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Alternative Investments: Direxion Launches Four Single Stock Leveraged ETFs Including Inverse 1X Apple And Tesla

August 12, 2022

As single stock ETFs roll out thick and fast, Direxion jumped on the bandwagon with the launch of its first four single stock leveraged and inverse ETFs. The funds, which trade on the Nasdaq, allow sophisticated traders to obtain magnified or inverse exposure to the daily performance of the common stocks of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

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Artificial Intelligence: Setback For Tesla’s Autopilot Team As AI Head Andrej Karpathy Quits

July 15, 2022

A key piece in Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Autopilot and Full Self Driving development, Andrej Karpathy, who was senior director in charge of AI and computer vision at the company, has resigned after a four-month sabbatical. The ostensible reason for the move: to pursue “long-term passions around technical work in AI, open source and education.” However, Karpathy said he still had no concrete plans for what’s next.

FinTech: Stripe Slashes Internal Company Valuation By 28% From $40 Per Share To $29

July 14, 2022

Stripe, the payments giant founded by the Collison brothers, has cut its internal valuation by 28% according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Stripe’s so-called 409A valuation is the fair market value of the common stock of a private company as valued by a third-party appraiser, and is used to grant employees stock options. According to WSJ’s sources, Stripe informed employees in an email Friday that this value was $29, compared with $40 in the most previous 409A assessment.

Alternative Investments: AXS Launches New ETFs That Allow Leveraged Bets Against Selected Single Stocks In The U.S.

July 14, 2022

Asset manager AXS Investments has launched a suite of eight new ETFs that offer investors the opportunity to take leveraged exposure to single, actively traded U.S. equities. Of these, five ETFS are “bear” or inverse, meaning investors would profit from a decline in the price of the stock represented by the particular ETF. These five ETFs are leveraged between 1X to 2X times.

FinTech: Klarna Raises $800M At Slashed Valuation To Pursue US Expansion

July 11, 2022

It’s a monster down round (one in which the startup is forced to accept a lower valuation than that in a previous round) for Klarna, showing how risk averse venture firms have become in an environment that punishes tech companies first and asks questions later. It is also a pointer to the slowing allure of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), a fintech product that is Klarna’s bread and butter line. The fintech’s latest round received investment from existing investors including Sequoia, the founders, Bestseller, Silver Lake and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. New investors included the Mubadala Investment Company and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Venture Capital/ESG: Blackstone Invests $400M In Carbon Platform Xpansiv

July 11, 2022

Blackstone announced that funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners have invested $400 million in Xpansiv Limited, a market infrastructure platform for carbon and environmental commodities, as a strategic investment.

Venture Capital: Cyber Insurance Provider Coalition Lands $250M After Year Of Torrid Growth

July 8, 2022

Coalition, a provider of insurance against cyber risks, announced today it had closed a $250 million funding round in June. Allianz X, Valor Equity Partners, Kinetic Partners and other existing investors participated in the investment which valued Coalition at $5 billion.

Artificial Intelligence: After Fintechs And Crypto, Lay Off Contagion Hits Argo AI

July 8, 2022

A report in Tech Crunch says recession fears have led Argo AI, a startup focused on self-driving technology, to lay off as many as 150 people and take it easy on new hiring. Argo AI is backed by Ford (NYSE: F) and Volkswagen (ETR: VOW3).

Digital Assets: In Domino Effect, Voyager Digital Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

July 7, 2022

Crypto broker Voyager Digital (TSE: VOYG) filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 on Tuesday, according to an announcement by the company. The move follows after a bankruptcy filing by Three Arrows Capital, a crypto hedge fund that owes Voyager more than $650 million in loans. Voyager had previously halted withdrawals, trading, and deposits from customers following a default by Three Arrows Capital on loan repayment.

Digital Assets: Atlantic Equities Downgrades Coinbase Citing “Misinformation” Around the Company

July 6, 2022

Simon Cinch, an analyst at Atlantic Equities, has downgraded Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) to Neutral from Overweight, and flagged a potential downside of another 37% to the stock price, or $35 per share. Coinbase is currently trading at $52.62 per share. The analyst cited a slew of concerns for the downgrade, chiefly market developments that would possibly severely impact Coinbase’s revenue.

Alternative Investments/ESG: Franklin Templeton Launches ETF Focused On Emerging Market Debt, Catholic Principles, And Sustainability

July 5, 2022

Franklin Templeton has launched the Catholic Principles Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Ucits ETF. It will invest in both euro and dollar denominated sovereign debt issued by emerging market countries, but with an emphasis on Catholic principles and values. The ETF listed on the Deutsche Boerse, the Borsa Italiana, and the London Stock Exchange.

FinTech: Klarna’s Valuation Plunges To $6.5B In Talks To Raise $650M (WSJ)

July 1, 2022

Klarna, the Swedish fintech known for its buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) financial product, is negotiating to raise $650 million at a valuation of $6.5 billion, which is a very sharp comedown from the $45.6 billion tag in a June 2021 funding round led by SoftBank Group.

