. Toronto based Cohere, is in advanced talks to raise US$500 million at a valuation of about US$5 billion. Cohere was valued at US$2.2 billion last June when it raised US$270 million.

March 17, 2024: Canada: Expensive Chicken, Cheap Tech Companies

March 17, 2024: Canada: Expensive Chicken, Cheap Tech Companies

Markets remain at a crossroads. After seemingly poised to set new highs Tuesday, major indexes pulled back Friday. Dow Jones closed the week marginally down, S&P 500 lost 0.1%, Nasdaq composite lost 0.7%. Telegram is nearing profitability and is considering a IPO, according to the company’s founder. Stripe is in “no rush” to go public after the US$65 billion payments company returned to positive cash flow and raised its private market valuation. Technology start-ups have slashed equity packages for new hires as they weather a prolonged downturn, according to new data from Carta. Nvidia could be worth US$6 trillion if it follows Cisco’s dot-com trajectory, says Jeremy Siegel. Salesforce invested in Nvidia server reseller, Together AI at a US$1.25 billion valuation. Bitcoin’s record high boosted Coinbase, Microstrategy shares, as short sellers have lost US$3.3 billion betting against MicroStrategy this year. Despite inflation headlines everywhere, Canadian tech companies appear to be on sale. Three take outs were announced just last week, highlighting a key issue capital markets participants have long articulated – a lack of innovation focused risk capital in the country. TrueContext announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Battery Ventures in an all-cash transaction. mdf commerce entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by KKR, some investors suggested they may vote against the transaction based on valuation. Apple earlier this year acquired DarwinAI, a Canadian startup developing AI software to visually inspect components during manufacturing. Even though the stock of Sophic Capital client Kraken Robotics has surged over 150% in the past six months, it still appears undervalued when compared to its peers. We published a report highlighting if Kraken were to trade inline with defense technology peers, the stock would be worth $1.85 per share or 68% upside from the closing price on March 12, 2024, of $1.10.

March 10, 2024: Momentary Blip Or Change In Market Character?

March 10, 2024: Momentary Blip Or Change In Market Character?

Last week, Dow Jones fell 0.9%, S&P 500 lost 0.3% and Nasdaq Composite was down 1.2%, after reversing from record highs on Friday. Astera Labs said it plans to raise up to US$534 million from its IPO as the eight-year-old server component startup looks to benefit from investor interest in artificial intelligence companies. Reddit is planning to start trading on the NYSE on March 21, following a road show next week. The company is initially seeking a valuation between US$5.5 billion and US$6.5 billion, down from the US$10 billion at which it raised money in 2021. Andreessen Horowitz is close to raising US$6.9 billion in new funds, including a growth fund that comprises about half the total and two AI focused funds. Super Micro Computer is joining the S&P 500 following a historic rally in the stock that has pushed the company’s market cap past US$50 billion. Two Nvidia Corp. directors sold about US$180 million in shares of the chipmaker in recent days, becoming the latest insiders to cash in as the stock continues to push deeper into record territory. MicroStrategy slipped from 24-year high on a convertible note offering to buy more bitcoins. The European Commission fined Apple 1.8 billion euros, or US$1.95 billion, for alleged “abusive App store rules” affecting rival music streaming services. President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he would sign a bill that would force ByteDance to divest TikTok or ban the app in the United States if it passed Congress. Temu spent US$2 billion on Meta ads in 2023. Amazon Web Services is paying up to $650 million for a Pennsylvania data center campus next to a nuclear power plant, according to the seller, Talen Energy. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken signed a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement with the US Navy for next Generation Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) Beamforming. Toronto-based AI chip startup Taalas has launched out of stealth with $50 million in funding.

