Zuck Loves Nvidia

Zuck is spending billions on Nvidia AI chips, Tesla will showcase its Cybertruck on its China tour, Macy’s is cutting jobs, Google is investing heavily in a new UK data center, drugmakers are raising prices on Ozempic and similar drugs, and India is puting its best foot forward at Davos.

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Zuck is spending billions on Nvidia AI chips, Tesla will showcase its Cybertruck on its China tour, Macy’s is cutting jobs, Google is investing heavily in a new UK data center, drugmakers are raising prices on Ozempic and similar drugs, and India is puting its best foot forward at Davos.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 1/18/2024 market close.


  • US stocks rose, led by tech stocks and chip stocks thanks to AI optimism

    • The Nasdaq led indices with a 1.35% gain

  • European stocks rose as investors continued to monitor news and comments from the World Economic Forum


  • TSMC shares surged ~10% after reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenue; the chipmaker expects over 20% revenue growth in 2024 thanks to booming demand for high-end chips used in AI (RT

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Ally Financial, State Street

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Mark Zuckerberg indicates Meta is spending billions on Nvidia AI chips (CNBC)

  • Tesla to showcase Cybertruck on China tour (RT)

  • Oil traders used state firms as fronts in corrupt Ecuador deals (BBG)

  • Macy’s to cut about 2,350 jobs, close five stores (WSJ)

  • Google to invest $1B in new UK data center to meet demand (BBG)

  • Nelson Peltz calls for Disney to target ‘Netflix-like’ streaming margins (WSJ)

  • Qatari court convicts ex-finance minister of laundering $5.6B (RT)

  • Dollar dominance is triggering intervention fears across markets (BBG)

  • Drugmakers raise prices of Ozempic, Mounjaro and hundreds of other drugs (WSJ)

  • Surging debt supply to boost global yields, Goldman Sachs says (BBG)

  • Fed’s Raphael Bostic expects rate cuts to happen in the third quarter (CNBC)

  • Companies are snapping up new clean-energy tax credits (WSJ)

  • Pins, monocles and sunglasses: the rise of AI-focused hardware (BBG)

  • India goes big at Davos as world’s most populous country tries to woo investors (CNBC)

  • Senate passes bill keeping government funded into March (WSJ)

  • Tiny NJ broker behind 2,000% IPOs set to return after hiatus (BBG)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Global Infrastructure Partners is in talks to acquire a 49% stake in MMC Port Holdings in a deal potentially valuing Malaysia's biggest port operator at ~$6.4B (RT

  • Japanese homebuilder Sekisui House agreed to acquire Denver-based developer MDC for $4.9B cash as it searches for growth overseas (FT

  • Bain Capital is considering a sale of Zellis that could value the UK payroll software firm at ~$2.5B (BBG

  • Italy plans to sell a 4% stake in Italian energy company Eni for ~$2.2B to reduce debt (BBG

  • The EU plans to block Amazon’s $1.7B acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot; iRobot’s shares plunged over 40% (WSJ

  • Indian snacks maker Haldiram's is in talks to acquire a majority stake in listed rival Prataap Snacks, which is valued at $350M (RT

  • UBS failed to sell Credit Suisse’s $250M distressed debt business to a single bidder and plans to dispose of the assets individually (BBG

  • Enterprise communications tech developer Nextiva, which is backed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, acquired contact center software company Thrio (BBG)


  • DailyPay, a leading on-demand pay company, raised $175M: $75M in equity at a $1.75B valuation led by Carrick Capital Partners and a $100M secured credit facility from Citi (PRN)

  • e2Companies, a provider of integrated solutions for power generation and distribution, raised $100M in funding from Global Emerging Markets (VC)

  • Digital Onboarding, a startup helping financial institutions strengthen relationships with customers, raised $58M in growth capital from Volition Capital (TC)

  • Forta, an AI healthcare company, raised a $55M Series A led by Insight Partners (FN)

  • Ratio Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company focused on radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer, raised a $50M Series B led by Schusterman and Duquesne (VC)

  • SmartLabs, a startup providing flexible laboratory infrastructure and resourcing solutions, raised a $48M Series C led by ArrowMark Partners, Winslow Capital Management, and Conversion Venture Capital (PRN)

  • 10x Banking, a London-based cloud-native SaaS core banking operating system, raised a $45M round led by BlackRock and JPMorgan (FN)

