Financial News Now - Economy Update

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The financial world has been turned upside down recently and things are changing daily. It's hard to stay on top of the latest economic developments and investing trends. Here are the Frugal Finance news stories you need to know now:

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has put lawmakers on notice: the U.S. is running out of money fast. That’s right, the money printer might turn off temporarily due to out of control spending in the last two decades (not just from Trump or Biden). Unless, of course, Congress raises the debt ceiling. Yellen has said that if Congress fails to raise or abolish the debt ceiling by mid-October, the U.S. will default on its debt for the first time in history. Yellen also indicated that such this potential event would be a catastrophe for the American economy. A default could have unprecedented consequences for the U.S. Domestically, it could cause the suspension of “Social Security benefits, child tax credits, and paycheck for the military.” Internationally, it could jeopardize the U.S. dollar currency and credit status, which recently was downgraded globally for the first time in history. 

Conservatives insist that they will oppose raising the debt ceiling or suspending it. To make matters worse, a default could coincide with a government shutdown if Congress fails to act quickly. Interest rates rose, sending stocks plummeting yesterday in response to some of the fears. The past several weeks have been stressful on Capitol Hill, as the Democrats have pushed to pass short-term funding and raise the debt ceiling whilst advancing President Joe Biden’s aggressive $3.5 trillion social infrastructure plan. Political opponents recently averted disaster by passing legislation to prevent a temporary government shutdown, with a few hours left to spare on the deadline! But that doesn't mean another potential government shutdown isn't on the horizon, especially with the partisan split bigger than ever before.

Last Tuesday was red Tuesday in the markets. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 both gave up more than 2%. The S&P 500 sank 2.04% and the Dow dropped 1.63%. All but one sector closed deep in the red. Energy was the lone duckling to register a gain. $XLE gained 0.34%, but $XLK dipped 2.9% and $XLC collapsed 2.44%. The 10-year yield reached its highest level since June, extending the sell-off in tech. To make matters worse, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the U.S. government will run out of cash unless Congress raises the debt ceiling. United Natural Foods had a day – shares spiked 27% to 3-year highs after exceeding earnings expectations. Here’s the full report. $LCID recovered its intraday losses in after hours, spiking 6.6% on the news that its first production car began production today. Deliveries will begin next month. The FAANG gang got hit hard – $FB fumbled 3.7%, $AAPL fell 2.4%, $AMZN descended 2.6%, $NFLX shrank 1.5%, and $GOOG gave up 3.8%. $GOGO went 37.6%, $DATS drove 26.7% higher, and $CEI climbed 18.4%.

Global investors grapple with sustainable investing, a labor shortage, and the insistence of employees to work remotely. This summer, we surveyed hundreds of LPs, GPs and service providers about their sustainable investment practices, gathering insights on an increasingly important topic to many in the private markets. We are breaking down the data by respondent type and region to determine what is driving investment decisions. This year's writeup includes a new section that separates VCs' responses from the broader category of general partners. Report topics include: What motivates sustainability efforts for LPs, GPs and others. How investors measure their strategies' impact. The biggest challenges when it comes to pursuing sustainable investing. The effects of the world's current social and political landscape.

VCs bet on the technologically unproven field of quantum computing. IonQ, a quantum computing company, is set to close a reverse merger with a blank-check company and begin trading on the NYSE today at a market capitalization of about $2 billion. Tech giants including Google and IBM, as well as startups like IonQ, Rigetti Computing, and PsiQuantum, are all competing to make the most powerful and reliable quantum machine. While a fully functional quantum machine is still a long way off, venture capitalist interest in the nascent technology is at an all-time high. Investors are betting that some real-life applications will emerge within the next five years, but most quantum computer hardware companies will still need significant capital infusions.

