Tag: Rival

12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

TikTok Rival Triller in Talks to Go Public Via SPAC

TikTok rival Triller Inc. is in talks with blank-check acquisition companies about a merger that could take the company public, a media report said.

The video-production-focused social-media company is negotiating a possible deal with special purpose acquisition companies, Reuters reported. 

Triller is working with investment bank Farvahar Partners, sources told Reuters.

SPACs, or blank-check companies, are publicly traded entities formed specifically to find and merge with operating companies.

Triller is also in talks with investors to privately raise as much as $250 million, Reuters reported. That effort, led by UBS, has so far secured $100 million at a $1.25 billion valuation, sources told Reuters.

Triller has said it seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s uncertain situation in the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, to shed the app due to concern that U.S. citizens’ personal data might be accessible to China’s communist government.

A federal judge has set a Nov. 2 hearing about whether to block the administration’s effort. 

Tiktok has 100 million U.S. users and Triller has a fraction of that figure, Reuters reported. Triller told CNBC in early August that it had 65 million monthly active users on its app. 

Triller is controlled by the media industry veteran Ryan Kavanaugh and the healthcare executive Bobby Sarnevesht, Reuters reported.

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12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

TikTok rival Triller exploring IPO through SPAC merger: Report

  • Video app Triller is exploring the possibility of an IPO, sources told Reuters.
  • The company is reportedly in talks to set up a public listing via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • It is simultaneously pursuing a private funding round, and sources told Reuters it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.
  • The sources said no deal is yet firm, and that Triller is still deciding which path to take.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Short-form video app Triller, which bills itself as a rival to the wildly successful TikTok, is reportedly exploring an IPO.

Reuters reported Sunday that Triller was in talks with investment bank Farvahar Partners about a potential merger and IPO.

Sources told Reuters the merger, if successful, would be with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 

SPACs are essentially shell companies that go public to raise capital in order to acquire a company, allowing their target to easily obtain a public listing.

Triller was simultaneously in talks to raise a private fundraising round, sources told Reuters, adding that it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.

Reuters’ sources said Triller was deciding whether to carry on with the private raise or forge a deal with the SPAC. They added that no deal was certain yet.

Triller was not immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider.

Triller has positioned itself as an emerging competitor to TikTok, which it is suing for alleged patent infringement.

Last month it said it had 100 million monthly active users, and CEO Mike Lu told TechCrunch Disrupt on September 15 that the company’s growth was “definitely on a rocket ship.” 

TikTok remains much larger than Triller, with 689 million monthly active users

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

AMD Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy Rival Chipmaker Xilinx

(Bloomberg) — Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is in advanced discussions to buy Xilinx Inc. in a takeover that could be valued at $30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The deal could come together as early as next week, though things remain in flux, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private deal. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the negotiations.

A combination with Xilinx would give AMD Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su more of the pieces needed to break Intel Corp.’s stranglehold on the profitable market for data-center computer components. It would follow moves by rival Nvidia Corp., which bought Mellanox Technologies Ltd. and aims to use its pending acquisition of Arm Ltd. to grab more of that business.

Acquiring Xilinx, which makes programmable chips for wireless networks, would also help AMD expand into a new market just as telecommunications carriers spend billions to build fifth-generation, or 5G, networks.

Xilinx, based in San Jose, California, makes field programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs. That kind of chip is unique because its function can be altered by software, even after it’s been installed in a piece of machinery. Xilinx’s chips have historically been used in telecommunications equipment, but under CEO Victor Peng the company is expanding into products targeted at data centers — where FPGAs can be used to accelerate workloads such as artificial intelligence. The other major supplier of advanced FPGAs is Intel, which acquired its market position through the purchase of Altera Corp. in 2015.

Representatives for AMD and Xilinx declined to comment.

Xilinx shares closed at $105.99 in New York on Thursday. That gives it a market capitalization of $25.9 billion, about a quarter of AMD’s value. Shares of Santa Clara, California-based AMD closed at $86.51. The stock has almost

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Convoy rival Uber Freight raises $500M, valuing trucking logistics business at $3.3B

(Uber Freight Photo)

Uber Freight, the trucking logistics arm of Uber, today announced a $500 million investment led by Greenbriar that values the unit at $3.3 billion.

Uber Freight helps match carriers with shipper’s loads, using technology to expedite and automate a traditionally manual process that involves email and phone calls. Since launching in 2017, it has nearly 65,000 carriers in its network and works with shippers including AB Inbev, Nestle, LG, Niagara Bottling, Heineken, Land O’Lakes, and more.

Convoy hires former Expedia CEO as president and COO as digital freight startup tops 1k employees

“Uber Freight has created an innovative and effective approach to logistics technology that we believe is highly scalable in the coming years,” Michael Weiss, managing partner of Greenbriar, said in a statement. “In particular, we believe that carriers and shippers will be increasingly attracted to the convenience and simplicity that Uber Freight offers in a complex marketplace.”

The business rivals Seattle startup Convoy, which also operates a digital marketplace for shippers and carriers. Founded by former Amazon leaders, Convoy raised $400 million at a $2.7 billion valuation in November and recently hired former Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom as its new president.

Convoy has raised $668 million over its lifetime from investors including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi; former Starbucks president Howard Behar; U2’s Bono and The Edge; among others.

Uber Freight reported $211 million in adjusted net revenue for Uber’s most recent quarter, or 11% of the company’s total revenue. That’s up from $167 million a year ago. It reported a $49 million loss for the quarter, down from $52 million last year.

The investment in Uber Freight comes as Uber continues to navigate through the pandemic, which has crushed its

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Billionaire Gaming Brothers Are Now Tencent’s Biggest Rival

(Bloomberg) — The coronavirus pandemic has created a new gaming giant, boosting the fortune of its two founding brothers.

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Thanks to a rush of new gamers, Playrix has become the world’s largest mobile-game developer after Tencent Holdings Ltd., according to researcher AppAnnie. Its founders and sole owners, 38-year-old Igor and Dmitry Bukhman, 35, have more than doubled their wealth and are now worth $3.9 billion each, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

That didn’t happen by accident: At the height of the health crisis, as companies cut down on advertising, the mobile-game developer took advantage of lower ad prices to increase its marketing. Monthly users surged 50% to 180 million at the peak of the outbreak, and sales jumped about 60% to $1.75 billion in the first eight months of the year, the company said. The number of gamers has since stabilized at 150 million monthly.

“Successful games have become long-term services similar to Netflix, which manages to retain users by constantly adding new content,” Igor said in a Skype interview from London, where the brothers live. “We are constantly adding new stories, different game mechanics and levels to our games, and people are playing them for years.”



Explosive Growth


© Bloomberg
Explosive Growth

Julia de Macfarlane-Smith is among those who got hooked during the pandemic. After clicking on an ad in February, she soon started spending as much as six hours a day playing Gardenscapes and about 50 pounds ($64) in a month to get through levels faster. The match-3 puzzle game is one of Playrix’s most popular.

“It made life indoors not so boring,” said the 42-year-old stay-at-home mom from Gloucestershire, U.K. “I don’t know how many hours a day I would be playing if the pandemic had never happened, probably much fewer.”

Listed gaming companies from China’s