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2/8/2021: What’s Going On

Bitcoin, TikTok and more from around the business world.
(Primakov)
(Primakov)
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“Bitcoin’s price jumped sharply to an all-time high after Tesla revealed a big stake in the digital coin and said it would start accepting payments in bitcoin in exchange for its products. The world’s largest cryptocurrency last traded 15% higher at $44,141, according to Coin Metrics. Bitcoin just finished a banner year with its price more than quadrupling in 2020.”

“State and local governments in early 2020 expected the pandemic-induced downturn to decimate their budgets, as millions of business closures and layoffs wiped out tax revenue. In many places, the fiscal picture hasn’t been nearly as dire as feared. A flood of federal aid for businesses and households helped prop up incomes and consumer spending. Unemployment fell and economic activity picked up much faster than expected. Unlike in previous recessions, equity and housing markets have done well.”

“South Africa said Sunday it would temporarily halt a planned rollout of AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine after a small clinical trial found that it doesn’t appear to protect recipients against mild and moderate illness from a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus first detected in the country. The trial, which enrolled around 2,000 volunteers with a median age of 31 in South Africa, was too small and its participants too young to draw broad conclusions on the vaccine’s overall efficacy in protecting against the disease caused by the coronavirus, especially when it comes to hospitalizations or death. However, its findings contribute to concerns that a mutating virus is rendering existing Covid-19 vaccines less effective and that shots will need to be updated to protect against new virus strains.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Nexthink$180 MillionHelping IT Serve Its Internal Constituents Better
VerSe Innovation$100 MillionParent Firm Of News And Entertainment App Dailyhunt And Short Video App Josh
Phable$12 MillionHealthtech Startup Serving Patients With Chronic Conditions

“TikTok is planning a big push into e-commerce and affiliate advertising. The Chinese-owned app will allow its most popular users to share links to products and collect commissions, a common practice in other websites, the Financial Times reported.”

“Reddit Inc.’s role in the recent stock-trading frenzy has brought millions of new users to the social-media platform, its chief executive says, as well as scrutiny to the power of large communities online.”

“SoftBank Group Corp. rode red-hot stock markets to a big quarterly profit, largely on the back of investment gains at its $100 billion Vision Fund and its $10 billion successor.”

“Twitter Inc. is building a subscription product as a way to ease its dependence on advertising – a plan the social network has considered for years, and one that has taken on a heightened priority given the pandemic and pressure from activist investors to accelerate growth.”

Bumble Inc., the dating app where women make the first move, is targeting to raise as much as $1.8 billion from its U.S. initial public offering after boosting the size of the deal.

“China’s car sales surged in January from the low base of a year earlier, when the coronavirus began sweeping the world’s largest auto market.”

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