Planning to pursue infrastructure work long term? Private equity investors committed to growing their portfolio companies' government work may benefit from splitting their commercial and federal divisions. With the possibility of new federal infrastructure contracts ahead, now may be the right time to learn the advantages and best practices. Many good reasons exist to consider a split, including the different buyers, client journeys, communications and buying processes, decision-making, audit scrutiny, reporting requirements, and cost structures, to name several. Further, building separate commercial and federal divisions will create broader and deeper resources in both camps, which can be a go-to-market differentiator.

Shares in VC-backed biotech startup Oxford Nanopore jumped as much as 47% in its first day of trading on the London Stock Exchange, following an IPO that valued the company at £3.4 billion (about $4.6 billion). Oxford Nanopore specializes in DNA and RNA sequencing. It made a name for itself during the pandemic, developing COVID-19 testing kits. Its investors include IP Group, Tencent and Temasek. The company, which was valued at £2.2 billion with its last private funding round, is the eighth VC-backed UK startup in the biotech and pharma space to go public this year and the largest by market cap, according to new data. Oxford Nanopore sold 122.4 million new and existing shares at 425 pence apiece, raising £524 million in the offering. IP Group said the IPO generated £84 million for the investor, which will retain a 10.3% stake in the company.

America’s leading producer of memory chips handed investors a small surprise in earnings today. However, the surprise coincided with a forecast that booming demand wouldn’t continue into the next quarter. Micron Technologies reported EPS of $2.42 (analysts expected $2.34). The company also booked revenue of $8.27 billion, a small beat (analysts expected $8.21 billion.)  Revenue was up 36.5% YoY. Those figures should inspire confidence among investors. Unfortunately, there was one big hazard that dampened the otherwise solid quarter. The company’s guidance for the coming quarter suggested that Micron’s best days are behind it (at least, for the next few quarters.) The company expects revenue to be $7.65 billion next quarter, which is a far cry from the $8.49 billion that analysts expected. The company’s EPS guidance was also lower. Micron anticipates non-GAAP EPS of $2.10 next quarter (analysts expected $2.48.) The company’s Q4 2021 earnings coincided with the release of full-year earnings, which can be read here. All-in-all, Micron’s FY 2021 revenue was $27.71 billion, with this quarter being its best by a sizable margin. $MU stock fell over 6% on the news. Other chipmakers fell in sympathy with Micron, including $WDC, $AMD, and $STX.

Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J have become the undisputed winners of the COVID-19 vaccine race. That’s why pharma giant Sanofi is dumping its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to refocus its efforts. Sanofi’s mRNA COVID vaccine flexed a strong performance in its study. According to Fierce Biotech, “between 91% and 100% of participants had a fourfold or greater increase in neutralizing antibody levels over baseline.” In other words, it was pretty effective. However, it might not be as effective at competing with existing vaccine candidates by the time it’s ready for market (late 2022.) Because Sanofi’s vaccine would be extremely late to market, the pharma company is instead focusing on COVID boosters and moving on to greener pastures in the vaccine space. The company says that the next stop for its mRNA platform is a quadrivalent flu vaccine. Sanofi is already one of the leaders in the flu vaccine space, so this move makes a lot of sense. According to a press release issued today, the company plans to initiate clinical studies for its flu vaccine in 2022. Sanofi’s high hopes for mRNA kicked off in August with its acquisition of Translate Bio. The company paid $3.2 billion with the intention of building mRNA vaccines to address “current and future infectious diseases.”

Amazon announced its latest slate of new products this morning, and guess what? THERE’S A ROBOT. Amazon closed up its fall product release today with some fancy gadgets to kick off the 2021 holiday season. Among the gadgets announced include a smart thermostat, the Echo Show 15, a new partnership with Disney, Amazon Glow, a fitness tracker, the Ring security drone, and Astro: Amazon’s new home robot. Astro the Robot moves independently, has eyes and a body, and features Alex’s voice assistant capabilities to control smart home devices — it even acts as a guard dog (or should we say, a guard bot?). Amazon’s robot costs $999.99, but its official release date is TBD.

