fbpx

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

December 17, 2023: Another Strong Week And More M&A

December 17, 2023: Another Strong Week And More M&A

With the Fed possibly pivoting to rate cuts in 2024, Dow Jones hit an all-time high, S&P 500, Nasdaq composite, Russell 2000 and S&P MidCap 400 – all hit 52-week highs. For the week, Dow Jones was up 2.9%, S&P 500 gained 2.5%, and Nasdaq composite rose 2.85%. Publicly traded electronic signature company DocuSign is working with advisers to explore a sale, potentially setting up one of the largest leveraged buyouts in recent years. A private equity consortium led by Insight Partners and Clearlake Capital Group is in advanced talks to take data analytics software company, Alteryx private for around US$5 billion, including debt. Global Payments is considering an acquisition of US peer Shift4. TikTok and Indonesian internet firm GoTo, have announced a deal in which TikTok will acquire GoTo’s Tokopedia e-commerce subsidiary in Indonesia. Oracle stock dropped 8% on slower revenue growth. Adobe shares fell 6% after hours after the company issued a revenue projection for its new fiscal year that implied a smaller boost from its new artificial intelligence products than investors had been hoping. Etsy is laying off around 11% of employees, as the site struggles to grow sales amid fierce competition from bargain-priced sellers like Shein and Temu. Epic Games’ victory against Google has put Apple back under App Store pressure. In Canada, Sophic Client, Kraken maintained strong Q4 service utilization, with a record number of survey awards. Sophic Client, Xcyte Digital, hosted the Metaverse Spectrum and celebrated a successful business conference, expo, awards, and pitch fest, where 27 companies had the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges and connect with over 120 investors. TMX Group, the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said on Wednesday it had acquired an around 78% stake in U.S. data analytics company VettaFi Holdings for US$848 million ($1.14 billion).

December 10, 2023: Market Rally Could Be Ready To Run, But Lots Already Baked In

December 10, 2023: Market Rally Could Be Ready To Run, But Lots Already Baked In

Last week, the market had modest gains, driven in the second half of the week. For the week, Dow Jones gained 2 points, S&P 500 index was up 0.2% and Nasdaq composite rose 0.7%. S&P 500 hit its 2023 high on Friday, and Nasdaq is coming up to that level. The market rally could be ready to run, but sentiment is already bullish. Out of 128 closely held companies that achieved valuations at or above US$1 billion as of 2021, nearly 90% were estimated to be valued lower in private trades, and about a third of the startups’ valuations in the group dropped below US$1 billion. SpaceX is discussing allowing a sale of company shares by employees and other investors at a valuation of US$175 billion or more, an increase of at least 17% over the last such offering. Fidelity and Jane Street backed CoreWeave at a US$7 billion valuation. CoreWeave, is a cloud computing provider that’s among the hottest startups in the artificial intelligence race. Elon Musk is looking to raise US$1 billion for xAI, his AI company. OpenAI rival, Mistral nears a US$2 billion valuation with Andreessen Horowitz, Nvidia, and Salesforce backing. Google’s new Gemini AI model is getting a mixed reception after its big debut yesterday, but users may have less confidence in the company’s tech or integrity after finding out that the most impressive demo of Gemini was pretty much faked. AMD holds launch event for AI chips that challenge Nvidia. AMD stock didn’t move on the news but is up 82% so far this year. Insiders sold or filed to sell about 370,000 shares last month. Moves come after the stock more than tripled in value in 2023. In Canada, there was news of a number of start ups securing funding, totalling ~$220 mln, well weekly 2020 and 2021 highs, but nonetheless encouraging for investors’ innovation risk appetite.

