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.

Top Story

Artificial Intelligence: Chinese Company Sues Apple For Violating Its Voice Recognition Patent

August 3, 2020

This dispute is over ten years old. According to Reuters, Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., Ltd., also known as Xiao-I, has slapped Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) with a $1.43 billion lawsuit. The Chinese company alleges that Apple violated a voice recognition patent owned by it.


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Venture Capital: UK Fintech Curve Eyeing Fundraise Between £100m and £120m

August 3, 2020

Sifted revealed that London-based fintech Curve may raise an amount upwards of £100 million in a proposed Series C round. It reportedly started its efforts to raise money earlier this year and if the efforts pay off, it could be one of the biggest raises by a fintech in Europe this year amidst the pandemic.

Digital Assets: Ransom Amounts Escalate Into Tens of Millions As Hacks Get Bolder

August 3, 2020

The Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) attack gathered a lot of notoriety, mainly because it affected the accounts of so many prominent personalities. The scam garnered roughly $120,000 for its perpetrators and was not a ransomware attack. That amount is peanuts compared to the scale of ransom attacks now being witnessed, with US-based travel management firm CWT paying $4.6 million to get back the use of its computers.

FinTech: Apple Acquires Mobeewave To Extend Payments Functionality

August 3, 2020

Mobeewave, a Canadian tech startup that aims to convert smartphones into payment terminals, has been acquired by Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) for $100 million, according to Bloomberg.
The Mobeewave startup makes it easy for shoppers to use their credit cards and make payments using their smartphones. The firm will continue to function out of its Old Montreal location with all employees being retained by Apple.

Digital Assets: Zebpay Launches OTC Crypto Desk in India to Meet Huge Demand

July 31, 2020

“There is a huge demand among traders and arbitrageurs in India for OTC desk services, and the recent Supreme Court decision reversing the ban has caught the attention of large investors and institutions eager to explore this new asset class,” says Nirmal Ranga, Vice President of Trade at Zebpay. Unsurprisingly, to cash in on this burgeoning interest in big-ticket crypto trading, Zebpay is launching an OTC Bitcoin (BTC) trading desk.

FinTech: Monzo Reports A Whopper Of A Loss; Casts Doubt On Its Own Future

July 31, 2020

Monzo reported a loss of £113.8 million ($149.5 million) in its 2020 fiscal accounts, up from the £47.1 million loss in 2019. However, revenues more than tripled to £67.2 million from £19.7 million. The bank made sizable investments on hiring, marketing and a U.S. expansion during the year.
The bank warned that the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic had cast in doubt its ability to continue to operate.

Alternative Investments/ESG: KRBN, A New ETF, Could Move The Needle on Carbon Pricing

July 31, 2020

Krane Funds Advisors LLC, which is the investment manager for KFA Funds and KraneShares ETFs, announced the launch of KFA Global Carbon ETF (NYSE: KRBN). The new KRBN ETF tracks carbon credit futures contracts through the IHS Markit’s Global Carbon Index.

Venture Capital: AFTR Launches Cemetery Cameras for Virtual Gravesite Visits

July 31, 2020

AFTR has launched a line of cemetery cameras that enable grief-stricken relatives and friends to visit the gravesite of their dear, departed person virtually. During the pandemic, many of us were unable to pay our last respects to the deceased because of lockdowns and other restrictions. AFTR’s products enable a connection, even though virtual and via a phone screen, to the loved one.

Artificial Intelligence: Smart Farm Technology To Take The Drudge Out of Plant Breeding

July 31, 2020

A whole combination of technologies has been assembled by researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to take human labor out of crop breeding and growing. Their FieldDock project combines remote sensors, AI and autonomous drones that run on renewable energy. Danforth Center researcher Nadia Shakoor (pictured above) is the founder of the FieldDock project.

Real Estate: Seller’s Market Sparked by Corona-Infused Dynamics  

July 31, 2020

Sales Closing Above Asking Prices.    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate industry observers are seeing a seller’s market pervade the space. According to Zillow economist Jeff Tucker, “This spring we saw listings fall off the cliff. Everyone was hunkering down wondering what’s happening to the housing market…These buyers motivated by low…

Hedge Funds: Bitcoin In Play as Funds Dive Back In

July 31, 2020

Crypto Hedge Funds Move In On Bitcoin.  Bitcoin fell by 50 percent in cryptocurrency’s price in March, but subsequently rose back up to trade at $11,200.  Investors should caution as this trend could lead to another major slump — most notably like the 2017 80 percent Bitcoin slump.  Especially with the uncertainty of COVID-19, investors…

Private Equity: Warburg Pincus Gives Green Light to Deal for SOC Telemed

July 31, 2020

Telemedicine Poised for Growth.  Leading acute care telemedicine provider SOC Telemed announced that it will partner with private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Shulman Ventures amid a fast-growing climate for the telemedicine space.  Following this agreement, CEO Paul Ricci — also advisor of Warburg Pincus — will step down.  SOC’s management team will consist of…

Alternative Investments/ESG: EFIV – A New, Inexpensive ESG ETF From State Street

July 30, 2020

State Street Global Advisors launched an ESG version of its blockbuster SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA: SPY) that has AUM of $287.61 billion. The ETF has the best of both worlds from environment-social-governance (ESG) and the S&P500 stocks universe.

