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Good Wednesday Morning,
Daylight – Put this one up there with Secretariat winning the Kentucky Derby – during his final Olympic run Shaun White, American snowboarder, opened up with a frontside double cork 1440, followed by a cab double cork 1440 to win the gold medal under immense pressure as he had slipped into second and was last person to go. His gold was America’s 100th gold medal in the history of the winter games.
Hot – By the way, the dogs had their day too – Flynn, a bichon frisé with powder-puff fur, was named Best in Show at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
M&A – Some would say this deal is not M&A – I say otherwise. Netflix signs mega deal with star Hollywood TV producer Ryan Murphy in a five year exclusive deal worth $300 million. Murphy’s contract with 21st Century Fox expires this summer, and he will start at Netflix in July. Murphy was behind the shows “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story.”
Walgreens Boots Alliance made a takeover approach to drug distributor AmerisourceBergen
Bridgepoint acquired Safety Technology Holdings, a manufacturer of critical safety-related test and measurement systems, from Golden Gate Capital.
Knowland acquired Competitive Marketing Exchange, a provider of event space marketing intelligence for hotels.
Crystal Rock Holdings agreed to be acquired by Cott Corporation for $0.97 per share in cash. The transaction values Crystal Rock at approximately $35 million
Style – Boston Dynamics, a robotics design company, released a jaw-dropping video yesterday. Google it later. Features a robot doing things that robots aren’t supposed to be able to do. A robo-dog opens a door for its robo-dog friend, leaving humans excited and terrified.
After seeing video, you will grasp why the latest studies show that by 2025, 30 percent of all current human jobs will be automated. Tipping point – first time there is net negative job creation from automation.
Economics – Quietly written in Trump infrastructure plan is to put Reagan and Dulles airports up for sale to private enterprises. Atlanta?
Culture – California has poured billions of public dollars into studying stem cells. The state just received its first royalty check for $190,000 from a biotech firm. I know some of you think Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown is a left wing kook but he is the most Entrepreneurial Gov. in the country. A downtown California has not been seen for at least five years but Brown yesterday gathered top legislatures and agency heads to start preparing for one. Smart man.
Twitter short sellers keep increasing stakes even as stock rises. Despite a blowout earnings report and a climbing stock, short sellers continued to increase their position in Twitter. Fold
Live Rounds – Publicis Groupe was awarded global agency for Mercedes-Benz. The agency company will create new agency for the automaker called Publicis Emil after the early executive engineers who had a daughter named Mercedes. Cute but has nothing to do with selling more cars. Trinkets win more than they lose.
Waze released a new feature that will integrate your calendar and destination and prompt you to leave so that you arrive on-time, based on traffic, road work and weather conditions. Of course, they will troll you like Google. Apple and Facebook already do.
Buzzard’s Roost – After a three-year ban from the SEC, billionaire investor Steven Cohen is about to get back into the hedge fund game with his new firm, Point72 Assets.
However, first day hit hard with conduct allegations that stirred up Wall Street. Cohen said he would disprove every single allegation in a venue much fairer than the media. Couple of problems. There’s a screenshot of a conference room whiteboard with the word “pussy” written on it. It stayed up for two-three weeks before someone erased it. Next, out of 125 portfolio managers, only one was a woman who was often excluded from meetings. Fold and ask for forgiveness. By the way, not who I would want making decisions on money.
Culture – Price of privacy: $560 million. New Hampshire will not give a Powerball winner her money unless she lets her name be made public.
Investment Banking – Bregal Partners made an investment in Ju-Ju-Be International, a lifestyle brand in the juvenile products industry and provider of diaper bags, backpacks, and accessories.
Hedge Funds – Ray Dalio, Founder and CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund, BridgeWater Associates, was a bull in Davos, saying, “anybody hiding in cash right now has to feel pretty stupid,” but yesterday in a LinkedIn post said, “the risk of a major recession rising in next 18 to 24 months.” No kidding.
IPO – BioXcel Therapeutics, a firm seeking AI solutions to neurological disorders, filed for an IPO to raise up to $69 million.
Venture Capital – UJET, a real-time customer communications platform, raised a $25 million.
Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer online marketplace that connects travelers with a network of RV owners. raised $25 million.
Onsite Dental, a provider of workplace-based dental services, raised $20 million.
Instacart, a provider of online grocery delivery services, raised $200 million.
XebiaLabs, a provider of enterprise DevOps and continuous delivery software, raised $100 million.
YapStone, a provider of online and mobile payment solutions, raised $71 million.
Stash, a investing app, raised $37.5 million.
Volantio, an Atlanta-based provider of post-booking revenue and capacity optimization software for airlines, raised $2.6 million.
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Venture Capital – Tipalti, a global payables automation solution, raised $30 million.
Homesnap, a real estate technology company, raised $14 million.
Phyn, a company focused on water solutions, raised $10 million.
NepFin, a financial services company, raised a $10 million.
Infocyte, a cyber security company, raised $5.2 million.
FreeWire Technologies, a manufacturer of mobile rapid charging systems for electric vehicles, raised $5 million.
Hatch Apps, an automated app creation platform, raised $1.3 million.
SecFi, a provider of loans for option exercise and holders of private company stock, raised $1 million.
nOCD, a mental health app, raised $1 million.
Stoop, a flexible living platform and Mdrn., an end-to-end residential platform for sales and leasing, raised more than $1 million.
Private Equity – Blackford Capital made an investment in Online Tech Stores, a distributor of compatible imaging supplies and accessories.
And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff