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11/18/20: What’s Going On

Microsoft, Apple and more from around the business world.
(VBD Photos)
(VBD Photos)
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Robinhood Markets, the trading platform that’s proved popular with novice investors, has asked banks to pitch for roles in an initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company is aiming to go public as soon as the first quarter of 2021, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company’s plans could change and it might decide not to pursue an IPO, the people said.

Microsoft, which has been building cybersecurity features into its Windows operating systems for more than two decades, is now extending its efforts into PC chips. Together with chipmakers Intel, AMD and Qualcomm, Microsoft is developing a new kind of chip–called the Pluton security processor–which it plans to include in future Windows PCs. It will include cybersecurity software that is similar to what Microsoft uses to prevent Xboxes from being modified in order to run pirated games.

“Activist investor Elliott Management has sold nearly all its $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, 14 months after it disclosed the stake. The New York-based hedge fund has pushed for a number of major changes that AT&T has taken to heart–such as adding new directors to its board and reviewing the sale of certain assets, including DirecTV. AT&T has held discussions about selling a stake in the satellite TV service, although it’s unclear if such a sale will happen.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Yubo$47.5 MillionFrench Social Media Startup
True Balance$28 MillionSouth Korean Financial Services App Targeting Indian Users
Headway$26 MillionHelps People Engage Therapists
Tourlane$20 MillionTravel Booking Platform
GoStudent€13.3 MillionVienna-Based E-Learning Startup

“Apple Inc. is halving the commission it charges smaller developers that sell software through its App Store, a partial concession in its battle with critics over how it wields power in its digital ecosystem.”

“Target Corp. said sales rose steadily in its most recent quarter, as demand for household goods and home office supplies continued to grow during the pandemic, while shopping shifted online.”

“Twitter Inc. is launching a new feature that will allow users to post text, audio and video that disappears after 24 hours, one of a number of steps the company is taking to increase engagement and compete with similar offerings on other platforms.”

“SoftBank Group Corp.’s founder Masayoshi Son said he has $80 billion in cash to buy back more shares and continue investing in both private and public companies.”

“The chief executives of Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. told lawmakers they did better in fending off election interference in 2020, while acknowledging mistakes and signaling an openness to more regulation.”

“SoftBank Group Corp. is among existing investors in talks to lead a $120 million fund-raising for Brazilian e-commerce company MadeiraMadeira in a transaction that will vault the firm to so-called unicorn status.”

“DataRobot, an artificial intelligence startup that sells AI services to companies in a wide range of industries, announced $270 million in funding it described as “pre-IPO,” suggesting the eight-year-old company is preparing to go public.”

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