Digital Assets: Grayscale Protests SEC Rejection Of Spot Bitcoin ETF, Files Suit Against Regulator

June 30, 2022

Grayscale Investments, the largest digital asset manager globally, has filed a suit against the SEC for rejecting its application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot bitcoin ETF. Donald B Verrilli Jr., former U.S. Solicitor General, and a top lawyer for the Obama administration, whom Grayscale hired early this month, filed a petition for review with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Alternative Investments/Digital: Amidst A Crypto Winter, 21Shares Launches The World’s Cheapest Physically Backed Bitcoin ETP

June 30, 2022

21Shares AG has launched a bitcoin ETP tailor-made for today’s crypto market, one that has been mauled by rampaging bears and gripped by a “crypto winter.” The 21Shares Bitcoin Core ETP (CBTC), which started trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange effective Wednesday, is claimed to be the lowest cost physically-backed Bitcoin ETP in the world.

Venture Capital: Entrepreneur First Raises $158M From Crème de la Crème Of Tech, Including Stripe Founders

June 29, 2022

Entrepreneur First, the UK-based VC firm run like a startup, has raised a $158 million Series C round at a valuation of $560 million. Known for its unorthodox (but highly successful) approach to selecting founders to back, Entrepreneur First’s portfolio covering over 500 companies has already generated over $10 billion in value.

Digital Assets: High Profile Casualty Of The Crypto Meltdown – Hedge Fund Three Arrows In Liquidation

June 29, 2022

A report by Sky News claims that crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) has been forced into liquidation as a result of a court order in the British Virgin Islands. The report said that global consulting firm Teneo has been entrusted with the insolvency process of 3AC.

Digital Assets: Goldman Sachs Downgrades Coinbase To Sell In Another Body Blow To Cryptos

June 28, 2022

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) analysts, led by Will Nance, have downgraded Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) from a Neutral rating to Sell. The analysts said they were concerned about the relentless decline in the prices of crypto assets, as well as the falling levels of activity in their market. As a result, the analysts slashed their price target for COIN from $70 per share to $45.

Artificial Intelligence: An Israeli AI-Based System Can See Through Walls

June 28, 2022

Israel-based Camero Tech, has a range of “See-Through-The-Wall” (STTW) systems that use ultra-wideband (UWB) radar sensors, sophisticated signal and image processing, smart image reconstruction, together with AI to construct a real-time, high resolution, 3D image that presents what happens on the other side of the wall in a reliable manner. Systems such as the Xaver 1000 are a boon for armed forces, law enforcement agencies, intelligence operators, and first responders.

Digital Assets: Three Arrows Capital Served Default Notice, Says Voyager Digital

June 27, 2022

Voyager Digital (TSE: VOYG) announced today that its operating subsidiary, Voyager Digital LLC, had issued a notice of default to Three Arrows Capital for failure to make the required payments on its loan of 15,250 BTC and $350 million USDC.

Venture Capital/ESG: Brookfield Raises Mammoth $15B Fund Focused On The Climate Transition To Net Zero

June 24, 2022

Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM) announced the final close of its $15 billion Brookfield Global Transition Fund, receiving investments from institutions and private wealth channels including public and private pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, endowments and foundations, financial institutions, and family offices. The fund saw solid demand significantly beyond its initial hard cap and the final fund size was oversubscribed. Brookfield itself is the largest investor in the Fund.

Artificial Intelligence: GM Buys Stake In UVeye For Its AI Vehicle Inspection Systems

June 24, 2022

In a move to incorporate AI into the somewhat tedious and error-prone manual vehicle inspections, GM (NYSE: GM) has taken a stake in UVeye, an Israeli startup creating vehicle inspection systems that incorporate proprietary algorithms, cloud architecture, artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensor-fusion technologies.

Digital Assets: Contagion? Voyager Digital Slashes Withdrawal Limits From $25K To $10K

June 24, 2022

Voyager Digital (TSE: VOYG) is reeling from the potential $660 million default on its exposure to crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital Ltd comprising 15,250 Bitcoin and $350 million of stablecoin USDC. In a move likely to further dampen the already battered sentiment in the crypto market, Voyager announced Thursday it was lowering its daily withdrawal limits to $10,000 from $25,000. Voyager revealed Wednesday that it may have to issue a default notice to Three Arrows for failure to repay its loan. Shares fell 51% in Toronto trading after the notice became public.

Venture Capital: Nuclear Fusion Startup Zap Energy Achieves First Plasmas; Nabs $160M

June 23, 2022

Zap Energy , a Seattle-based startup aiming to achieve commercially viable nuclear fusion and fusion generated energy through a quicker and dramatically lower capital intensive approach, has raised a $160 million Series C round led by Lowercarbon Capital. New investors coming aboard included Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Shell Ventures, DCVC and Valor Equity Partners. Existing investors Addition, Energy Impact Partners and Chevron Technology Ventures also participated.

Alternative Investments/Digital: ProShares Will Debut A Short Bitcoin ETF This Week

June 21, 2022

Bitcoin has already lost about 70% from its all time high of $68,789 touched in November 2021. But as they say – better late than never. ProShares is likely to launch the first US short bitcoin ETF, the ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy, on Tuesday, allowing investors to take a punt on a decline in the…

FinTech: Klarna Facing A Down Round, May Raise $500M To $1B

June 17, 2022

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Klarna, the fintech company famous for its ‘buy-now-pay-later’ product, is in talks to raise funding at a valuation of $15 billion, nearly a third of its 2021 valuation of $46 billion.