Venture Capital And Stock Market News Now

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The world of venture capital (VC) and investing is changing daily. Here are some updates in the realm of startups and stock trading along with cryptocurrencies and forex.

Venture capitalists are doubling down on bets that humanity's largest challenges can be addressed by the world's smallest organisms. Pivot Bio has raised $430 million to fund its mission to reduce the use of environmentally damaging fertilizer by replacing it with microbes that produce nitrogen. Return investors DCVC and Temasek led the round, which values Pivot Bio at nearly $2 billion. Nature's Fynd, a maker of animal-free meat and dairy products, has landed a $350 million Series C led by SoftBank's Vision Fund 2. Unlike other startups that have engineered microorganisms in a lab to manufacture protein, Chicago-based Nature's Fynd found its flagship microbe in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park. Recent big exits have helped embolden biotech investors. Ginkgo Bioworks and Zymergen, which operate cellular engineering platforms, were given multibillion-dollar valuations by public investors earlier this year.

The VC environment ebbs and flows between startup and investor friendliness. The Venture Capital Dealmaking Indicator offers a method for measuring who has more negotiating power at a given point: startups or investors. Key takeaways include that the VC Dealmaking Indicator uses our deal term data to measure inputs such as supply and demand of capital, board voting rights and valuation step-ups. As of last quarter, early- and late-stage deal terms have become about three times more startup-friendly since the first quarter of 2010. Over the past decade, late-stage deals have been consistently more favorable for investors than their early-stage counterparts. Demand for capital from new and existing startups has outpaced the supply of traditional VC, but nontraditional investors have come into the market to meet the increased demand.

Banking fintech partnerships in the post-pandemic age Over the past year, the pandemic and other market forces accelerated the digitization of lending and banking processes. Many banks forged fintech partnerships to guide them through this digital transition and to implement the right productivity-driving innovations for their businesses. But a number of these partnerships struggled when trying to match scale, align goals and merge cultures. Our new report, From Competition to Cooperation: Keys to Successful Bank / Fintech Partnerships in a Digital World, produced in partnership with digital banking innovator Lendit Fintech, provides insights from interviews with leading fintech executives on how to optimize the banking-technology firm partnerships, including: Key foundations of successful bank-fintech partnerships Building communications Aligning goals and outcomes Dealing with competitive overlap Governance and compliance considerations

The Japanese Olympic sized Economy is weighing the benefits of hosting vs. the massive costs. After a year-long pandemic postponement, the 2020 Olympics kick off this Friday in Tokyo — and they're now called the 2021 Olympics. Some key numbers: 0: Number of fans attending. All spectators have been banned, after Japan declared another state of emergency amid rising Covid cases this month. $15.4B: Cost of the Tokyo Olympics, according to organizers. That's 22% higher than planned due to extra pandemic-related costs. $3B: How much Tokyo has raised from 47 domestic sponsors, a record from host nation businesses at the Games. -90%: How much spending tied to the Games is expected to drop with zero spectators — and that doesn't include spillover tourism spend (think: hotels). You don't have to bring home the gold... if it's already home. For decades, hosting the Olympics has been a source of national pride. But while the Olympics are touted as an engine of economic growth and urban revitalization, the economic benefits of hosting aren't clear. Evidence points to no real change in economic activity for host countries — but very real costs. The Rio Olympics cost $13B, paid for with tax dollars and corporate cash. After the Games, Rio had little to show for its investment (and an abandoned pool that turned orange). The LA Olympics in 1984 marked the first and last time the Olympics were profitable, mostly because planners avoided building new stadiums. Looking forward the International Olympics Committee (IOC) is struggling to attract bidders for future Games. Poor economics for host countries and cities have caused many potential bids to be shot down by voters. The Olympic economy is an unequal ecosystem. While Japan would've taken an even bigger financial hit by cancelling, it still stands to lose the most. The Japanese hospitality and transportation sector is expected to lose up to $1.4B. Meanwhile, the IOC is poised to make $4B in television rights income, despite zero attendees. Companies with broadcast rights will be fine, too: NBCUniversal has already beat the $1.2B it earned for Rio ads. But sponsors like Asahi will get less bang for their buck without the ability to get stadiums of spectators chugging the “Tokyo 2020 Official Beer.”