December 03, 2023: Market Breadth Finally Improving, Some IPO Talk

December 03, 2023: Market Breadth Finally Improving, Some IPO Talk

Last week, Dow Jones rose 2.4%, S&P 500 was up 0.8% and Nasdaq composite gained 0.4%. Dow Jones hit a 52-week high, S&P 500 set a 2023 closing high, with Nasdaq not far behind. Russell 2000 also finally rose above a key level. Reddit is again holding talks with potential investors for an IPO. Rubrik, a Microsoft Corp.-backed cloud and data security startup, is also considering an IPO as soon as Q1 2024. Kim Kardashian’s Skims, valued this summer at US$4 billion, is also discussing strategic options including an IPO. Shein confidentially filed for U.S. IPO. Lineage Logistics is targeting a valuation of more than US$30 billion in a large 2024 IPO. Tiger Global’s biggest venture fund has a 18% loss after markdowns. Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain implant startup, quietly raised an additional US$43 million. OpenAI is not planning to give Microsoft, and other investors board seats. Blackstone will buy Pet-Care site Rover for US$2.3 billion. Snowflake reported revenue growth of 32% as its CEO hails ‘stabilizing’ software market. Salesforce revenue rose 11%, the company said customers are embracing a ‘new era’ of AI. Amazon has grabbed the crown of biggest delivery business in the U.S., surpassing both UPS and FedEx in parcel volumes. SoFi is shutting down its crypto business, even as MicroStrategy made its biggest bitcoin purchase in years. In Canada, Shopify merchants set a sales record over Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Open Text will sell the AMC business to Rocket Software for US$2.28 billion in cash. Constellation Software was mentioned in the Economist magazine, it is now Canada’s second largest tech firm. Will it lead to the magazine curse? Sophic Clients, Kraken, Ionik, UGE, Clear Blue and Renoworks reported financials last week. New institutional investors appear to be accumulating Kraken based on recent trades, as the Company is hitting an inflection point.

November 26, 2023: Fourth Straight Up Week; OpenAI Drama Over For Now

November 26, 2023: Fourth Straight Up Week; OpenAI Drama Over For Now

Last week, Dow Jones rose 1.3%, S&P 500 was up 1%, and Nasdaq gained 0.9%. Market indices have had a good November, approaching 2023 highs. The VIX is at lows, leading some investors to believe that the market is due for a healthy consolidation or pullback. In the most captivating story in tech last week, OpenAI said it had reached an agreement “in principle” for Sam Altman to return to the startup. Altman, who was fired just last Friday as CEO, had agreed to an internal investigation into alleged conduct that prompted the company’s board to oust him. The Board was reportedly concerned a new Q* breakthrough could threaten humanity, by enabling AI to “surpass humans in most economically valuable tasks”. An OpenAI employee share sale that values the firm at US$86 billion is back on track following Altman’s reinstatement as CEO. Nvidia forecasted US$20 billion revenue next quarter, expecting a negative impact from China, the stock fell 1.5% after hours. Regulators in Europe and China have questioned Nvidia how it allocates its supply of highly sought-after chips. Apple’s Vision Pro is still not quite ready for launch, and is likely to release around March. Binance’s CEO has stepped down, pleading guilty to federal crimes. The SEC is suing crypto exchange Kraken. In Canada, Sophic Client, Ionik acquired substantially all of the assets of S44 LLC (SHIFT44), for a total aggregate purchase price of ~US$40 million payable in cash, debt and stock. On November 23, 2023, Ocean Infinity Group Limited, sold all of its 21,280,000 shares in Sophic Client Kraken Robotics for ~$0.5011 per share, clearing an overhang on the stock. Sophic Client, Clear Blue partnered with Watt Renewable Partners for its scale up in Nigeria and across Africa. The companies plan to deploy 1000 solar hybrid powered systems for telecom towers across Nigeria and Africa over the next three years. Watt has purchased 160 systems from Clear Blue for a total purchase price of $1.58 million.

November 19, 2023: Open AI Drama Marks The End To An Otherwise Good Week

November 19, 2023: Open AI Drama Marks The End To An Otherwise Good Week

Last week, Dow Jones gained 1.9%, S&P 500 rose 2.2% and Nasdaq was up 2.4%. OpenAI ousted Sam Altman for misleading its Board, which could have far reach consequences for the AI ecosystem. Google has delayed the cloud release of its Gemini AI product. Microsoft will sell AI from Cohere as its business moves beyond OpenAI. The company also unveiled an AI chip as it seeks to catch up to Nvidia, Amazon. Nvidia also unveiled a new AI chip, upping ante with AMD. Nvidia stock is riding its longest winning streak in seven years, adding US$220 billion in market value just in November, even as the ‘Big Short’ investor Michael Burry revealed a bet against Nvidia and other microchip stocks. SpaceX is considering spinning off its Starlink satellite internet business through an IPO as soon as 2024. Alibaba decided to cancel its plan to spin off its cloud computing division, citing new challenges facing the business due to the U.S. government’s restrictions on semiconductor exports. Meta Platforms, Alphabet, ByteDance and Snap must face lawsuits alleging they designed their platforms to attract and be addictive to children, thereby harming their mental health, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday. In Canada, Q4 is going private at half its IPO valuation with a $257 million buyout by Sumeru Equity Partners, after being public for just over two years. Sophic Client Xcyte began trading on the TSXV after a recent oversubscribed financing. Sophic Client UGE closed an offering of project development Green Bonds for aggregate gross proceeds of $1,538,050 and US$74,100. Sophic Client OneSoft reported Q3 2023 revenue of $2.8 million, +33% y/y. Management reiterated its 2023 revenue and Gross Profit guidance. Montréal-based carbon-capture startup Deep Sky closed $57.5 million in Series A financing as it looks to make Canada the “carbon removal capital of the world.”

