News

Each day, DailyAlts tracks major developments across the alternative investment world. Our content is procured from primary contacts in the industry and secondary sources across the web. Our goal is to give readers the most up-to-date news and engaging experience to open new doors and areas of knowledge. Our stories cover nine separate verticals of the alternative investment industry.

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FinTech: Indian Conglomerate Reliance Teams With Google, Facebook For National Payments Network

March 1, 2021

In a deep-pocketed bid to grab a share of India’s digital payments market, Indian behemoth Reliance (NSE: RELIANCE), fintech Infibeam Avenues (NSE: INFIBEAM), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) have come together to form a “New Umbrella Entity” (NUE). The NUE will bid to set up a payments network to compete with the UPI payments system operated by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI).

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Alternative Investments/ESG: Northern Trust Launches New ETFs In Europe

March 1, 2021

Northern Trust Asset Management’s (NASDAQ: NTRS) FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds announced today its maiden ETFs in Europe. The FlexShares Developed Markets Low Volatility Climate ESG UCITS ETF (QVFD) and the FlexShares Developed Market High Dividend Climate ESG UCITS ETF (QDFD) launched on both the London Stock Exchange and EuroNext.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Can Animate A Dead Relative’s Photo So It Will Smile At You

March 1, 2021

My Heritage, which uses at-home DNA tests and a huge historical database to construct your family tree, has launched a new feature titled Deep Nostalgia. It allows a user to animate old still photos of long-dead and loved relatives so it appears they are on a video.

Digital Assets: Bordier, A Swiss Private Bank Founded In 1844, Offers Cryptos

March 1, 2021

Venerable Swiss private banker Bordier & Cie SCmA has brought the world of cryptocurrencies within reach of its clients by establishing a tie-up with Sygnum Bank. By integrating with Sygnum’s B2B platform, clients at Bordier can transact in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Tezos. According to an announcement, Bordier completed the integration within 60 days.

Venture Capital: Crypto Exchange Kraken Could Value Over $10B In Potential Funding

March 1, 2021

Crypto exchange Kraken, which Chief Executive Officer Jesse Powell founded in 2011, is in discussions to raise new funding that could value it at over $10 billion. That’s more than double its valuation of approximately $4 billion when it last raised $13 million in 2019.

Venture Capital: Bessemer Venture Raises $3.3B For Two New Funds, Welcomes New Partners

February 26, 2021

Global early-stage venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday its raise of $3.3 billion across two new funds. BVP XI, which collected $2.475 billion, will focus on early-stage companies spanning enterprise, consumer, healthcare, and frontier technologies. The Century II fund ($825 million) is specifically designed for growth-stage companies that will define the next century.

Alternative Investments/Real Estate: New Active, REIT-Based ETF From SS&C ALPS

February 26, 2021

SS&C ALPS Advisors have launched an actively managed, semi-transparent ETF that focuses on the U.S. REIT securities market. The ALPS Active REIT ETF (REIT) will trade on the NASDAQ.

FinTech: U.K.-Based Atom Bank To Raise £40M To Become Profitable, Go Public

February 26, 2021

Atom Bank, which is based in Durham, U.K., plans to raise £40 million from its existing shareholders in a move to achieve profitability within a year. The digital bank also plans to make an IPO during the financial year 2022/23.

Digital Assets: Anchorage, The First Federally Chartered Digital Bank, Raises $80M

February 26, 2021

Federally chartered digital bank Anchorage announced Thursday its Series C raise of $80 million led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from a16z, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico.

Artificial Intelligence: Self-Driving Bus Does Five Mile Route Daily In Málaga, Spain

February 26, 2021

Irizar Group, an international business group headquartered in Spain, has built a bus capable of running autonomously for Avanza, the first private operator of urban, public road transportation in Spain. The electric bus started operations in the Spanish city of Málaga from Saturday.

FinTech: Klarna Hits New Records For GMV And Net Operating Income In 2020

February 25, 2021

Klarna reported strong results for the year 2020, including record gross merchandise volume and total net operating income.

Venture Capital: Blockchain-Based Fantasy Soccer Startup Sorare Scores $50M

February 25, 2021

Sorare is a fantasy game of soccer, where players buy, sell, trade, and manage a virtual team with digital player cards. The game is based on the Ethereum blockchain technology. Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort started Sorare in 2018 and today announced their $50 million Series A raise in a Medium post.

Artificial Intelligence: GCHQ, The U.K.’s Spy Agency, To Use AI Against Threats

February 25, 2021

The GCHQ unveiled a paper on how it will use AI to help protect the U.K. GCHQ, the U.K.’s intelligence agency, published today a paper titled Ethics of AI: Pioneering a New National Security to explain how it intends to use AI responsibly to keep the country safe from various kinds of threats.