Consumer prices jumped 5.4% in June from last year, accelerating at the fastest pace since 2008. A few examples: car and truck rental prices (+88%), women's dresses (+16%), and indoor plants (+5%). Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expects this inflation could be a one-time price increase as the economy rebounds. But for lower-income consumers, a spike in the price of meat, milk, or clothes can make a big difference. The "secret" stimulus is a super-charged child tax credit. Last week, the US government started sending parents monthly checks for each child they have. Each month for the rest of 2021, eligible parents can expect $250 or $300 per kid, depending on their age. 39M households will receive payments, covering 88% of US children. Pandemic stimulus checks boosted spending at go-to chains like Walmart, Costco, TJ Maxx and Target. This monthly child "allowance" could provide a similar boost to family-favorite retailers in the face of inflation.

Johnson & Johnson reports updated earnings soon, but don't expect a major boost from vaccine sales. Unlike Moderna and Pfizer, J&J pledged to sell its vaccine "at cost" with little or no profit. Out of $22B+ in sales last quarter, Covid vaccines made up just $100M of J&J's revenue — or roughly 2%. The no-profit approach could help J&J from a PR perspective. And last week Johnson & Johnson recalled several Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens over a possible carcinogen risk, and it's still dealing with large lawsuits from its baby powder scandal. 

Twitter and Snapchat kick off their new social media earnings as well. In February, Snap got investors excited by saying it expects 50% annual sales growth for the next several years. Meanwhile, Twitter's yearly sales growth pales in comparison to Snap and Facebook's. It's been struggling to gain users, and it just killed its Stories feature "Fleets." More broadly, social media platforms continue to face criticism from regulators and customers for failing to police hate speech and misinformation. It's to be determined if that will end up hurting the bottom line for these social media platforms trying to compete with Facebook.

Robinhood Markets Inc. (HOOD) plans to go public in the face of controvery and growing competition from exchanges like WeBull and Coinbase. You can now find HOOD in the IPO Access list and review the prospectus to see things like the amount of trading volume and profits are from cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin. View list You can also learn more about investing in IPOs and the allocation process on Robinhood Learn and in our Help Center. IPOs can be risky and speculative investments, and may not be appropriate for every investor. See our full risk disclosure here. There is no guarantee that requests for IPO shares will be fulfilled. All IPO requests are subject to availability – requests are filled randomly the morning of HOOD's IPO. Learn more about our allocation process here. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. No offer to buy the IPO shares can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the registration statement has become effective, and any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time prior to notice of its acceptance given after the effective date. This is not a recommendation for the issuer, the IPO shares, or your participation in this IPO. All investments involve risk and loss of principal is possible.

Private debt and equity offerings with target returns of 8% to 16% Access to private debt and equity investments has historically required investment minimums of approximately $250,000. Often, exposure to these asset classes has been via a long-duration fund or, in some instances, an opportunistic one-off investment. The fintech revolution is providing investors with greater opportunities to add alternative investments to their portfolios at lower investment minimums and with shorter duration than traditional alternatives funds. With bond yields at historically low levels and equity markets seeing stretched valuations relative to their historical averages, adding alternatives such as real estate, supply chain financing, and art and legal finance has become even more important. Some of these benefits include: Short durations (three months to five years) Low minimums (<$10,000 per investment) Target annual returns from 8% to 16%.

On July 20, 2021, Bezos, the world's richest man, was launched in Texas by his company's blue origin rocket. After about 11 minutes of flight, Bezos successfully reached the height of more than 100 kilometers in space. In addition to Bezos himself, several guests joined him on the space trip, including his brother Mark Bezos, 83 year old female pilot Wally Fink, and 18-year-old paying passenger Oliver Daiman. This comes about a week after Virgin founder and billionaire Richard Branson completed his own launch into space. This has huge implications for the future of Blue Origin, Spacex, NASA, Virgin Galactic, Chinese and Russian space exploration ventures, and many more entities in the new space tourism industry. Blast off!

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