March 03, 2024: Record NASDAQ, But Hedge Funds Likely Reducing Exposure

March 03, 2024: Record NASDAQ, But Hedge Funds Likely Reducing Exposure

Last week, Dow Jones lost ~10 bps, S&P 500 rose 0.9%, and NASDAQ Composite gained 1.7% and hit a record high on Friday. Klarna is considering a US$20 billion IPO this year. eToro is getting interest about a public market listing. Investing platform Webull will go public through a SPAC deal. Stripe struck a deal with investors that allows current and former employees to cash out some of their shares in an offering valuing the startup at US$65 billion. Hedge funds are reportedly dumping tech stocks at the quickest pace in seven months after piling in ahead of Nvidia’s wild earnings report. At the same time, options on Nvidia, accounted for 25 cents of every dollar of premium – the price of contracts – traded in U.S. single-stock options over the past month. Various companies including Apple, Fisker and Polestar signalled problems with the EV market. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken Robotics announced that its minehunting systems were operational with the Royal Danish Navy, under a 2020 contract. Sophic Client, UGE achieved a Notice to Proceed milestone for a second 1.4MW solar project in Texas. UGE had the project appraised by an independent third party for a fair market value of US$3.1 million or US$2.22/Watt. Sophic Client, Clear Blue provide a Q4 2023 corporate update, which bodes well for 2024 results and also announced product updates. Railtown AI closed the final tranche of its previously-disclosed non-brokered private placement. Collectively across all tranches of the Offering, aggregate gross proceeds of nearly $3 million was raised. Toronto startup ideogram raised $80 million for AI image generation, Andreessen Horowitz is leading the round.

February 25, 2024: Dow And S&P At Record Highs, NASDAQ Closing In

February 25, 2024: Dow And S&P At Record Highs, NASDAQ Closing In

Last week, Dow Jones rose 1.3%, S&P 500 gained 1.7%, as both indices reached new all-time highs. Nasdaq composite was up gained 1.4%, as it hit a fresh two-year high. The market value of Nvidia briefly touched US$2 trillion on Friday, two days after the chipmaker posted significant growth in its quarterly revenue. At the same time, Nvidia chips have become far easier to access than they were last year, and ChatGPT has seen declining web traffic in five of the past eight months and is currently down 11% from its May 2023 peak. Jeff Bezos, Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI are throwing serious cash at a human-like robot startup, Figure AI in US$675 million financing. Astera Labs, a startup that’s slated to be one of the first beneficiaries of the generative AI boom, filed documents to go public. Reddit filed to list its IPO on NYSE under the ticker RDDT. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, blocked access to crypto trading platforms including Binance. Electric vehicles seem to be encountering demand headwinds, according to recent data from Ford, Mercedes-Benz and the Chinese market. In Canada, Sophic Client OneSoft reported preliminary 2023 results, and provided guidance for 2024. 2023 revenue increased 51% y/y to $10.4 million, in line with previous guidance. OneSoft issued 2024 guidance for revenue of $15 million to $16 million, Adjusted EBITDA between $1.6 million to $1.9 million, and forecasted cash at the end of 2024 of between $4.7 to $5.0 million. The Company was also recognized as a top performer by the TSX Venture Exchange in the Technology sector. Sophic Client Legend Power Systems reported Q1 F2024 financial results. “While deals have taken longer to close than initially thought, we continue to advance all deals that have previously been communicated and have not lost a single opportunity,” said Randy Buchamer, Legend Power Systems CEO.

February 18, 2024: First Down Week In Six Weeks. All Eyes On Nvidia Next Week.

February 18, 2024: First Down Week In Six Weeks. All Eyes On Nvidia Next Week.

