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3/25/21: What’s Going On

News from around the business world.
(canon_photographer)
(canon_photographer)
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“Behind Intel Corp.’s multibillion-dollar revival plan is a growing view among tech executives that booming demand for computer chips will continue beyond the pandemic. Intel on Tuesday committed to a record $19 billion to $20 billion in capital expenditures this year, or about 45% above the company’s average annual capital expenditures over the past five years. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s leading contract chip maker, in January pledged to spend up to $28 billion on plant investments this year, a record for that company and a 47% annual increase.”

“AstraZeneca released more pivotal-trial data for its Covid-19 vaccine, saying the shot was 76% effective at preventing Covid-19 with symptoms in a fuller analysis of study results than the company had earlier provided. AstraZeneca said its latest figure on the vaccine’s efficacy was based on an analysis of 190 cases of symptomatic Covid-19 in the trial, 49 more cases than the company had analyzed earlier. Despite the additional cases, the vaccine’s performance was in line with what AstraZeneca had first reported.”

“The chief executive officers of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet, which owns Google, will appear before a House panel Thursday for the first time since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, facing questions about social media’s role in fomenting the discord and their subsequent decisions to suspend or ban former President Donald Trump. The three companies have been ‘distributors for years of election disinformation that appeared to be intended either to improperly influence or undermine the outcomes of free and fair elections,’ said a statement put out in advance of the hearing by Frank Pallone Jr. (D., N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescriptions
Digital House$50 MillionBuenos Aires-Based Edtech Focused On Developed Tech Talent Remotely
Meniga€10 MillionDigital Bankings Solutions Provider
Better Health$3.5 MillionReinventing Medical Supply Shopping Through E-Commerce
viAct$2 MillionHong Kong-based Automated Construction Monitoring Platform

“The Suez Canal remained shut Thursday as Egyptian authorities worked to clear a ship blocking the critical waterway and shipping experts warned a resumption of traffic through the channel could be days away or longer.”

“Shares of DigitalOcean, a small cloud provider that competes with giants like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, dropped nearly 10% in their first day of trading, after the company raised $775 million in its initial public offering.”

“TikTok owner ByteDance has hired a senior executive of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi to be its chief financial officer. The move comes as investors and bankers are expecting ByteDance, the world’s most highly valued venture-backed private tech firm, to go public as soon as this year, even though the company hasn’t publicly discussed its IPO plans.”

“General Motors is adding former Hewlett Packard executive Meg Whitman and National Basketball Association Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum to its board, effective immediately.”

“Fidelity Investments is preparing to launch its own bitcoin exchange-traded fund as the investment giant works to cement its clout in the market for digital assets and virtual currency.”

“Rocket builder ABL Space closed a $170 million round of funding, the company announced on Thursday, making it the latest private space venture to reach the unicorn valuation mark.”

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