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Social Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report – TechCrunch

According to a new report in Bloomberg, Social Capital Hedosophia has filed plans confidentially with the SEC to raise $500 million for its newest blank-check company. It will be the fourth special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, to be raised by the outfit, which is headed up by Chamath Palihapitiya and his longtime investment partner, Ian Osborne. Astonishingly, dozens more may be in the works. On the “All-In Podcast,” co-hosted by Palihapitiya, he revealed recently that has reserved the symbols from “IPOA” to “IPOZ” on the New York Stock Exchange. He also said he has $100 million of his own involved in each deal to demonstrate his alignment with potential investors. What’s the play? In the podcast, Palihapitiya pointed to the Federal Reserve’s economic and interest rate forecasts and its plans to keep interest rates at zero for years to come. “I mean, quite honestly,” Palihapitiya said, “there’s no path to any near-term inflation of any kind whatsoever.” It’s why he thinks investors are going to “get paid to be long [on] equities, because your risk-free rate is zero and will soon be negative. And what are you supposed to do if you’re an asset manager?” Here’s how he framed it: “Let’s say you’re the California pension system, you have hundreds of billions of dollars, and you need to generate five or 6% a year to make sure that your pension isn’t insolvent, and the government is paying you zero. When everybody is in that situation, you’re overwhelmingly long equities…Continue readingSocial Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report – TechCrunch

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Airbnb has confidentially filed to go public – TechCrunch

In a turn of fortune, Airbnb today announced that it has filed to go public, albeit confidentially. The move puts the home-sharing service on a path to a public offering sooner rather than later, and comes after reports that the company was prepping an IPO filing this month. Those same reports indicated that Airbnb could go public as soon as the end of the year. A Q3 or Q4 Airbnb offering is therefore a distinct possibility. Airbnb has mounted a comeback since COVID-19-related shutdowns slammed the travel market, tanking its revenues at the same time. Airbnb laid off nearly 2,000 workers, and took on expensive capital from external sources. The company promised in 2019 that it would go public in 2020, but that pledge seemed far-off in the middle of the year. Since then, Airbnb has made noise about different parts of its business coming back to life, although changed by new travel and work and vacation patterns from its users. If Airbnb has filed, we can presume that present results are good enough to get it life, else the firm would have not filed and would have simply gone public later. The question now becomes if its Q2 numbers were good enough to get it out the door, or if the company intends to update its S-1 filing with Q3 numbers, push the filing live and go public with more recovery time in its results. Of course, such a course of action would put its public debut perilously close…Continue readingAirbnb has confidentially filed to go public – TechCrunch

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Anthony Levandowski sentenced to 18 months in prison, as new $4B lawsuit against Uber is filed – TechCrunch

Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer and serial entrepreneur who was at the center of a lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, has been sentenced to 18 months on one count of stealing trade secrets.  Judge Alsup said that home confinement would “[give] a green light to every future brilliant engineer to steal trade secrets. Prison time is the answer to that.” During court proceedings today, Levandowski also agreed to pay $756,499.22 in restitution to Waymo and a fine of $95,000. “Today marks the end of three and a half long years and the beginning of another long road ahead. I’m thankful to my family and friends for their continued love and support during this difficult time,” Levandowski said in a statement provided by his attorneys after the sentencing. The U.S. District Attorney’s office had recommended a 27-month sentence, arguing in court today that Levandowski had committed the crime for ego or greed, and that he remained a wealthy man. “It was wrong for him to take all of these files, and it erases the contributions of many, many other people that have also put their blood, sweat and tears into this project that makes a safer self-driving car,” prosecutor Katherine Wawrzyniak said in her closing statement. “When someone as brilliant as Mr Levandowski and as focused on his mission to create self driving cars to make the world safer and better, and that somehow excuses his actions, that’s wrong.” Levandowski had sought a fine, 12 months home confinement and 200…Continue readingAnthony Levandowski sentenced to 18 months in prison, as new $4B lawsuit against Uber is filed – TechCrunch

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Secretive data startup Palantir has confidentially filed for an IPO – TechCrunch

Secretive surveillance startup Palantir said late Monday it has confidentially filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.  Its statement for the secretive, government-friendly big data operation, co-founded by Peter Thiel, said little more. “The public listing is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”  Palantir did not say when it plans to go public nor did it provide other information such as how many shares it would potentially sell or the share price range for the IPO. Confidential IPO filings allow companies to bypass the traditional IPO filing mechanisms that give insights into their inner workings such as financial figures and potential risks. Instead, Palantir can explore the early stages of setting itself up for a public listing without the public scrutiny that comes with the process. The strategy has been used by companies such as Spotify, Slack and DoorDash. However, a confidential filing doesn’t always translate to an IPO. A Palantir spokesperson, when reached, declined to comment further. Palantir is one of the more secretive firms in Silicon Valley, a provider of big data and analytics technologies, including to the U.S. government and intelligence community. Much of that work has drawn controversies from privacy and civil liberties activists. For example, investigations show that the company’s data mining software was used to create profiles of immigrants and consequently aid deportation efforts by the ICE. As the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world, Palantir pitched its technology…Continue readingSecretive data startup Palantir has confidentially filed for an IPO – TechCrunch