A suits versus retail traders saga continues as Citadel and Robinhood executives vehemently deny Citadel’s role in pressuring Robinhood (and other brokers) to halt stock trading during January’s MemeStock Madness. A number of ongoing class action lawsuits are starting to surface additional details about January’s stonk madness with Gamestop and AMC. Robinhood responded, saying that the ongoing suits convey “a false narrative of collusion” between Robinhood and Citadel. Citadel’s Ken Griffin unleashed a slew of Tweets on Monday denying the firm’s role in requesting Robinhood to halt trading. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs allege that Citadel’s tremendous short position on $GME shares prompted the firm to pressure Robinhood to halt MemeStock trading for retail investors. Although top officials at and Citadel had “numerous communications with each other that indicate that Citadel applied pressure on Robinhood,” Robinhood emphasizes “We will work vigorously to continue correcting the record with the facts.” In an internal discussion at Robinhood on January 27, Robinhood’s brokerage arm president said “you wouldn't believe the convo we had with Citadel. total mess”. Meanwhile, Citadel claims “Conspiracy theorists and plaintiffs’ lawyers are trying to concoct an absurd story from regular-way communications among Citadel Securities and the brokers who handle orders for retail investors.” So who actually has their story straight?

Bitfinex, one of the crypto world’s biggest (and most controversial) crypto exchanges, is once again in the news it is truly something alright. The exchange reportedly paid $23.7 million in transaction fees to deposit $100,000 on the blockchain. Oops. The British Virgin Islands-based exchange deposited $100,000 in Tether ($USDT.X), the stablecoin pegged to the dollar, to the decentralized exchange DeversiFi yesterday. Due to some error, the network charged the transaction a whopping $23.7 million as a gas fee. While DeversiFi called it “erroneously high” in a tweet, others took digs. The issue is pretty big since blockchain transactions are supposedly irreversible. To make things even more suspicious and weird, Tether and Bitfinex share common owners and executives. DeversiFi and Bitfinex are also closely linked. This is not the first time that Bitfinex is in the news for odd behavior. Earlier this year, customers lost nearly 119,756 BTC (more than $60 million) from the cryptocurrency exchange.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones both bounced from yesterday’s dip. Where do we go from here? That’s anyone’s guess. The Nasdaq fell 0.24% to its lowest price since July and the Russell 2000 dipped 0.20%. Utilities bounced the hardest, increasing 0.91%. Consumer staples and healthcare also improved. $BNB.X was the only major large-cap coin in the green today, up 7%. Bitcoin and Ethereum traded marginally lower. Warby Parker went public today by way of the New York Stock Exchange. $WRBY opened at $54.05 and closed at $54.49, giving the eyewear company a valuation of over $6 billion. More on this below. Natural gas futures reversed 7.16%, falling from seven-year highs set yesterday. The U.S. is on thin ice — as the United States runs out of money, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns of potentially “catastrophic” consequences for the U.S. economy. Read the full story below. $RGC ripped 33.8%, $PALT popped 60.1%, and $OMG.X gained 15%.

How The Grinch Stole Supply Before Christmas How The Grinch Stole Supply Before Christmas. Good evening, everyone. Another Thursday has passed us by! It’s only one more day till the weekend!! Every major index ended the day red. The Dow dove 1.6% and the S&P 500 slipped 1.2%. Not a single sector registered a gain. Industrials got whooped the worst, falling 2.05%. That’s one way to end the worst month for stocks since March! Bitcoin and Ethereum were the only ones to catch a bid. $BTC.X bopped 4.20% and $ETH.X increased 4%. Cotton futures closed at ten-year highs, sugar futures soared to four-year highs, and natural gas retook seven-year highs. Initial unemployment claims for the previous week totaled 362,000. According to Dow Jones, economists expected a total of 335,000. That sucks. The Delta variant, as well as raw material shortages, have likely slowed growth in the third quarter. The third quarter’s GDP is expected to grow at a rate of less than 5%. Oh, and a worldwide manufacturing slump has companies scrambling before the holidays. More on this below. $QTUM.X climbed 12.2%, $PALT ripped 26%, and $OPRX hopped 14%.

