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12/14/20: What’s Going On

Covid-19, Oracle and more from around the business world.
(Sundry Photography)
(Sundry Photography)
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“The first Covid-19 vaccinations in the U.S. are expected to begin Monday, kicking off the most urgent mass vaccination campaign since polio shots were rolled out in the 1950s. Pfizer Inc. began shipping vaccine vials Sunday. Doses are scheduled to arrive at some hospitals and health departments across the country early Monday, and could start being administered within hours.”

“Ola said on Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu in India to set up what it claims would be the “world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility” in the South Indian state as the Indian ride-hailing firm begins a new push with electric vehicles. The SoftBank-backed Indian ride-hailing firm said it will invest about $327 million in setting up the factory, which it says would create almost 10,000 jobs and have an initial capacity to produce 2 million electric vehicles in a year.”

“Chinese e-commerce company JD.com said it has agreed to invest about $700 million in online grocery startup Xingsheng Selected. The deal is the latest indication of how China’s grocery battle is heating up, as the country’s biggest tech giants and other investors are pouring billions of dollars into the fast-growing segment.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
German Bionic$20 MillionExoskeleton Tech To Supercharge Human Labor
Cledara$3.4 MillionSaaS Purchase And Management Platform
IntellectoKids$3 MillionGamified Education Content For Preschoolers
Appboxo$1.1 MillionBuilding A Mini-App Ecosystem For All Developers

“State leaders say they are short billions of dollars in funding needed to successfully provide Covid-19 vaccinations to all Americans who want to be inoculated by health officials’ June goal.”

“Nokia, the 155-year-old iconic firm that has manufactured a range of items from rubber to cables to phones and telecommunications equipment, is ready to expand to a new category. The Finnish firm on Monday launched the Nokia PureBook X14 laptop in collaboration with Walmart -owned Flipkart for the Indian market.”

“California on Friday filed court papers seeking to join the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.’s Google.”

“Oracle is moving its corporate headquarters from Redwood Shores, Calif.–where it has been since 1989–to Austin, Texas in order to set up the company for future growth and give employees more flexibility, according to a regulatory filing.”

“Twitter has acquired the social media app Squad, signaling plans to beef up its video features. Squad is a group video chat app that also lets people share live feeds of their phone screens and co-watch videos from apps like YouTube.”

“China’s antitrust watchdog fined Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and a Tencent Holdings Ltd. unit over a pair of years-old acquisitions and said it’s reviewing an impending Tencent-led merger, signaling Beijing’s intention to tighten oversight of internet sector deals.”

Private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners agreed to buy educational-software maker Pluralsight Inc. The deal values Pluralsight at $20.26 a share, or $3.5 billion including debt, the companies said in a statement confirming an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal.

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