Last week, markets held up reasonably well despite hot inflation reports. Dow Jones was down 0.1%, S&P 500 lost 0.4% and Nasdaq fell 1.3%. As indices remain near highs, Nvidia’s earnings report Wednesday will be crucial. The Company surpassed Amazon in market capitalization on Tuesday. OpenAI completed a deal that values the company at US$80 billion or more, nearly tripling its valuation in less than 10 months. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son is seeking as much as US$100 billion to bankroll a chip venture to compete with Nvidia and supply semiconductors essential for AI. Nvidia also blogged about a new AI model, Sora, that produces original video based on text descriptions of what people want to see. Google on Thursday announced an upgraded version of its flagship conversational artificial intelligence, Gemini. Apple plans to release an AI-powered coding assistant this year. Walmart is in talks to buy TV maker Vizio. Uber unveiled a US$7 billion stock buyback plan. In Canada, as Sophic Client Kraken Robotics’ stock is at fresh 52 week highs, the company provided positive updates for 2023 and a strong 2024 outlook. Kraken’s sales funnel pipeline at the end of December 2023 was over $900 million, and the company expects 2024 revenue between $90 to $100 million and Adj EBITDA in the $18 to $24 million range. Another Canadian small cap company is getting taken out, as Think Research entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Beedie Capital, for a 100% premium to the closing price of the Common Shares on February 15, 2024 and a 75% premium to the 30-day volume-weighted average trading price of the Common Shares. Shopify’s warned operating expenses would grow in Q1, sending its stock down more than 7% in trading Tuesday morning.

February 11, 2024: Chips Ahoy!

February 11, 2024: Chips Ahoy!

Last week, Dow Jones was up just fractionally while S&P 500 rose 1.4%, moving above the key 5,000 level. Nasdaq gained 2.3%, briefly exceeding the 16,000 level. OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman has spoken with investors about raising trillions of dollars to fund an effort to expand the world’s manufacturing capacity to make semiconductors for artificial intelligence. The effort could require US$5 trillion to US$7 trillion and a sprawling partnership between OpenAI, chipmakers, power providers and governments. China’s leading chip manufacturer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, is setting up production lines outside Shanghai to manufacture even more advanced chips as soon as this year. The news comes despite U.S. efforts to prevent China from advancing its chipmaking abilities through sanctions and blacklists. Nvidia is in talks with Microsoft, Meta, Amazon to develop custom AI chips. Arm shares soared as much as 41% after the chip designer gave a strong forecast. Palantir stock jumped 19% as AI demand drove a revenue beat. OpenAI is developing a form of agent software to automate complex tasks by effectively taking over a customer’s device. Google launched its GPT-4 rival, Gemini Ultra, for US$20 a month. Disney’s ESPN, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox Corp. have announced a new streaming joint venture in the U.S. that would put all of their sports programming on a single app. In Canada, Sophic Client UGE achieved commercial operation for a rooftop community solar project in Queens, New York. UGE had the Queens project appraised by a third party for a fair market value of US$3.20/watt, with a project total of US$1.2 million. With the completion of this project, UGE’s operating portfolio now stands at 5.6MW, with an additional 17.7MW of projects currently in the construction and deployment phase of development.

February 04, 2024: Number Go Up

February 04, 2024: Number Go Up

On the back of risks we highlighted last week, markets struggled mid week, as Fed chief Powell largely ruled out a March rate cut, and Google results weighed on tech stocks. That said, Dow Jones and S&P 500 rose 1.4% last week as both set record highs. Nasdaq gained 1.1% to close at a two year high driven by gains on Thursday and Friday owing to Meta and Amazon results. US venture capitalists are reportedly sitting on US$311 billion in unspent cash, as they shy away from risky bets on Silicon Valley start-ups and concentrate on finding ways to return capital to their own backers. Rubrik, the cybersecurity software startup that Microsoft invested in at a US$4 billion valuation in 2021, plans to go public in New York as early as April, as it handles a U.S. fraud investigation into one of its former employees. Internet discussion forum Reddit is targeting a valuation of at least US$5 billion in its upcoming initial public offering, about half the price at which it last raised funds privately. Sierra Space Corp. is making preliminary plans to go public and exploring possible acquisitions as the company drives toward debuting its long-awaited cargo spaceplane, potentially by the summer. Jeff Bezos could sell up to US$8.5 billion in Amazon stock in next year. A Delaware judge voided the US$56 billion compensation package of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Tesla’s share price slid about 3% in after-hours trading following news of the decision. In Canada, Sophic Client Kraken was mentioned as a recent buy by PenderFund Capital Management. Sophic Client Renoworks and Eagleview announced a new all-in-one virtual 3d design and measurement tool for exterior contractors. Railtown AI announced a $2.5 million non-brokered private placement. Recent Canadian tech financings appear to have been well received by investors, which bodes well for the space. Exro will acquire California-based SEA Electric in a $332-million EV-tech deal.