A Supply-Strapped Holiday Season? A Supply-Strapped Holiday Season? About a month ago, COVID lockdowns throughout Vietnam (a mega manufacturing hub for major US brands) posed serious issues for companies adapting to post-COVID demand. Now, they’re getting worse. In August, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Scott Lipesky said “We are working through an extended closure of factories in Southern Vietnam.” Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne shared the sentiment, saying that “We have a lot of product there, and we’re trying to get it in” regarding huge swaths of supply stuck in Vietnam mid-lockdown. As it turns out, August was an omen of bad things to come. After Trump’s anti-China tariffs, companies sought factories in other locations. Vietnam was one of them. Some companies like Gap, Lululemon, and Nike manufacture anywhere between 31-50% of their products in Vietnam now. But with the supply chain in flux, U.S. businesses are rethinking their manufacturing presence in the country. Nike lost out on 100 million pairs of shoes due to Delta variant-related lockdowns in Vietnam. Lululemon has started shipping goods on airplanes to keep up with demand. And Bed Bath and Beyond’s own pre-holiday earnings served as a warning for the rest of U.S. retail: expect supply-chain issues this holiday season. Despite increased demand, $BBBY sales plunged 26% through August and the company lowered its full-year revenue projections due to wildly expensive inventory shipping costs. $BBBY and $NKE aren’t the only losers, either. Retail stores fell in sympathy with the Vietnam-related concerns, including $KSS (-11%), $M (-8%), $JWN (-8%), $ANF (-7%), $GPS (-7%), $DBI (-6%), $AEO (-5%), and $TJX (-5%). So did the Grinch steal supply?

There are many multimillion-dollar paintings collected by Bezos, Andreesen, and Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact, the finance bros at Deloitte projects the real art world (not NFT junk) to grow in value by 58% through 2026. That’s a whole lotta fun coupons! Why the rare “Double Down Alert” on art: J Pow aint printing Picassos, so art can cover your ASSets Contemporary Art returns 23.2% when inflation’s > 3%. Literally 0.01 correlation to stonks. Early investors returned 32% in 2020 with a Banksy exit using this art investing platform (splash). So what the heck are you waiting for?

Lordstown Is Selling (Not What You Think) Lordstown Is Selling (Not What You Think) Featured Image EV company Lordstown Motors is reportedly looking to sell its Ohio plant to Foxconn, the company that makes iPhones. The reported acquisition comes at a time when Lordstown is scaling up production of its electric pickup truck, Endurance. The company is also strapped for cash and looking to tap additional funding. However, a sale of its 6.2 million square foot plant would make a lot of sense. Lordstown uses just 30% of the plant, according to Reuters. Foxconn’s sudden jump into EVs is no surprise. Foxconn announced in May that it would build EVs for Fisker, an electric vehicle company. The Taiwan-based company has been looking for a place to call home for its EV ambitions in the U.S. Foxconn crashed out of a heavily-politicized tech manufacturing deal with the state of Wisconsin, which involved a $10 billion factory, earlier this year. Now, it might pick up steam in neighboring Ohio. Lordstown has been embroiled in controversy for months. In March, the company was accused of misrepresenting the number of preorders booked for its electric pickup truck. Hindenburg Research, which had previously gone after Nikola Motor, indicated that “the company’s orders appear largely fictitious.” That prompted an investigation into the Lordstown, which resulted in its CEO and CFO resigning. Lordstown is 10%-owned by Workhorse, the company that failed to secure a contract from the United States Postal Service for new delivery vehicles. In February, USPS awarded the contract to a defense contractor that makes military gear, concrete mixers, and firetrucks. Notably, it has never built a production EV before, just small runs of EVs. $RIDE ripped 8.4% today.