November 12, 2023: Major Indices Close Week Above Recent October Highs

November 12, 2023: Major Indices Close Week Above Recent October Highs

Last week, Dow Jones rose 0.65%, S&P 500 rose 1.3%, and Nasdaq composite was up 2.4%. Shein has told potential investors that it’s seeking a valuation of US$80 billion to US$90 billion in an eventual U.S. IPO, a big jump from the fast-fashion giant’s US$66 billion valuation when it raised money in May. WeWork, once valued at US$47 billion, filed for bankruptcy, which also impacted SoftBank’s Q3 results. Meta and Tencent signed a preliminary agreement to sell a budget-friendly version of Meta’s Quest mixed-reality headsets in China, marking the first time Meta has been able to offer a product or service in China since 2009. Shares of The Trade Desk dropped by as much as 30% in after-hours trading Thursday after the firm projected slower revenue growth in the current quarter. Disney reduced its streaming losses, and projected profits next year. Uber’s Free Cash Flow more than doubled as bookings growth picked up. Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery giant Grab on Thursday reported its first operating profit on an adjusted basis, as the company’s businesses continue to recover after the pandemic. Datadog stock surged 28% for its best day ever after a beat and raise quarter. Roblox the video-game platform popular among teenagers, surged by the most in almost nine months after reporting Q3 bookings and revenue that far exceeded Wall Street’s projections. Humane kicked off a marketing effort for its upcoming AI Pin, likely to be the first of many AI-centered hardware devices. In Canada, Sophic Client Xcyte Digital announced the closing of its Qualifying Transaction. The Company completed an oversubscribed private placement for aggregate gross proceeds of $4.4 million. Sophic Client Kraken Robotics delivered a mine hunting solution to the Australian Navy. This represented Kraken’s first KATFISH system sale in APAC, following a successful in-country demonstration for the Royal Australian Navy in Q1 2023.

November 05, 2023: Best Week For NASDAQ In Almost A Year

November 05, 2023: Best Week For NASDAQ In Almost A Year

Last week, Dow Jones was up 5.1%, its best week in a year. S&P 500 rose 5.85%, Nasdaq composite was up 6.6% — both had their best weeks since early November 2022. The Biden administration on Monday issued a far-reaching executive order, that requires Google, OpenAI and others to share data. Separately, the FTC said it would look closely at tech companies’ AI, and cloud deals. Amazon Web Services announced a new service aimed at helping developers access Nvidia’s hard-to-get graphics processing units—a potentially threatening move for the flurry of GPU rental startups that are attempting to compete with the cloud provider. Nvidia has US$5 billion of China orders that could also be in limbo after latest U.S. curbs. SpaceX’s Starlink has “achieved breakeven cash flow,” CEO Elon Musk said Thursday. Earnings season continued to roll on, Apple’s revenue fell, despite 16% services growth. AMD stock rose more than 8.5% on Wednesday, a day after CEO Lisa Su projected her company’s forthcoming graphics processing units for artificial intelligence would eat into Nvidia’s dominant market share. Qualcomm reported a 24% drop in revenue, a continuation in what has been a poor year for the mobile chip giant thanks to an 18-month long slump in smartphone sales. Airbnb said Q4 growth will be slower than expected. Pinterest jumped 14% in extended trading on better-than-expected Q3results. In Canada, Sophic Client UGE International announced an extension of maturity date debentures. Sophic Client Kraken Robotics receives another Synthetic Aperture Sonar Order from HII, this one worth $1 million. Sophic Client OneSoft presented at the AI and Big Data Virtual Investor Conference. Vancouver-based electric motorcycle company Damon Motors is looking to list on the Nasdaq through a reverse merger.

