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2/2/2021: What’s Going On

Amazon, Bumble and more from around the business world.
(Vladimka Production)
(Vladimka Production)
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“The U.S. economy is expected to expand more rapidly in 2021 than officials projected in July, but it will take several years for output to reach its full potential and for the number of employed workers to return to its pre-pandemic peak, according to new economic projections released Monday. The Congressional Budget Office said it expects gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, to return to its pre-pandemic level by the middle of this year, thanks in part to a surge of relief spending Congress authorized in 2020, including aid for households and businesses.”

“Amazon. com Inc.’s plans for its new northern Virginia headquarters feature an outdoor theme, the latest sign that big tech companies are getting more creative with office space rather than abandoning it. Phase two of the company’s development in Arlington, Va., calls for three 22-story office buildings and smaller retail buildings surrounded by woodlands, an outdoor amphitheater, a dog run and parking for around 950 bicycles. The centerpiece will be the site’s fourth and tallest tower, a 350-foot structure dubbed the Helix because it will feature two spiraling outdoor walkways with trees and plants from Virginia that twist to the building’s top.”

“Asos Plc agreed to buy Topshop, one of Britain’s best-known apparel brands, and several other labels for 295 million pounds ($405 million), as online fashion retailers swoop in to purchase well-known retail names that are closing stores. Arcadia Group, the insolvent retail empire of Philip Green, will sell the Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands to Asos in the all-cash transaction, according to a statement Monday. The purchase includes 30 million pounds of inventory. Asos shares rose as much as 4.6% in London.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Databricks$1 BillionAI-Focused Firm That Interacts with Corporate Information Stored On The Public Cloud
UiPath$750 MillionNew York-Based Automation Platform
Oyster$20 MillionHR Platform Aimed At Distributed Workforces.

“Northern California space-transportation company Astra Space Inc. intends to be the first maker of small rockets to go public in the U.S., using a blank-check company, or SPAC, in a transaction valuing it at $2.1 billion.”

“Russia’s homegrown Sputnik V vaccine showed high levels of efficacy and safety in a peer-reviewed study released Tuesday, a potential boost for the Kremlin’s aim to promote the Covid-19 shot abroad and curb the pandemic at home.”

“Bumble Inc., the dating app where women make the first move, set the terms for a U.S. initial public offering that could raise as much as $1 billion. The Austin, Texas-based company plans to sell 34.5 million shares at $28 to $30 apiece, it said in a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

“Google Cloud has signed up Ford Motor Company to a six-year agreement, giving the cloud market’s third-place provider a foothold with a firm that has previously formed cloud agreements with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.”

“Google said Monday it would cease developing video games for its cloud-computing-powered service Stadia and would instead rely on gaming titles produced by other publishers.”

“Uber Technologies Inc. agreed to acquire Drizly Inc., which makes an on-demand alcohol delivery app, for $1.1 billion, a wager that demand for home delivery will persist after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.”

“The E.U.’s competition regulator has pushed on with efforts to recover what it considers unpaid taxes from Apple’s Irish operation, claiming a European court was wrong to overturn the bloc’s decision to seek more than $15 billion from the iPhone maker.”

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