Lucid Preps for Delivery Speaking of EVs… Lucid is rolling vehicles off its assembly line with ambitions to begin deliveries next month. The company’s first vehicle, a luxury EV sedan called Lucid Air, starts at $77,400 (before tax credits.) We featured Lucid in the Rip last month after the company’s Lucid Air Dream Edition R, an ultra-limited-edition run of the vehicle, received an EPA-certified 520-mile range on a single charge. That made Lucid’s first vehicle the first electric car to breach 500 miles, pretty impressive! The Lucid Air has four editions, which have ranges varying from 406 miles to 520 miles. The company has booked over 11,000 reservations, which might not sound that impressive, especially when you consider that Ford has already received 120,000 preorders for its F-150 Lightning. But Tesla had just 12,000 reservations for its high-end sedan, the Model S, in 2012. Lucid is no Tesla (at least, not yet), although the company’s got a solid foundation for its first vehicle. But who knows where Lucid is headed from here. The company is valued at $41 billion as of this writing and went public via the Churchill Capital IV SPAC earlier this year. $LCID stock closed down 3.4% today.

TikTok is the latest to jump into the NFT rush. Today, the video-sharing social networking site launched a non-fungible token (NFT) collection that will see its top content creators partner with top NFT creators. TikTok fans will be able to buy their favorite ‘moments,’ and the platform has even created its own digital auction for the sale. According to the announcement, TikTok Top Moments will feature six “culturally significant TikTok videos.” Lil Nas X, an American rapper, will be the first creator to launch one-of-one/limited-edition TikTok NFTs with artist Rudy Willingham. TikTok will sell their NFTs on Oct. 6. The videos will also be presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York from Oct. 1 through Nov.5 in a collection entitled ‘Infinite Duets: Co-Creating on TikTok.’ TikTok’s NFTs will be minted on Immutable X, a layer-2 scaling solution that runs on the Ethereum blockchain, but this isn’t the first time TikTok has entered the crypto space. Last month, the company partnered with the cryptocurrency music service Audius.

Philip Morris International and Altria, two tobacco giants, have been made to stop the sale of their heated tobacco device, IQOS. The company’s IQOS tobacco device supposedly violated a patent owned by R.J. Reynolds, a rival in the tobacco space. IQOS is a heated tobacco product, which was marketed as a “safer” alternative to smoking cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in its 2020 marketing authorization press release that using IQOS [reduced] “exposure to harmful chemicals,” but were still “not safe.” IQOS, which was sold by Philip Morris and licensed for sale by Altria in the US was an effort by the two tobacco giants to shift away from traditional tobacco products. IQOS didn’t make up a significant sum of their sales. However, IQOS was an attempt at reinvention for Big Tobacco, which has been in need of change. Unfortunately, change hasn’t come easy. Take Altria’s 2018 investment in Juul, which gave it a 35% stake in the leading e-cigarette company. Juul’s edge in the market was its flavored products, which were banned not that long after the acquisition due to accusations that it was targeting minors. Although, the company’s sales supposedly recovered after the ban. Altria ($MO) fell 6.6% and Philip Morris ($PM) fell 4.7% after the news broke and big tobacco takes another financial gut punch.

Warby Parker’s IPO via direct listing was a win for the eyewear company as its share price skyrocketed 36% above its reference price in $WRBY’s trading debut. $WRBY closed the day at $54.53 per share, +36% above its $40 reference price. By market close, Warby Parker’s valuation shot to about $6.8 billion — over twice the company’s $3 billion valuation from its last funding round. Warby Parker was founded over a decade ago as one of the first hallmark brands to provide one-stop eye check-up and eye-wear sales at most of its brick-and-mortar locations. The company is also one of the first direct-to-consumer prescription eyewear brands offering both online and in-person services. Not too shabby. We SEE you, $WRBY.

Gaming Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: GMGT), a global leader in end-to-end gaming solutions, has added celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey to its rock-star lineup of brand ambassadors. Its current roster of premier partnerships includes Playboy and boxing champion Saul ‘Cannelo’ Alvarez.