January 28, 2024: Increased Capital Inflow Into Canadian Innovation Small Caps

January 28, 2024: Increased Capital Inflow Into Canadian Innovation Small Caps

Last week, Dow Jones rose 0.65%, S&P 500 gained 1.1% and Nasdaq composite was up 0.9%. Investors could now pause to see big earnings and economic news, including a Fed meeting this coming week. While Wall Street cheers on Silicon Valley, tech companies are downsizing at an accelerating clip. So far in January, some 23,670 workers have been laid off from 85 tech companies. Chipmaker Cerebras systems is weighing an IPO as soon as 2024. ASML shares closed at a record high after an earnings beat, and orders pop. Elon Musk’s xAI is in talks to raise US$6 billion. The FTC started an inquiry of AI Deals involving Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, Amazon, Anthropic. Google launched a generative AI tool for search ad buyers. Figma will offer new equity packages to employees at a price that values the company at US$10 billion, 50% lower than the US$20 billion Adobe was willing to pay for the design startup in a since-scuttled deal. Tesla shares fell 10% as a vague outlook disappointed Wall Street. Some Apple Vision Pro deliveries were pushed to April, and demand remains unclear. In Canada, we are optimistic that we are beginning to see increased capital flowing into small cap innovation after nearly three years. Sophic clients, Kraken Robotics, OneSoft Solutions, and Renoworks Software are at or near their 52 week highs. Kneat upsized its previously announced bought deal public offering to $17.4 million. MediaValet will be acquired in an all-cash transaction, at a premium of 30% and 22% to the Company’s closing price and 20-day volume-weighted average price, respectively. EMERGE signed a definitive agreement to sell WholesalePet for US$9.25 million, and plans a major debt reduction. New Sophic Capital client, ADM Endeavors provided a corporate update, and expects consistent organic growth in 2024 and beyond. Renoworks announced the new Renoworks Pro Partner program and introduced Renoworks API Hub to fuel market growth.

January 21, 2024: First S&P Record Close In Two Years

January 21, 2024: First S&P Record Close In Two Years

Last week, stock markets had a strong finish. On Friday, S&P 500 rose past its January 2022 all-time high. Dow Jones closed at all-time closing high. Nasdaq, while still not still not at a record high closed at a two year high after rising 2.9%. Reddit plans to go public by the end of March. Shein faces data privacy review from Chinese regulator, potentially complicating the Company’s US IPO. Elon Musk threatened to stymie Tesla’s development in artificial intelligence and robotics if he isn’t granted more control of Tesla. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said that his top priority right now is launching the next version of the company’s large language model, likely to be called GPT-5. Sam Altman also plans to establish a global network of factories to manufacture semiconductors. Meta aims to build artificial general intelligence, software that can reason like humans do, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. Google and YouTube are cutting hundreds of jobs. Baidu stock sinks the most since 2022 despite denying links to PLA AI. Chip design software maker Synopsys said on Tuesday it would buy Ansys in a US$35 billion cash-and-stock deal. The European Union intends to block Amazon’s US$1.7 billion acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot. The Justice Department could sue Apple over Antitrust by March. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the legal case between Apple and Epic Games, allowing a lower court’s decision to stand that requires Apple to open up its App Store to alternative payment systems. Sophic Client Kraken Robotics’ insider buying was mentioned in the Globe and Mail. Dye & Durham announced a $126 million bought deal offering. Flexport is raising $260 million from Shopify, one of its biggest shareholders. Sophic Client UGE announced Q4 2023 milestones and business updates.

