Shares of Loop Industries (LOOP) – Get Report lost a third of their market value on Tuesday after the activist investment group Hindenburg published a report lambasting the plastics-recycling company and said it took a short position.
The investment firm said it interviewed former employees, competitors, industry experts and company partners as part of its investigation and concluded that Loop is “smoke and mirrors with no viable technology.”
Loop, Terrebonne, Quebec, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Former employees told Hindenburg that Loop operated two labs, one reserved for its “two twenty-something lead scientist brothers and their father” and one run by rank-and-file scientists who were unable to replicate results.
The investment firm said that a Loop employee told Hindenburg that scientists were pressured by Chief Executive Daniel Solomita to “lie about the results of the company’s process internally. We have obtained internal documents and photographs to support their claims.”
Loop has claimed to have developed a patented proprietary technology that breaks down a common plastic, PET, using “products purchased from the local hardware store,” Hindenburg said.
“In other words, the company claims to have discovered how to turn worthless trash into pure gold, a feat that multi-billion chemical companies such as DuPont, (DD) – Get Report Dow Chemical, (DOW) – Get Report and 3M (MMM) – Get Report have been unable to achieve on a large scale despite years of efforts,” Hindenburg said in its note.
Loop Industries shares at last check fell 34% to $7.69.
An information paper by the Productivity Commission has highlighted how there is scope for Australia to adopt regulatory technology (regtech) beyond the financial sector, with the belief it can improve regulatory outcomes and reduce the costs of administration and compliance.
In its regulatory technology information paper [PDF], the Productivity Commission noted how Australia is “well-placed” to develop regtech solutions given its “relatively stable and sophisticated” regulatory systems, but currently, extensive use of regtech remains relatively low.
“Low awareness can dampen both demand and supply responses — business need to see value in changing their software so that developers see value in investing in applications, which in turn deliver the value businesses need to see,” the paper stated.
It went on to suggest that Australia could extend its existing use of “low-tech” solutions, including digitised data, forms, registers, and transactions to streamline business and individual transactions with government, as well as reduce compliance costs, improve the efficiency of regulatory practices, and generate flow-on benefits to the community.
Some of the specific areas that the Productivity Commission believes regtech solutions could benefit from include where regulatory environments are particularly complex to navigate and monitor, explaining that there is scope to improve risk-based regulatory approaches; technology could enable better monitoring; and technology could safely unlock more uses of data for regulatory compliance.
While regtech could improve regulatory outcome, it should not be used as a substitute for regulatory reform, the Productivity Commission warned.
The paper also examined the costs, risks, and hurdles associated with the wider adoption of regtech. It pointed out that while regtech has the potential to deliver benefits, the wide-spread implementation of it could take some years, particularly when it comes to the adoption of “advanced” regtech, which requires specialised resources and longer development times.
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Majority of the Mahindra units procured by the Philippine National Police (PNP) are said to be in good condition. This was based on the report submitted by the Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC).
CAC said that around majority of the 2,045 vehicles—composed of Enforcer Patrol Jeeps and the Scorpio Light Transport Vehicles (LTV)—have undergone continuous aftersales program.
From October 22, 2018 up to February 29 this year, Mahindra conducted a regular Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) and free inspection on 1,645 units that were under the PNP and were serviced for free—saving more than P10 million worth of parts and services in the campaign.
Further, CAC gave Goodwill Warranty for the 474 units that were already out of coverage—meaning a unit has been accorded with the same service as those under the rated period. Such move gave an additional savings of above P12.6 million.
The initiative was made possible as Mahindra has a P30-million spare parts stock to replace worn out parts of the PNP units.
Moreover, Mahindra CAC has dedicated a service group of Service Engineers that would monitor the areas where Mahindra units were stationed. These engineers are deployed in the four parts depot strategically-located in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. An additional four Mobile Service Vehicles were built to conduct regular site visits.
Furthermore, Mahindra claimed that such move was done to ensure that the vehicles assigned to the police force will be running and functioning properly when needed.
“We even conducted regular training exercises with the handlers and managers of these Mahindra units covering the subjects of proper operation, maintenance and basic trouble shooting of the units so the drivers and users of the patrol jeeps and LTV’s are familiar with their Mahindra service vehicles,” Mahindra After-Sales Director Antonio Mallari Jr. said.
- European electric scooter startup Tier turned a profit in Q3, according to financial documents seen by Business Insider.
- Tier is comparatively small and only operates within Europe, but its numbers indicate that scooternomics may not be as unprofitable as critics feared.
- “We have made long-term structural changes and wanted to ensure we could be profitable through winter periods of low demand, but also Covid,” Tier CFO Alex Gayer commented.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
European scooter rental startup Tier is currently profitable, according to internal documents shown to Business Insider.
The startup’s revenue is in the tens rather than hundreds of millions of euros. But with billions of dollars ploughed into scooter startups, Tier’s leadership bills its shift to profit as vindication of careful, managed growth.
A bonus is that the company has achieved positive financial results despite the pandemic stymieing the expected summer boom in rides.
“We have made long-term structural changes and wanted to ensure we could be profitable through winter periods of low demand, but also COVID,” Tier’s chief financial officer Alex Gayer said.
According to the documents shown to Business Insider, Tier has been EBITDA-positive for the third quarter of 2020 and anticipates this continuing into the next quarter. The figures show EBITDA growth in the single-digit millions of euros, on higher revenue in the double-digit millions of euros. The company suffered losses during the first half of the year.
Like other scooter companies, Tier allows users to rent its electric scooters through an app. It competes with both well-funded US firms such as Bird and Lime, as well as smaller local rivals such as Wind and Voi.
Users can use Tier’s app to locate and unlock an available scooter nearby. How much you pay per ride depends on the city.
Last May, I had a discussion with Peter Chapman, CEO of IonQ, a start-up quantum computing company. Before coming to IonQ, Chapman worked for Amazon, where he was responsible for all the technical complexities of Amazon Prime. IonQ had accomplished a lot in the twelve months that Chapman had been at the helm, so I was looking forward to talking to him.
My biggest surprise during that discussion was that IonQ was simultaneously working on its next three generations of its trapped-ion quantum computers – 5th, 6th, and 7th generations.
In a recent follow-up with Chapman, including Chris Monroe, IonQ’s Co-founder and Chief Scientist, we discussed IonQ’s release of its 5th generation quantum hardware. Keep in mind that the 6th and 7th generations are still in development. Chapman said that each generation would be smaller and more powerful than its predecessor when released. Although he didn’t mention it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chapman’s team hasn’t already begun work on IonQ’s 8th generation processor.
Features of IonQ’s new 5th generation quantum computer
A qubit is the fundamental unit of information in a quantum computer. A classical computer bit can only be a one or zero. A qubit can also exist as a one or zero, but when in a quantum state, it can be a superposition of both values. IonQIon says its ‘s newest quantum hardware has 32 ion qubits in its latest release, almost tripling the 11 qubits in its previous quantum computer.
Robert Niffenegger, a Ph.D. and a member of the Trapped Ion and Photonics group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, said he wasn’t surprised at the large jump in the number of qubits. ”Honestly, I think a lot of people were just holding their breath until they [IonQ] announced. They’ve published papers on