Binance Coin ($BNB.X), the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, soared nearly 10% today. The move came on the heels of Binance Coin’s quarterly burn event. Every quarter, Binance buys back a large amount of $BNB.X to burn (coin burning permanently removes coins from the network.) With a reduced supply, tokens that remain in circulation theoretically become more valuable due to scarcity. In turn, that pushes prices up. Because the burn is tomorrow,  investors bought $BNB.X today in anticipation. Binance burned $390 million worth of $BNB.X in Q2 2021. Binance Coin was initially developed as a utility token that provided Binance users a discount on trading fees. Since it was launched in 2017, Binance Coin has become the native token of the Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain. The latter has become one of the most active DeFi blockchains in the world.  Due to its many use cases, experts believe Binance Coin is worth keeping in the portfolio.

Dollar Tree is soon to be a Dollar Fifty Tree. This story hits close to home as the home of frugality and saving money. The discount dollar store retailer that previously only sold products for $1 or less just announced that it would be raising prices. The announcement coincided with an increase to the company’s share buyback program. The retailer (which historically sold items for a dollar or less) said that it would start selling certain items for “$1.25 to $1.50” to help pay for higher freight and wage costs. Dollar Tree’s price hike comes amidst a flurry of problems afflicting retail chains: inflation, supply chain woes, and a shortage of employees. Dollar Tree is also leaning into selling higher-priced $3-5 items, which are part of the Dollar Tree Plus collection. Dollar Tree Plus products are already in 340 stores and will be in over 1,500 by the end of 2022. On the news of the buybacks and price hike today, $DLTR rose 16.5%. Maybe money does grow on trees. Dollar tree shareholders are pumped but Dollar Tree customers not so much.

Dealmaking activity has rebounded in the France and Benelux region this year. From exits to fundraising, our latest report breaks it all down. Sweden's financial watchdog is looking into whether EQT violated disclosure regulations in a $2.7 billion share sale. The France and Benelux region has seen a huge rebound this year, as private capital activity is on track to surpass previous annual bests. In only two quarters, PE dealmaking virtually reached pre-pandemic levels, while records have been broken in the region on the VC side. Let's examines the PE and VC markets in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, breaking down trends across deals, exits, fundraising and sectors. Key highlights include: Activity in Europe's second-largest PE ecosystem reached €87.6 billion in the first half of the year, marking a year-over-year increase of 55.2%. Swelling VC deal sizes put the region on the path to new heights. Fundraising activity had a robust start to the year for both PE and VC investors.

Sweden's financial watchdog is investigating whether one of Europe's largest PE firms violated regulations concerning the disclosure of insider information. EQT is facing a probe into whether it failed to publicize in a timely manner that former and existing partners were selling shares in the firm totaling $2.7 billion. The public offering allowed senior executives to exit some of their stock earlier than planned under a lock-up agreement that was supposed to last until late 2022. Financial regulator Finansinspektionen said that it decided to open an investigation over the "postponed publication of inside information" after being notified of the move by EQT on the same day as the share sale. After being contacted to justify the delay, EQT said in a statement that the firm "has handled the information correctly" and "looks forward to a continued positive and constructive dialogue with the Authority." Partners including chairperson Conni Jonsson and CEO Christian Sinding sold approximately 6% of the firm's issued share capital for 370 Swedish kronor (about $42.75) apiece. The partners said in a press release that they would commit to reinvesting 50% of the proceeds into EQT vehicles over the next fund cycle.

What's driving record capital in genetic medicine? Genetic medicine has attracted record-breaking capital in biotech, with roughly $150 billion invested since 2013. Gene editing enables scientists to precisely tackle the genetic root causes of diseases. Such an approach can be "one and done" and thus avoid the chronicity of the current standard of care. Rapid advancements in this field are creating a robust product pipeline and attracting record capital. But despite all the enthusiasm, companies should tread cautiously with this technology.