October 29, 2023: Tech Sell Off Worsens, AI Investments Continue

October 29, 2023: Tech Sell Off Worsens, AI Investments Continue

Major indices fell to multi month lows last week. So far, earnings have been a negative catalyst for stocks, coupled with heightened geo political risk going into the weekend. Dow Jones fell 2.1%, S&P 500 lost 2.5%, and Nasdaq composite was down 2.6% during the week. Google has committed US$2 billion to Anthropic, an OpenAI rival. Google has previously taken a roughly 10% stake in Anthropic. This follows Amazon’s US$1.25 billion investment into the company. Crusoe Energy, one of several emerging cloud providers that rent out Nvidia’s in-demand chips for artificial intelligence, raised US$200 million in debt usings Nvidia chips as collateral. Intel is expanding to the AI software business, and Apple is rumored to follow ChatGPT with generative AI features on iPhone as soon as iOS 18. Microsoft reported revenue growth of 13% as AI sales accelerated Azure cloud growth. Revenue growth at Alphabet parent Google accelerated for a third straight quarter. Amazon reported better-than-expected results, as revenue jumped 13%. The company’s ad growth driven mostly by search, not video, and the company launched AI tools for ad sellers. Amazon is considering offering veterinary telehealth as it looks to compete with Walmart. Meta reported a return to robust growth rates after nearly two years of weaker expansion caused by an anemic ad market, Apple’s ad targeting changes and competition from TikTok. A coalition of 41 states and the District of Columbia are filing lawsuits alleging that Meta Platforms has intentionally built its products with addictive features that harm young users of its Facebook and Instagram services. Ford delayed US$12 billion in EV investments as the automaker wrestles with demand. In Canada, Well Health acquired two cybersecurity businesses, for an undisclosed amount. Google and Nvidia-backed, Toronto based CentML secured $37 million to help companies deploy AI amid chip shortages.

October 22, 2023: Tech Buckling Under Pressure, Ahead Of Big Earnings Week

October 22, 2023: Tech Buckling Under Pressure, Ahead Of Big Earnings Week

Last week was tough again for tech investors, as Treasury yields surged, and stocks exhibited poor reactions to earnings. Weakness was more pronounced in the second half of the week, Dow Jones fell 1.6%, S&P 500 was down 2.4%, and Nasdaq composite lost 3.2% during the week. The week ahead has risks, including GDP and inflation data, as well as big tech earnings. OpenAI is in talks to sell shares at a US$86 billion valuation. Stack Overflow, whose site helps software engineers get answers to technical questions, has laid off about 28% of its staff. The move may be the strongest indication yet of how OpenAI’s ChatGPT has upended digital businesses this year. The U.S. government announced new rules that restrict American firms such as Nvidia and Intel from selling advanced semiconductors, including artificial intelligence chips, to Chinese companies. Shares of critical chip firm ASML dropped 4% after these new U.S. curbs, and an outlook warning. Lockheed beat estimates on sustained weapons demand amid geopolitical tensions. Snap’s stock rose 12% after CEO Spiegel targeted 20% revenue growth. Okta’s stock fell 11% after it disclosed on Friday that hackers breached its systems and read some customers’ files. Amazon is rolling out expanded robotics operations at fulfillment centers built on updated sorting machines, robotic arms, and its Roomba-like mover bots. In Canada, Sophic Client UGE International announced Q3 2023 milestones and business updates, and announced commercial operation for its community solar project in Norway, Maine. Sophic Client Kraken announced a $3 million contract in Europe. GameSquare will acquire one of the biggest names in gaming, FaZe Clan and will complete a private placement to raise US$10 milion. BBTV Holdings announced its going private transaction.

