Thomson Reuters launches $100 mln venture capital fund

Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) is launching a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in early stage companies that serve professional audiences in the legal, tax and accounting, and news media business.

The fund, named "Thomson Reuters Ventures," is part of Chief Executive Steve Hasker's plan to transform the provider of news and information to professionals into what it calls a "content-driven technology business."

The fund will focus on companies in their Series A and Series B investment rounds.

Thomson Reuters wants to identify companies than can help its customers "deliver more value" to their customers - whether that be machine learning for better prediction, or automating for better efficiency, said Pat Wilburn, Chief Strategy Officer at Thomson Reuters.

Wilburn will serve as executive director of the fund.

Thomson Reuters said in August that at the end of the second quarter $700 million remained from a $2 billion mergers and acquisitions budget. It said it ...

Oct. 18, 2021

Magic Leap somehow raised $500 million to make another AR headset

The augmented reality startup announced that they have raised $500 million at a $2 billion valuation from existing investors. The round echoes the terms of an October 2014 raise where Magic Leap raised $542 million at a reported $2 billion valuation. Quite a bit has happened in the meantime.

Curiously, Magic Leap decided not to actually disclose any of the specific investors participating in this latest fundraise. At this point, the company has raised $3.5 billion in total funding according to Crunchbase, meaning that most of the investors they’ve brought in haven’t fared too well thus far.

The latest valuation is a far cry from the company’s $6.7 billion valuation they reached in 2019, but for a startup that nearly shut down last year, it could be a lot worse. Magic Leap fired a healthy chunk of its staff and was forced to raise hundreds of millions at slashed valuation terms last ...

Oct. 13, 2021

Updates given on planned IPO for geothermal holding company in Indonesia

The Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) in Indonesia has announced some updates on the planned initial public offering (IPO) of a geothermal holding company. This geothermal holding will be named Indonesia Geothermal Energy and will be a merger of PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), PT PLN Gas & Geothermal, and PT Geo Dipa Energy (Persero).

The total capacity of the planned holding company will be 1,022.5 MW – almost half of the total installed geothermal capacity in Indonesia. Early estimates have indicated that the IPO can reach a value of US$500 million or Rp 7 trillion.

We have previously reported on the asset consolidation as part of this ongoing merger process. Updates are still scarce but plans for the geothermal holding company seem to be progressing.

There is no clear timeline yet on when the IPO will be available.

/Source: Think Geoenergy/

Oct. 8, 2021

Zoom’s $15 billion deal for Five9 is off

Zoom’s roughly $15 billion acquisition of the call center software company Five9 fell apart on Thursday evening, when the companies said they would terminate a deal that had drawn national security scrutiny.

Five9 said in a news release that the deal had failed to garner enough support from its shareholders, and that the company would continue to operate independently. Allison Wilson, a spokeswoman for Five9, said the company believed it would build on its “current proven momentum” as an independent firm.

Zoom’s chief executive, Eric S. Yuan, said in a blog post that while the acquisition had been an opportunity for the company to expand, it “was in no way foundational to the success of our platform.” A spokesperson for Zoom, CJ Lin, said the company had no further comment.

The proposed deal between the companies, both based in California, had attracted government scrutiny. In August, the Justice Department pushed for a federal ...

Oct. 4, 2021

Shell announces $9.5 billion sale of West Texas oil field assets to ConocoPhillips

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell announced Monday a deal to sell the entirety of its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips.

ConocoPhillips is purchasing the West Texas business for $9.5 billion in cash, the companies said in a release release.

The assets span roughly 225,000 net acres with current production about 175,000 barrels per day, the statement said. The sale is set to close in the fourth quarter this year.

The deal would mark Shell’s complete withdrawal from onshore production in Texas. Shell will maintain its offshore production in Texas.

The move comes as the oil industry faces increasing pressure to invest in renewable energy and lower its carbon emissions in the face of a changing climate.

/Source: CNBC/

Sept. 29, 2021

Raspberry Pi gets $45M to meet demand for low-cost PCs and IoT

It turned out that COVID-19 lockdowns were good for the indoor hobby of hardware hacking: The British base behind the low-priced Raspberry Pi microprocessor announced yesterday that it had closed a $ 45 million financing round.

