India expects $100 billion investment from Switzerland and Norway

Ties are getting stronger between India and some European economies in the form of a new free trade agreement and enormous investment plans.

Sixteen years of negotiations are coming to an end as India is concluding a first-of-its-kind trade agreement with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, reported Bloomberg.

These countries form the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which agreed to invest in India as part of a free trade deal, in exchange for easier access to the world's most populous nation, a market of 1.4 billion people.  

The unusual feature of this Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is that it comes with investment guarantees, however, how binding they are, is still a question for the final talks.  According to the report, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the final amount could be as much as $100 billion for the next 15 years. However, the precise sum will also depend on some haggling during ...

Feb. 13, 2024

Salesforce unveils AI Cloud offering, doubles fund for AI startups to $500 million

Salesforce  on Monday doubled its venture capital fund for generative AI startups to $500 million and unveiled the AI Cloud service that hopes to attract enterprises by offering the company's AI-powered products under one umbrella.

AI Cloud will include Salesforce's products from the Einstein service to workplace-messaging app Slack and data analysis software Tableau. Its starter pack will be available for $360,000 annually, the company said.  The move underscores the race among technology companies to incorporate their tools with generative AI, which can create new text, imagery and other content based on inputs from past data.

"AI is reshaping our world and transforming business in ways we never imagined, and every company needs to become AI-first," said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.

Along with the company's own offerings, AI Cloud will host the large-language models (LLMs) - the core software of artificial intelligence systems - from providers such as Amazon Web Services, Anthropic ...

June 16, 2023

Digital health funding holds steady in Q1 after year of decline

Another challenge for startups emerged in March with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, a popular lender and bank for technology companies. According to analysts from Rock Health, SVB’s sudden failure likely halted digital health companies’ funding momentum from early in the year and forced them to quickly find new banking institutions. 

In the first quarter this year, 44% of funding went to care delivery and navigation technology companies, which raised a total of $1.5 billion. These startups also boasted the highest average disclosed deal size at $12.6 million. 

Monitoring, imaging and diagnostics tech startups scooped up $700 million, the second highest-funded category of digital health companies, while drug research and development companies came in third with $400 million. 

The digital therapeutics and wellness technology sector raised $200 million in the first quarter, but had the lowest average disclosed deal size at $4.3 million. Digital therapeutics companies are raising funds after Pear Therapeutics, ...

May 23, 2023

Apple Launches $200 Million Carbon Removal Fund

Apple announced a commitment of up to $200 million for the launch of a new fund aimed at supporting carbon removal projects, with goals to remove 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, while generating a financial return for investors.

The launch adds a new fund to the Restore Fund, established in 2021 by Apple and partners Conservation International and Goldman Sachs to aimed at encouraging investment to protect and restore ecosystems and scale natural carbon removal solutions, which also included an up to $200 million commitment and 1 million ton carbon removal goal.   Climate Asset Management has launched two strategies to date, including Natural Capital and Nature Based Carbon, and the new fund will utilize both of these by targeting agricultural projects that generate income from sustainably managed farming practices, as well as projects which conserve and restore critical ecosystems that remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, ...

April 30, 2023

Bayer plans to spend $1 billion on US pharma R&D in 2023-US pharma head

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bayer AG plans to spend $1 billion on drug research and development in the U.S. this year as it works to double its sales in the country by the end of the decade, Bayer's top U.S. pharmaceutical executive told Reuters.

Sebastian Guth, president of Bayer's pharmaceuticals business in the Americas, also said in an interview on Wednesday that the company had raised the number of U.S. employees working on marketing for its pharmaceutical business by around 50% over the last three years, and plans to expand on that by another 75% by 2030.

"It's time for us to double down on the U.S.," Guth said, noting that Bayer plans to sell the drugs it is developing itself in the country, rather than partner with U.S. companies like it has in the past.

Bayer is looking to build up its portfolio of new drugs as it hopes to improve share ...

March 15, 2023

Hesai breaks ice with biggest Chinese IPO in the US since Didi

 Hesai, a developer of sensor technologies used in self-driving cars, has raised $190m in an initial public offering (IPO), the largest by a Chinese issuer in the US market since the crash of Didi Global in 2021.

The Shanghai-based start-up sold 10-million American depositary receipts for $19 each, according to a statement Thursday. The company had marketed 9-million shares for $17 to $19 apiece. At the IPO price, Hesai has a market value of about $2.4bn.


Feb. 23, 2023

SpaceX to raise $750 million at $137 billion valuation

Jan 2 (Reuters) - Elon Musk's SpaceX is raising $750 million in a new round of funding that values the rocket and satellite company at $137 billion from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, CNBC reported late Monday.

Reuters had reported in November that SpaceX was in talks about an offering of mostly secondary shares that could value the company at up to $150 billion, representing a 20% increase in valuation.

SpaceX, which counts Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Fidelity Investments among its investors, had raised about $1.68 billion through equity financing in June.

Spokespersons for SpaceX and Horowitz did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment. Horowitz was also a co-investor in Musk's Twitter buyout deal worth $44 billion.

SpaceX has launched numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Starlink, SpaceX's growing network of thousands of internet satellites, is looking at generating major revenue with ...

Jan. 19, 2023

Advent to Buy Majority Stake in Suven Pharma for $762 Million

Advent International Corp., one of the world’s largest private equity firms, will purchase a controlling stake in India’s Suven Pharmaceuticals Ltd. for at least 63.13 billion rupees ($762 million), triggering an open offer to buy further shares in the family-run firm.

The buyout firm agreed to acquire 50.1% of Suven from the Jasti family, according to an exchange filing Monday. The stake purchase also set off a mandatory offer to minority shareholders from Advent under which it can buy as much as 66.19 million shares — or another 26% stake — for 495 rupees each, the same price it is paying the founders for the majority stake.

Suven rose as much as 4.9% during trading in Mumbai on Monday before paring almost all of those gains to trade at 497 rupees. India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced as much 0.8%.

For Advent, which has made more than 50 health care investments in 16 ...

Dec. 14, 2022

Boston Scientific to buy Apollo Endosurgery for $417 million

Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX.N) said on Tuesday it will buy medical technology firm Apollo Endosurgery Inc (APEN.O) for $417 million to expand its portfolio of gastric devices. With debt, the deal is valued at about $615 million.

The offer of $10 per share in cash for Apollo Endosurgery represents a premium of nearly 67% to the stock's last close. Its shares were up 63% in premarket trading.

Apollo Endosurgery makes devices used in surgeries to manage gastrointestinal complications and aid in weight loss for patients suffering from obesity. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023.


Nov. 30, 2022

Merck to buy Imago for $1.35 bln to broaden portfolio of blood disorder drugs

The $36/share cash offer of Imago represents almost a 107% premium to the last close of trading. With Keytruda's key cancer immunotherapy patents expected to be lost in 2028, Merck is trying to expand its drug portfolio. Last year it bought Acceleron Pharma for about $11.5 billion to gain access to an experimental therapy for high blood pressure.

According to BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Zygerman, the perceived potential revenue from the Imago deal is probably not enough to make up for the loss of exclusivity Keytruda left at the end of this decade.

Zygerman expects the company to close more deals that will help fill the revenue gap due to the loss of the Keytruda patent. Imago, a bone marrow drug company, is currently testing its flagship drug in interim studies to treat some rare blood cancers. Merck did not provide details on the impact of the Imago deal ...

Nov. 25, 2022