Venture Capital: Impact X Capital’s Thesis For Investing £100M In Black Founders

July 30, 2020

Profits and purpose. Those are the two bottom lines for Impact X Capital, the London-based venture firm conceived by Eric Collins to support underrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe. The firm was in operation long before the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s now armed with £100 million to invest in such entrepreneurs.

FinTech: Seattle Mints Its Second Unicorn This Month in Remitly

July 30, 2020

Immigrant focused remittance fintech Remitly announced Wednesday that it raised $85 million in a Series F round led by existing investor Prosus’s PayU. Generation Investment Management, Owl Rock Capital, Stripes, DN Capital, Top Tier, Princeville Global, and Threshold Ventures also participated.

Artificial Intelligence: A Mathematical Watcher Over AI

July 30, 2020

Researchers from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London, EPFL (Lausanne) and Sciteb Ltd have devised a mathematical method to watch over AI and the possibility that it could adopt unethical strategies.

Hedge Funds: Boaz Weinstein’s Saba Capital Up 90%  

July 30, 2020

Saba Projects Continuing Gains   Hedge fund industry observers are buzzing of Saba Capital Management’s purported sharp gains, in addition to the firm’s projections of seeing additional returns of this caliber in the months ahead. Boaz Weinstein, founder of Saba, shares that “Markets are at an unstable place right now. I look out at the next…

Private Equity: Covid-19 Ignites PE’s Dry Powder

July 30, 2020

Hundreds of Billions in New Capital Earmarked for Investments.  Despite many businesses closing down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, private equity is taking advantage of new opportunities.  The industry is looking to rebuild the economy and adapt to the New Normal in ways that are expected to enahance gains, inclding further investments in existing portfolio…

FinTech: Marqeta to Power JP Morgan’s Virtual Cards Program

July 29, 2020

Marqeta, a global card issuing platform, will provide its card tokenization capabilities to JPMorgan Chase’s (NYSE: JPM) virtual card program in 2021. The bank would, therefore, be able to issue its virtual cards into the mobile wallets of its commercial card clients.

Digital Assets: This Popular Korean Beach Will Accept Crypto Payments

July 29, 2020

Haeundae (pictured above) is South Korea’s most popular beach. Alongside is the rival Songjeong Beach, which is more popular with surfers. Both tourist spots will accept payments in cryptocurrencies, effective August 2020.

Artificial Intelligence: An AI Program Identifies Prostate Cancer With Almost 100% Accuracy

July 29, 2020

Researchers at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh have trained an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to recognize and characterize prostate cancer with near-perfect accuracy.

Venture Capital: What COVID? Indonesian Travel Aggregator Traveloka Snags $250M

July 29, 2020

Indonesian online travel portal Traveloka announced Tuesday that it raised $250 million in a round led by a global financial institution with participation by some existing investors. Traveloka said the investment came despite the travel sector being in an “unprecedented challenging state,” and a historic drop in its own business activity “to levels never seen before.”

Hedge Funds Meet Real Estate: A Texas Case Study

July 29, 2020

Hayman Capital in Focus.  Hedge fund investor Kyle Bass recently bought, among other real estate, the downtown Dallas Statler hotel.  He purchased a 50 percent stake in four real estate properties and a minority stake in the Statler hotel.  In addition to the Statler, he purchased a stake in the Entrada development and the Central…

Private Equity: Healthcare Firm Edifecs Lands PE Deal

July 29, 2020

Private equity firms TA Associates and Francsico Partners announced that they will complete a deal with healthcare software company Edifecs.  CEO of Edifecs Sunny Singh intends to lead the company through a transformation.  The healthcare industry is quickly changing with the help of the technology sector.  According to Singh, “Today’s healthcare industry is in a…

Digital Assets: Anybody Can Use Tokenizer To Issue Asset-Backed Tokens

July 28, 2020

The much-awaited democratization of blockchain-based tokenization is here. Now anybody, even a computer noob, can choose to tokenize one or more of their real-world assets using the Tokenizer platform.