Liquid Alternatives: “Create Interesting Revenue Streams Without Locking Up Money For Ten Years”

February 25, 2021

Though many liquid alternative strategies have disappointed in recent times, investors can nevertheless create “interesting revenue streams” by combining various strategies. This they can achieve without locking their money up for up to 10 years, says Patrick Ghali, co-founder at hedge fund advisory Sussex Partners.

Digital Assets: South Korean Central Banker Engages In Bitcoin Bashing

February 25, 2021

Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol, when speaking at a parliamentary session on Wednesday, said crypto-assets such as bitcoin had no intrinsic value and were victim to highly volatile price swings.

Digital Assets: Corporates Buy More Bitcoin – MicroStrategy $1B; Square $170M

February 24, 2021

MicroStrategy describes bitcoin as “a dependable store of value.”
In an announcement today, MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR) said it had invested an additional $1.026 billion in the purchase of 19,452 bitcoins at an average price of $52,765 per bitcoin. The company said it now held 90,531 bitcoin at an average cost of $23,985 per bitcoin, worth in total about $2.17 billion.

Venture Capital: Klarna’s Funding Binge On Course For A $1B Raise

February 24, 2021

Bloomberg reports that Klarna Bank AB, the Swedish fintech startup that was valued at $10.65 billion in September, may raise another $1 billion. But this time its valuation could be as much as $31 billion – nearly thrice its valuation from just six months ago.

FinTech: Tyme Raises $110M For Its Bank In South Africa, ASEAN Expansion

February 24, 2021

Tyme has partnered with JG Summit to Launch Digital Bank for the Philippines. Digital banking network Tyme announced Tuesday its raise of $110 million from new investors Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, and the Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings of the Philippines. South African focus Tyme said its primary…

Artificial Intelligence: Former Google CEO Schmidt Sounds The Alarm On China’s Prowess In AI

February 24, 2021

Eric Schmidt, who was CEO of Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) from 2001 through 2011, warned Tuesday that the United States is “one or two years ahead of China, not five or 10” and “the Chinese are well ahead in areas like face recognition.” He was speaking at a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee on emerging technologies and their impact on national security.

Alternative Investments/ESG: VanEck’s Vectors Global Clean Energy ETF Soon To Debut On ASX

February 24, 2021

VanEck is in the final stages of prepping the Vectors Global Clean Energy ETF (ASX: CLNE) for launch on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in the ensuing weeks. The ETF will focus on the clean energy sector, which is expected to benefit from President Biden’s commitment to the climate agreement.

Alternative Investments/ESG: New ETF From UBS For Exposure To Swiss Equity + ESG

February 23, 2021

UBS launches the UBS SPI ESG ETF (SPISI SW). The new ETF from UBS Asset Management provides broad exposure to the Swiss equity market with an additional focus on ESG factors. The ETF has listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Digital Assets: German-Listed Crypto Mining Company Northern Data To Float U.S. IPO

February 23, 2021

Northern Data AG (ETR: NB2) is a high performance computing (HPC) company providing solutions for AI and blockchain including crypto mining. At its data center in Texas, it operates HPC applications in blockchain such as bitcoin mining for large corporations. According to Bloomberg, the company is mulling a $500 million IPO in the U.S.

Venture Capital: Zomato’s Pre-IPO Raise Nabs $250M At $5.4B Valuation

February 23, 2021

Indian foodtech unicorn Zomato reeled in $250 million in a pre-IPO fundraise from new and existing investors. The startup’s IPO is slated for June this year. The round was led by Kora Management, which invested $115 million. Other existing investors were Fidelity Management and Research ($55 million) and Tiger Global Management ($50 million). New investors, Bow Wave Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group invested about $20 million and $10 million, respectively.

FinTech: Mastercard And Island Pay Debut A Card Linked To The Bahamas CBDC

February 23, 2021

Bahamians can now have the Bahamas Sand Dollar, the country’s CBDC, loaded onto a prepaid card issued by Island Pay in partnership with Mastercard (NYSE: MA). They can also use the card at any outlet in the Bahamas that accepts Mastercard and pay for their purchases by instantly converting their Sand Dollars to the traditional Bahamian dollars. The Sand Dollar and Bahamian Dollars are convertible on a 1:1 basis.

Artificial Intelligence: Fugaku, The World’s Fastest SuperComputer Predicts Tsunami Flooding

February 23, 2021

A tsunami warning system using dart buoys was badly off the mark when a tsunami struck Japan’s eastern coast a decade ago. A deadly 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered the tsunami wave, which was as high as 50 meters in some places. Tragically, the buoy system estimated the wave size at only 3 meters. When it struck, the monster wave caused over 20,000 lives. However, Fujitsu (TYO: 6702) Labs used AI and a supercomputer to develop a more reliable system.