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11/19/20: What’s Going On

HBOMax, Amazon and more from around the business world.
(Ascannio)
(Ascannio)
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“HBOMax will get a huge boost this December. WarnerMedia announced today it will be releasing its superhero film Wonder Woman 1984 on its streaming service HBOMax at the same time it puts it into theaters. This is the biggest movie to date that was effectively moved from theaters to streaming. Disney did it on a smaller scale this summer with Hamilton—to great success. Disney also tried a hybrid approach with Mulan, which it made available to rent for a steep $30.”

Affirm, a consumer finance business founded by PayPal mafia member Max Levchin, filed to go public this [Wednesday]. The company’s financial results show that Affirm, which doles out personalized loans on an installment basis to consumers at the point of sale, has an enticing combination of rapidly expanding revenues and slimming losses. Growth and a path to profitability have been a winning duo in 2020 as a number of unicorns with similar metrics have seen strong pricing in their debuts, and winsome early trading. Affirm joins DoorDash and Airbnb in pursuing an exit before 2020 comes to a close.”

“Amazon has laid off dozens of employees working on its delivery drone project. Amazon’s drone program, called Prime Air, was announced  by founder Jeff Bezos in 2013. But since then the projects has been delayed by technical and regulatory problems.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
SellerX$118 MillionBuy Up and Grow Amazon Marketplace Businesses
ZenBusiness$55 MillionIncorporation and Growth Platform for Micro Businesses
Marathon Venture Capital$47 MillionInvest in Seed-Stage Startups
Chipper Cash$30 MillionAfrican Cross-Border Fintech Startup Backed By Jeff Bezos
Faber$24.3 MillionFund Focused on Early-Stage Data-Driven Startups From Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula.

“Jobless claims rose 31,000 to 742,000 last week, the Labor Department said, the first increase since early October as a surge in virus cases keeps a check on the U.S. economic recovery.”

“FreshDirect, the New York-based online grocer specialized in food from local farmers, will be acquired by the Dutch-Belgian owner of Stop & Shop amid this year’s pandemic-induced boom in e-commerce.”

“The owner of T.J. Maxx said it would launch an e-commerce platform for its HomeGoods home-and-furniture chain in the second half of 2021, changing course from earlier in the pandemic when it resisted an industrywide push to ramp up online sales.”

“Apple has agreed to pay $113 million to 34 states and the District of Columbia to settle allegations that it broke consumer protection laws when it systematically downplayed widespread iPhone battery problems in 2016.”

“Tencent is the lead investor in online education startup Udemy, showing how some cross-border deals are still happening despite the shadow of U.S.-China tensions.”

“Chinese e-commerce group JD.com Inc. gave billionaire boss Richard Liu options to buy 2% stakes in its health and logistics units, an award that could enable him to accumulate holdings worth more than $1 billion.”

“The judge overseeing the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google said he hoped to set an initial schedule for the case in December, while a government lawyer indicated the department had more than 100 potential witnesses.”

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