Investors are consistently allocating larger amounts of capital to startups that go on to exit successfully—a trend especially distinct with later-stage financing. Our recent analyst note is the third in our series breaking down venture returns by round. In this new installment, we've refined our approach to enable richer analysis of the flow of capital. The data suggests a clear relationship between capital raised and the success or failure of a company. The earliest stages, especially Series A, show asymmetrically high returns compared with later-stage deals. The attractive VC fund returns of the past few years have accelerated the increase in capital allocated to venture investing.

Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar has agreed to go public through a merger with US blank-check company Gores Guggenheim. The combined company, which will be listed on Nasdaq, will have a valuation of around $20 billion. The deal includes approximately $800 million of cash from the SPAC, which is backed by PE investor Alec Gores and Guggenheim Capital, and a $250 million PIPE investment which will be used to invest in the production of new models and its international expansion. Polestar was set up 4 years ago by automotive giants Volvo Cars and Zhejiang Geely. In April, it raised $550 million from investors including Chongqing Chengxing Equity Investment Fund Partnership, I Cube Capital and Zibo City Government. Polestar is not the only European electric vehicle-related company that has sought to go public via a US SPAC. In June, Barcelona-based EV charger maker Wallbox announced plans to merge with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp., valuing it at around $1.5 billion including debt. Earlier this year, Quell Acquisition Corp. agreed to combine with German electric aircraft maker Lilium at a $3.3 billion valuation.

Towns from Maine to Washington are still seeing fallout from ongoing closures of the US-Canada border. As China doubles down on banning crypto transactions, NFT marketplaces are using clever workarounds. Never before in history have so many people been under the gaze of so many strangers. One writer muses about what the internet has become, and what happens when the experience of celebrity becomes universal. How to prepare for the future of healthcare investing Are you prepared for the unique challenges facing private equity investors in the current healthcare landscape? At this year's HPE New York 2021 conference, an elite faculty of PE leaders will explore the most pressing challenges facing buyers and sellers.

Momenta, a Chinese startup developing autonomous driving technologies, has received a $300 million investment from General Motors. The company's other backers include Toyota, Dailmer, Tencent and Temasek. Emerge has emerged and raised a $130 million Series B co-led by 9Yards Capital, Spruce House Investment Management and Tiger Global. The Arizona-based company offers a logistics management platform for freight operations. Sternum has raised a $27 million Series B led by Spark Capital. The Tel Aviv-based company offers a platform to secure Internet of Things devices. Intelinair has raised $20 million from investors including Regulator Group and Scientia Ventures. The company offers a crop intelligence platform to help growers make data-based decisions. Intelinair was valued at $41.25 million in 2018, according to recent data. Windpoint Partners-backed Nelson Global Products has acquired Tru-Flex, a designer and manufacturer of hoses and exhaust products for vehicles and industrial use. Daiwa PI Partners has acquired Y International, a Tokyo-based ecommerce retailer of bikes, accessories, maintenance services and more. Daiwa PI bought the business from private equity firm The Riverside Company.

Our analysts will explore the records set throughout the first half of the year, despite lingering uncertainty around COVID-19 and macroeconomic volatility. Key statistics include: VCs completed €47.1 billion worth of transactions in H1 2021, signaling that the VC dealmaking environment has never been stronger. European PE posted its second-highest quarterly dealmaking total on record, thanks—in part—to growing vaccination rates and strong debt markets for leveraged buyouts.

The Augmedix (OTCQX: AUGX) platform, powered by artificial intelligence technology and expert human assistants, converts natural clinician-patient conversation into medical documentation. They provide live support, including referrals, orders, and reminders, so clinicians can focus on what matters most: patient care.

The Evergrande crisis, stagnant prices, investors cashing out are all signs of a real estate downturn and exposing the Chinese economy's dependence on property. This huge hit has impacted all markets, economies, investors, and even local businesses

There are new financial news stories and tech articles coming out every hour, so stay tuned to Frugal Finance for more breaking developments!

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