October 15, 2023: Friday The 13th Spooky For Tech Stocks

October 15, 2023: Friday The 13th Spooky For Tech Stocks

Last week, Nasdaq fell 0.2% mostly due to Friday’s 1.2% fall, S&P 500 was up 0.45%, and Dow Jones rose 0.8%. Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Global, which delisted from New York last year, is planning to list its shares in Hong Kong next year, Bloomberg reported. The Company’s autonomous vehicle arm also raised US$149 million from state investors. ChatGPT’s mobile app hit a record US$4.58 million in revenue last month, but growth is slowing. Microsoft is contesting an IRS audit that found that the company owes US$28.9 billion in unpaid taxes dating back to 2004. Activist Nelson Peltz is planning a fresh push for board seats at Disney following a relentless slide in the entertainment giant’s shares, even as Comcast and Disney hired investment banks to value Hulu. Atlassian is acquiring video messaging service Loom for US$975 million, the same company that had a US$1.53 billion valuation in May 2021 when it announced a US$130 million Series C. PC shipments’ decline slowed in Q3 2023, but Apple plunged over 23%. Apple is reportedly already designing a lighter Vision Pro to fix “neck strain”, while Meta’s plans to beat Apple’s Vision Pro include cheaper headsets and no controllers. In Canada, Sophic Client UGE announced a Marketed Offering of up To US$5 million of project development Green Bonds and achieved a Notice to Proceed milestone for a 3.5-Megawatt community solar project in Oregon (its first in the state). In news that bodes well for Sophic Client, Kraken, US based HII was awarded a US$347 million U.S. Navy Lionfish small UUV contract.

October 08, 2023: Tough Week, But Ok End On Friday

October 08, 2023: Tough Week, But Ok End On Friday

U.S. VC investments fell 30% Q3 to US$32.7 billion, the sixth straight quarter investing has dropped from the year earlier period, and the lowest level since the second quarter of 2018. Intel plans to IPO programmable chip unit within three years. Anthropic is talking to investors about raising an additional US$2 billion in new funding. Meal kit service Blue Apron said Friday that it plans to sell itself to Wonder for US$103 million. Blue Apron went public in 2017 at a valuation of US$1.9 billion. SmileDirectClub files for bankruptcy, capping years of losses. Rivian shares fell over 20% after the EV maker said it plans to raise US$1.5 billion. Microsoft was willing to lose US$15 billion annually to win Apple search deal. Amazon plans an AI Chatbot for search. Meta launched generative AI products for advertisers. JPMorgan’s Dimon predicts 3.5-day work week for next generation thanks to AI. MGM resorts refused to pay ransom in cyberattack on casinos, costing the company US$100 million. Meta proposes US$14 subscription fee for ad-free Instagram and Facebook. TikTok is testing a US$5-per-month, ad-free version of its app. According to a new report, Apple has held early talks with the College Football Playoff tournament about a streaming deal, joining the sea of rumors relating to Apple’s interest in sports rights. Microsoft will debut its AI chip next month. OpenAI also discussed building its own AI chip. Hyundai and Kia announced they will soon adopt Tesla’s electric vehicle charging system, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2024 in the US. In Canada, Sophic Client Legend Power announced significant operational and sales progress. Sophic Client Clear Blue provides a positive corporate Q3 2023 update. Sophic Client UGE International CEO Nick Blitterswyck, presented and did a fireside chat at the MicroCap Club Leadership Summit, and was on the Planet MicroCap Due Dilligence Series Podcast.

October 01, 2023: Tech’s Horrible September

October 01, 2023: Tech’s Horrible September

While Nasdaq closed last week up fractionally higher, September was its worst month in the year, as the index was down nearly 6%. Dow Jones fell 1.2% and S&P 500 lost 0.4% last week. OpenAI is seeking a new valuation of between US$80 billion to US$90 billion, roughly triple its level earlier this year. The startup, which is 49% owned by Microsoft, has told investors that it expects to reach US$1 billion in revenue this year and generate many billions more in 2024. CoreWeave, a cloud computing provider that’s among the hottest startups in the artificial intelligence race, is finalizing a minority stake sale that values the company at US$7 billion. CoreWeave was an early adopter of Nvidia Corp. graphics chips for data centers, getting ahead of a wave of demand for powerful processors to run artificial intelligence applications. Amazon has agreed to invest up to US$4 billion in AI startup Anthropic. iPhone designer Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman are in advanced talks with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son to raise US$1 billion in capital to fund the creation of the “iPhone of artificial intelligence” that uses OpenAI’s artificial intelligence software, the Financial Times reported. In a complaint filed in federal court in Seattle Tuesday, the FTC and 17 states accused Amazon of engaging in a course of conduct to exclude rivals in online marketplace services and stifle competition. Nvidia’s France offices were raided by the country’s competition authority this week, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. In Canada, HS GovTech will be acquired for an all-cash consideration of $0.54, a ~150% premium. Canadian small cap tech names are beat up, and investors are beginning to notice. Shopify has invested in wholesale site Faire. The companies did not disclose the size of Shopify’s stake or the value of the deal.