The cash injection into the trading arm of the (nonprofit) Raspberry Pi Foundational is valued at $ 500 million (before the money), confirmed founder Eben Upton.

The funding round was led by London-based Lansdowne Partners and The Ezrah Charitable Trust, a US-based private charity foundation.

“We are excited to welcome Lansdowne Partners and The Ezrah Charitable Trust as our first outside shareholders to help us take the next steps in our growth,” said Upton in a statement. “We’re seeing strong demand from consumers who use our PCs to access the Internet for work and entertainment, and even faster growth from industrial companies around the world as they integrate Raspberry Pi into their innovative IoT applications. This funding ...

Sept. 24, 2021

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak launches private space company

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak tweeted about a "private space company" he's launching that's "unlike the others." Called Privateer Space, its mission is to "keep space safe and accessible to all humankind," according to a YouTube video Wozniak linked. Ripcord founder Alex Fielding is also a co-founder.

"It's up to us to work together to do what is right and what is good," the promo video says. "So here's to taking care of what we have so the next generation can be better together."

Not much has been shared about the company yet. Privateer's site simply says, "The sky is no longer the limit," and "We are in stealth mode." The site does say the company will be at the AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies) conference in Wailea, Hawaii, which kicks off Tuesday. 

Other tech leaders have launched their own space endeavors, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who created Blue Origin, ...

Sept. 20, 2021

Harvard University Pledges to End Investment in Fossil Fuels

Harvard University is ending its investments in fossil fuels, the school’s president said on Sept. 9, drawing praise from divestment activists who had long pressed the leading university to exit such holdings.

In a letter posted on Harvard’s website, President Lawrence Bacow said the school’s endowment had no direct investments in fossil fuel exploration or development companies as of June and will not make such investments in the future, “given the need to decarbonize the economy.”

The university’s indirect investments in the fossil fuel industry “are in runoff mode,” he added. The indirect investments, made through private equity funds, make up less than 2% of the endowment, Bacow wrote.

Recently valued at about $42 billion, the most of any university, the school’s endowment has been under pressure for years from students, alumni and other activists to sell off its fossil fuel holdings as a way to slow climate change.


Sept. 15, 2021

France's Sanofi to buy U.S. biopharma firm Kadmon in $1.9 bln deal

French drugmaker Sanofi (SASY.PA) said it would buy U.S. biopharmaceutical company Kadmon Holdings (KDMN.O) for 1.9 billion dollars, one month after announcing the purchase of another US biotech, Translate Bio (TBIO.O), for $3.2 billion.

Sanofi said it has offered $9.50 per share in cash for Kadmon, representing a total equity value of approximately $1.9 billion on a fully diluted basis, and that both companies' boards unanimously approved the transaction.

Sanofi's price tag represents a 79% premium on Kadmon's $5.30 closing price on Tuesday.

"The acquisition supports Sanofi's strategy to continue to grow its general medicines core assets and will immediately add Rezurock (belumosudil) to its transplant portfolio," the two companies said in a joint statement.

Rezurock, a treatment for adult and pediatric patients 12 years and older with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), was approved in July by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Sanofi is under pressure to revive its drug pipeline and is also ...

Sept. 10, 2021

Chevron to Invest in Bunge Soybean Crushers to Secure Renewable Feedstock

Oil major Chevron plans to invest $600 million in two soybean crushing facilities owned by U.S. agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd., securing future feedstock for renewable fuels, the two companies said on Sept. 2.

The investment will result in a 50/50 JV, under the memorandum of understanding the two companies said they reached.

U.S. refiners have been ramping up their production of renewable fuels, spurred by federal and state financial incentives, and are seeking to secure guaranteed access to vegetable oils, animal fat and used cooking oil, which some refiners say are already difficult to source.

Chevron would have the right of first refusal for the soybean oil crushed by Bunge, the companies said.

Refiners are eyeing partnerships with agricultural producers to source and process vegetable oils so they can produce green fuels such as renewable diesel. Oil majors want to use their existing crude refineries and avoid costly retrofits and conversions.

Meanwhile, legislation is ...

Sept. 6, 2021