  • International Battery Company, a startup developing lithium-ion battery cells for EVs, raised a $35M pre-Series A led by RTP Global (TC)

  • Tumodo, a Dubai-based provider of a travel platform, raised a $35M pre-seed round led by MENA-focused angel investors (FN)

  • Oleria, a startup providing adaptive and autonomous identity security solutions, raised a $33.1M Series A led by Evolution Equity Partners (BW)

  • Solar energy company Soly raised $33M in funding led by ArcTern Ventures (FN)

  • Kashable, a startup helping employers offer credit and financial wellness products as a benefit, raised a $25.6M Series B led by Revolution Ventures and Moneta Ventures (TC)

  • TrusTrace, a SaaS company with a platform for supply chain traceability and compliance, raised a $24M growth round led by Circularity Capital (PRN)

  • Crypto staking technology provider Kiln raised a $17M round led by 1kx (TC)

  • Recraft, an AI graphic design generator, raised a $12M Series A led by Khosla Ventures (TC)

  • Farm-ng, a startup building modular robots for agriculture, raised a $10M Series A led by Acre Venture Partners (TC)

  • Quantum computing startup QphoX raised an $8.8M round led by QDNL Participations (FN)

  • Briq, a startup automating financial workflows in construction, raised an $8M round at a $150M valuation led by MetaProp and Blackhorn (TC)

  • Kusari, a software supply chain security startup, raised $8M in combined pre-seed and seed funding led by J2 Ventures and Glasswing Ventures (BW)

  • Sky Engine AI, a simulation and learning platform for tech companies, raised a $7M Series A led by Cogito Capital Partners (FN)

  • Membion, a Roetgen, Germany-based wastewater recycling company, raised $5.5M in funding led by TechVision Fonds (FN)

  • Harbiz, a startup helping fitness professionals digitize their businesses, raised a $5.3M round led by Octopus Ventures (EU)

  • Alphathena, a direct indexing platform for RIA advisors, raised a $4M round led by ETFS Capital (BW)

  • Reservoir Neuroscience, a startup developing new therapies for age-related neurodegeneration, raised a $4M round led by Kizoo Technology Capital (FN)

  • HutanBio, a UK-based biotech startup, raised a $2.77M round led by Clean Growth Fund (FN)

  • Safary, a web3 alternative to Google Analytics, raised a $2.4M pre-seed round led by Lemniscap (PRN)

  • FlyORO, a Singapore-based sustainable aviation fuel startup, raised a $1.6M pre-Series A round led by Audacy Ventures (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Reddit is seeking to launch an IPO in March; the social media company was valued at ~$10B in a funding round in 2021 (RT

  • Cancer drug developer CG Oncology is targeting a valuation of ~$1B for its IPO (RT)

  • Mexican real estate investment trust Fibra Uno expects to relaunch an IPO for its Fibra Next unit before the end of January; its previous IPO was set to raise up to $872M (RT)


  • A group of seven companies affiliated with Greg Lindberg’s PE firm Global Growth will merge with Quadro Acquisition One Corp. in a $3B deal (NSC

  • Hunch Mobility, a leading provider of urban air mobility in the Indian subcontinent, will merge with Direct Selling Acquisition Corp. in a $223M deal (BW)


  • Battery cell developer Agratas Energy Storage Solution, the wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is in talks with banks to raise up to $500M via a green loan (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Troubled state-owned oil and gas company Petroleos del Peru is seeking ~$2B in government support as it runs out of cash (BBG

  • Spirit Airlines is seeking to refinance ~$1.1B of debt due in September 2025 but is not seeking a bankruptcy-driven restructuring (BBG & WSJ)


  • Bobby Jain’s hedge fund, Jain Capital, now aims to debut at $5B-$6B, down from its earlier ambitions to start with as much as $10B (BBG)  

  • PE firm Windjammer Capital Investors closed its Windjammer Capital Fund VI at $1.3B to back midmarket businesses (WSJ

  • Mortgage REIT Reven Office REIT is seeking to raise $1B for extending loans to office owners in a challenging market for financing (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • Binance has attracted $4.6B in crypto inflows since it paid its multibillion-dollar US penalty (BBG

  • BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF became the first ETF to cross $1B in inflows (BBG

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