Bitcoin Had a Big 2023

Bitcoin closed the year with a 164% gain, Fidelity once again wrote down the value of Musk’s stake in X, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are working to extend their merger deadline, big tech is bracing for a wave of antitrust rulings, and Disney lost copyright protection of the original Mickey Mouse.

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Bitcoin closed the year with a 164% gain, Fidelity once again wrote down the value of Musk’s stake in X, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are working to extend their merger deadline, big tech is bracing for a wave of antitrust rulings, and Disney lost copyright protection of the original Mickey Mouse.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 12/29/2023 market close.


  • US stocks fell slightly on Friday, but the S&P closed out 2023 with a 24% gain as inflation slowed and the economy stayed strong

    • The Nasdaq led indices with a 0.56% loss

  • European stocks slightly rose on Friday with the regional Stoxx 600 finishing 2023 up 12.6%

  • Bitcoin ended the year up 164% as crypto markets had a strong 2023


  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Thursday: Walgreens Boots Alliance

    • Friday: Constellation Brands

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Optimism abounds on Wall Street this New Year (WSJ)

  • Jane Street emerges as broker of choice for Bitcoin-ETF issuers (BBG)

  • PGA Tour and LIV Golf are working to extend merger deadline into 2024 (CNBC)

  • Big tech braces for wave of antitrust rulings in 2024 (WSJ)

  • Musk’s X value cut by another Fidelity writedown (AX)

  • New FAFSA launches after long delay - but with ‘some minor issues’ (CNBC)

  • US pushed ASML to block Chinese sales before deadline (BBG)

  • Saudi fund outpaced Singapore’s GIC with $31.6B splurge in 2023 (BBG)

  • Non-traded REITS ran off the rails in 2023 (WSJ)

  • More EVs lose US tax credits, including Tesla, Nissan, and GM vehicles (RT)

  • Disney lost copyright protection of its original versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse (AX)

  • Philippine stock exchange expects to double IPOs in 2024 (BBG)

  • India’s crude oil imports from Russia plunge on payment issues (BBG)

  • Powerful earthquake hits Japan, causing tsunami and fire (WSJ)

  • From blackout license plates to anti-book bans, new state laws for 2024 (AX)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Chinese home appliance company Haier Group will acquire a 20% stake in China's Shanghai RAAS Blood Products from Spanish pharma group Grifols for $1.8B (RT

  • Japan’s Mitsubishi HC Capital plans to sell ~$637M worth of British rail assets (BBG

  • Swiss drugmaker Roche will acquire LumiraDx's Point of Care diagnostics platform business for $295M (RT

  • Outdoor equipment maker Clarus will sell its Precision Sport segment to an undisclosed US-based non-strategic buyer for $175M (GNW

  • Emirates Telecommunications Group, the biggest phone operator in the UAE, ended talks for a controlling stake in Saudi Arabian telecom Mobily (BBG

  • Crédit Commercial de France, a subsidiary of British lender My Money Group, completed its acquisition of HSBC subsidiary HSBC Continental Europe’s French retail banking business (RT)

  • A US court upheld the FTC’s order to block healthcare and data analytics firm IQVIA’s acquisition of DeepIntent, a healthcare advertising firm, due to concerns that it may harm competition (RT)


  • Shield AI, a startup building an ‘AI pilot’ to turn aircraft autonomous, raised a $300M Series F at a $2.8B valuation from Hercules Capital (TC)

  • Web3 growth marketing company Addressable raised a $13.5M round led by BITKRAFT Ventures (FN)

  • BotBuilt, a startup lowering the cost of homebuilding with robotics, raised a $12.4M seed round at a $35M valuation from Ambassador Supply, Y Combinator, Owens Corning, and Shadow Ventures (TC)

  • Qantas Labs, a commercial AI erosion impact prediction company, raised a $550K seed round led by Faisal Al-Rajhi (FN)

  • Play Caller, a provider of a social micro-fantasy sports-focused technology platform, raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round (FN)

  • Element3, a startup extracting lithium and other materials from oil and gas wastewater, raised an undisclosed seed round led by EIC Rose Rock (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Waaree Energies, India's top solar panel maker, filed for an IPO and is seeking to raise $361M (RT


  • Sustainable fuel maker XCF Global Capital will merge with Focus Impact BH3 Acquisition Corp. in a $1.8B deal (RT

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Mortgage REIT JER Investors Trust filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; the company owes over $100M to creditors but has less than $50M in assets (BBG)  

Crypto Corner

  • SBF will not face a second trial on additional charges, including conspiracy to bribe foreign officials, after being convicted of a massive fraud last month (BBG

  • Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was blocked from traveling as he awaits sentencing for US bank law violations (BBG)

Exec’s Picks

  • This study shows how Uber has led to a 5.2% decrease in US traffic fatalities by reducing drunk driving incidents.

  • Fred Wilson shared his predictions for 2024, including the new developments in AI, web3, and energy.

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