Gemini Blunders

PE firms are resorting to new fundraising tactics, investors are swapping gold ETFs for Bitcoin ETFs, Jamie Dimon sold $150M of his shares, Nvidia identified Huawei as a top competitor, retail investors likely drove the recent crypto rally, and Gemini restricted AI image generation amid comical racial inaccuracies.

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PE firms are resorting to new fundraising tactics, investors are swapping gold ETFs for Bitcoin ETFs, Jamie Dimon sold $150M of his shares, Nvidia identified Huawei as a top competitor, retail investors likely drove the recent crypto rally, and Gemini restricted AI image generation amid comical racial inaccuracies.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 2/22/2024 market close.

Markets

  • US stocks rallied to new highs yesterday as Nvidia's strong earnings helped lift the tech sector and broader market

    • The Nasdaq had its best day in a year, almost fully recovering from its November 2021 fall 

  • Europe's Stoxx 600 hit an all-time high

  • The global MSCI ACWI index also posted a record high

Earnings

  • Block shares rose ~14% after reporting a surprise Q4 profit and beating revenue estimates (MW)

  • Moderna shares jumped ~14% thanks to a surprise quarterly profit boosted by deferred revenue and cost cuts (CNBC

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Warner Bros. Discovery 

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Wall Street may follow Canadian trend of using synthetic securities to transfer credit risk (BBG)

  • PE turns to new fundraising tactics in tough market (FT)

  • Private credit moves into banks’ infrastructure lending turf (BBG)

  • JPMorgan CEO Dimon sold ~$150M of his shares (RT)

  • Nvidia identifies Huawei as a top competitor (RT)

  • Investors swap gold ETFs for Bitcoin ETFs (RT)

  • Nvidia adds record $277B in market value (RT)

  • ECB reported a record loss for 2023 as rate hikes bite (RT)

  • Google restricts AI image generation amid racial inaccuracies (WSJ)

  • Capital One-Discover merger deal termination fee set at $1.38B (RT)

  • Europe to cut red tape for farmers following protests (BBG)

  • Reddit struck and AI content licensing deal with Google (RT)

  • Red Sea ship attacks not driving inflation (RT)

  • Tax evasion by the wealthy tops $150B / year (CNBC)

  • FBI and Homeland Security is investigating AT&T's outage (RT)

  • Half of college grads are in jobs that don't require degrees (WSJ)

  • First commercial spacecraft lands on the moon (FT)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • US is examining Nippon Steel’s connections to China, a potential barrier for the Japanese giant’s $14.9B acquisition of American rival United States Steel (BBG

  • UAE’s state-owned ADNOC is inching toward an improved bid for Covestro after finding a way to resolve the impasse over its $12.1B pursuit of the German chemical maker (BBG

  • Infrastructure-focused PE firm Stonepeak will acquire a 50% non-controlling stake in one of Dominion Energy’s offshore wind farms for $3B (BBG

  • Newmont, the world’s top gold producer, will seek to sell six mines and two projects to raise $2B (BBG

  • Italian-Thai Development is considering selling its 90% stake in Asia Pacific Potash, which owns mining rights in Thailand, for ~$500M (BBG)  

  • British Airways owner IAG may receive a warning from EU antitrust regulators regarding its $432M bid to buy out Air Europa if it does not offer remedies (RT

  • German food delivery group Delivery Hero failed to sell its Southeast Asian Foodpanda business (BBG

  • UBS Group is considering selling Credit Suisse’s Turkey investment bank unit (BBG

VC

  • Renewable energy developer rPlus Energies raised $460M in funding from Sandbrook Capital (BW)

  • AlTi Global, a global wealth management platform, received a ~$450M investment from Allianz X and Constellation Wealth Capital (BW)

  • Industrial heat and power startup Antora Energy raised a $150M Series B led by Decarbonization Partners (BW)

  • Crypto restaking project Eigen Labs raised $100M from a16z crypto (CD)

  • Fabric, a startup developing a care enablement system, raised a $60M Series A led by General Catalyst (FN)

  • Crisp, a platform providing brands and distributors with store and shelf-level data, raised $50M in funding: a $20M Series B extension and $30M in debt financing from TriplePoint Capital (BW)

  • Uhnder, a provider of commercial digital radar chips and software, raised a $50M Series D led by ACME Capital (FN)

  • PermitFlow, a startup helping builders speed up the process of obtaining construction permits, raised a $31M Series A led by Kleiner Perkins (FN)

  • Highway 9 Networks, a startup providing a mobile cloud for the AI-driven enterprise, raised a $25M round from Mayfield, General Catalyst, and others (FN)

  • Synadia Communications, creators of a cloud and edge-native messaging system, raised a $25M Series B led by Forgepoint Capital (VC)

  • Carewell, an online retailer providing tools and resources to family caregivers, raised a $24.7M Series B led by the principals of MBF Healthcare (BW)

  • Pozitivf, a fertility clinic network, raised $20M in growth funding led by MonCap (PRN)

  • Elve, a startup building millimeter wave amplifiers, raised a $15M Series A from TomEnterprise Private, Green Sands Equity, Yu Galaxy, and more (BW)

  • Autonomous driving startup Haomo.AI raised a $14M Series B led by Chengdu Wufa Private Equity Fund Management (TC)

  • Payments platform Zūm Rails raised a $10.5M Series A led by Arthur Ventures (TC)

  • Helius, a developer platform for Solana, raised a $9.5M Series A led by Foundation Capital (BW)

  • Hohm Energy, a South African solar installer marketplace, raised an $8M seed round led by E3 Capital and 4DX Ventures (TC)

  • Inco, a developer of a confidentiality layer for Ethereum and other networks, raised $4.5M in funding led by 1kx (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Reddit publicly filed for a US IPO, disclosing ~21% revenue growth and a $91M net loss in 2023 (RT

  • Germany's Heidelberg Materials is considering a US IPO to address its valuation gap (RT

Debt

  • Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie sold $15B of bonds to help fund its acquisitions of ImmunoGen and Cerevel Therapeutics (BBG)  

  • PE firms Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Stone Point Capital lined up over $9B of debt from banks led by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley to help finance their buyout of Truist Financial’s insurance brokerage business (BBG

  • Blackstone refinanced $8.8B of fresh debt for its Mileway warehouse business in European real estate's largest-ever refinancing (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • FTX received bankruptcy court approval to sell its 8% stake in AI startup Anthropic, potentially adding over $1B to its $6.4B cash pile (BBG

  • FTX Europe co-founders Patrick Gruhn and Robin Matzke agreed to buy back the unit’s assets for $32.7M (WSJ)

Fundraising

  • Life-sciences VC firm ORI Capital raised $260M for a second fund (WSJ)

  • Overture Climate VC raised $60M for its debut fund (AX)

Crypto Corner

  • Retail investors were likely behind February's crypto market rally (CD)

  • Nigeria ordered telecoms and internet providers to block access to crypto trading platforms (BBG

Exec’s Picks

  • With gurus comparing Nvidia’s rally to Cisco in 1999, we’re bringing back FT’s three-year-old piece on the collapse of Cisco’s bubble.

  • WSJ wrote an insightful piece on why Manhattan is perpetually filled with scaffolding.

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