January 14, 2024: 2024 Week Two Much Better Than Week One

January 14, 2024: 2024 Week Two Much Better Than Week One

After the first week of 2024 saw lots of selling, perhaps to optimize taxes on 2023 capital gains — last week was better for investors. Major indices, having found support at key levels are now at important resistance levels. Dow Jones was up 0.3% last week, S&P 500 gained 1.8%, hitting 52-week highs and is now within a few points of its all-time high. Nasdaq rose 3.1% and is encountering resistance at 15,000. More than 100 companies are getting ready to list on Nasdaq after filing confidentially with the SEC, Nasdaq’s CEO Adena Friedman told investing publication Barron’s. Circle has confidentially filed for an initial public offering, the company said on Thursday, signaling the stablecoin issuer is taking another run at becoming a publicly traded firm after a special purpose acquisition deal fell apart in 2022. The first Bitcoin ETFs were approved by US regulators, and saw US$4.6 billion in volume on the first day of trading. Microsoft passed Apple in market capitalization as of Friday’s close, becoming the most valuable company. OpenAI launched a new store for users to share custom chatbots. Twilio’s CEO is stepping down, under pressure from activist shareholders. Numerous companies announced job cuts, including Alphabet, Amazon, Twitch, Discord, Unity, Humane. Hewlett Packard Enterprise said it’s agreed to buy networking gear vendor Juniper Networks for about US$14 billion, or US$40 per share, in an all-cash deal. Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman are competing to acquire DocuSign with a market value of about US$12.5 billion. Apple’s Vision Pro headset could sell out quickly at launch, a top analyst predicted. Carta said late Monday it was closing a part of its business under fire for improperly using private customer data. Sophic Client, UGE reached commercial operation on a rooftop Community Solar project in Peekskill, New York. Independent third party values the project at US$1.4 million or US$2.98/Watt.

December 24, 2023: Eight Straight Weeks Up For Indices, Some Consolidation Could Be Healthy

December 24, 2023: Eight Straight Weeks Up For Indices, Some Consolidation Could Be Healthy

As the year comes to an end, may the Holiday Season bring you happiness and 2024 be filled with investing success. We will be back in January. Last week, the market looked past Wednesday’s sell-off and major indexes rose for an eighth straight week — Dow Jones rose 0.2%, S&P 500 was up 0.75%, Nasdaq gained 1.2%. Software startup ServiceTitan is preparing for 2024 IPO. Anthropic, is in talks to raise US$750 million in a venture round led by Menlo Ventures. OpenAI is in talks to raise new funding at a valuation of US$100 billion or more. ByteDance’s sales broke US$110 billion to pass Tencent in 2023. China’s iPhone ban accelerates across government and state firms. Adobe and Figma called off the US$20 billion acquisition of Figma by Adobe. Adobe now has US$6 billion for AI and buybacks after the deal collapsed. Cybersecurity firm Okta will buy startup Spera for a reported US$100 million. Shares of Micron gained about 6% in premarket trading Thursday, after the largest US maker of memory semiconductors indicated data center demand is compensating for a slowly recovering market for personal computers and smartphones. Apple is aiming to sell the Vision Pro in February, the company has also developed a breakthrough method for Running LLMs on iPhones. Google might already be replacing some Ad sales jobs with AI. Google will pay US$700 million to settle claims by a group of state attorneys general. BlackRock’s proposed bitcoin ETF will now allow cash redemptions after pushback from the SEC. In Canada, HIVE announced a $25 million bought deal. Sophic Client, Legend Power reported Q4 F2023 results, management is focused on advancing sales opportunities. Sophic Client, Kraken received a Synthetic Aperture Sonar Order from NATO CMRE. Sophic Client Ionik unveiled a fully rebranded website, taking another step in its brand evolution.