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12/01/20: What’s Going On

Pfizer, SoftBank and more from around the business world.
(Saranya Phu Akat)
(Saranya Phu Akat)
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“Pfizer Inc. partner BioNTech and U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc. both applied for their coronavirus vaccines to be approved in the European Union, the EU’s chief medicines regulator said Tuesday, with officials expected to make a decision on at least one of the vaccines by the end of the month. The announcement brings hope that the EU will soon be able to start vaccinating its 448 million people against a disease that has done some of its earliest and worst damage on the continent, in places like northern Italy, Belgium and France.”

“S&P Dow Jones Indices said it will add Tesla Inc.’s full weight to the S&P 500 all at once in December, shedding more light on a mammoth addition that has captivated investors across Wall Street. The index company said Tesla will be added to the broad stock-market gauge before the start of trading Dec. 21, meaning most index-tracking funds that follow the S&P 500 will engage in a flurry of trading the Friday before.”

“General Motors Co. will no longer take an equity stake in electric-truck maker Nikola Corp. under a stripped-down agreement revealed Monday, a significant retrenchment from an earlier pact that fueled investor enthusiasm for both companies. Under the revised deal, GM still intends to provide Nikola with fuel-cell technology but it has nixed plans to take an 11% stake in the Phoenix-based startup in exchange for supplying engineering work and other services.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
GoSite$40 MillionHelp SMBs Bring Their Businesses Online
Ankorstore$29.9 MillionWholesale Marketplace Connecting Independent Shop Owners With Brands Selling Household Supplies
Vivenu$15 MillionTicketing API For Events
Databand$14.5 MillionData Pipeline Observability Tools

“Exxon Mobil Corp. is retreating from a plan to increase spending to boost its oil and gas production by 2025 and preparing to slash the book value of its assets by up to $20 billion, as the struggling company reassesses its next decade.”

“Reddit Inc. said it averaged 52 million daily active users in October, up 44% from the same month a year earlier, disclosing for the first time a metric used by other social-media companies to define the size of their audiences.”

“Facebook Inc. said it would buy Kustomer, a startup that specializes in customer-service platforms and chatbots, part of an effort by the social-media giant to help companies use its platforms to do business.”

“SoftBank is investing in U.S. logistics startup Flock Freight in a deal that values it at $500 million, Bloomberg reported. California-based Flock Freight is raising $113.5 million in the funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, which is funded by the Japanese tech investor’s own money.”

“Salesforce’s deal to buy Slack is expected to be announced Tuesday after markets close, sources told CNBC’s David Faber.”

“The prospect of coronavirus vaccines on the horizon has boosted hopes of an end to the pandemic-wrought downturn—but first the global economy could face a long and difficult winter.”

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