Japan’s SoftBank Wants Big Chunk of Uber, But at Steep Discount (WSJ)
SoftBank’s hope of securing a sizable stake is dependent on investors agreeing to sell enough of their shares at a discount from Uber’s last valuation through an auction process open to most shareholders, people familiar with the talks said. That would value Uber at around $50 billion, though the price could change based on how many shares investors indicate they are willing to sell, these people said.
Alphabet Considers Lyft Investment of About $1 Billion (BBG)
Alphabet Inc. has held conversations with Lyft Inc. about a potential investment in recent weeks, signalling strong support for Uber Technologies Inc.’s main U.S. competitor, according to people familiar with the matter. An investment of about $1 billion in Lyft may come from Google or CapitalG, Alphabet’s private-equity arm, said some of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A deal may not come together.
Blank-Check IPO Raises $600 Million, Search Begins for Tech Unicorn (WSJ)
Mr. Palihapitiya, chief executive of venture-capital firm Social Capital and a former Facebook Inc. executive, said his new vehicle could help wary entrepreneurs move into the public markets and avoid what he says is a broken process for public offerings. One of his criticisms: A traditional underwriting consists of using multiple banks to execute an IPO. “It has negative value,” he said.
Who Needs Venture Capitalists When You Have Initial Coin Offerings? (WSJ)
Union Square Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital all have reacted—using investor funds—by buying digital tokens directly or by putting money into hedge funds that buy tokens. Some venture investors, such as Nick Tomaino of Runa Capital, left their firms to set up crypto hedge funds.
Martin Shkreli’s $2 Million Wu-Tang Album Might Not Be a Wu-Tang Album (BBG)
Martin Shkreli, who became notorious as the boyish Pharma Bro after he raised the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, paid $2 million in a 2015 auction for the album. He owns the rights to do anything he pleases with it, except sell copies. But interviews with rappers and managers involved in the recording raise questions about its provenance and value: Is Once Upon a Time in Shaolin a true Wu-Tang Clan album? Or did Shkreli pay lavishly for the work of a little-known producer with a peripheral link to the storied rap group?
Lol at FoHFs ICO, srsly (FT Alphaville)
Unlike other ICOs, there is no purported technological innovation here; the promise of FundCoin is “high returns with reduced risk exposure”. The €100m Finles hopes to raise won’t go towards building some new, ground-breaking piece of software. Instead, it will be stuck in a fund called the “Lowestoft Private Equity Fund”, which will do things like “corporate lending, mezzanine finance (loans and equity), p2p lending platforms and other specialist instruments” as well as investing in venture capital funds who focus on blockchain.
Another Seinfeld Episode for Stocks (Yardeni)
When Seinfeld aired, millions of Americans viewed the show that was mostly about nothing. Nothing ever happened, which viewers found very entertaining. The bull market has turned into the Seinfeld market. During every episode, investors are watching for something to happen. When nothing happens, especially nothing bad, investors are bemused and show their appreciation by throwing more money at the bull.
Arkansas Woman Used Government Funds To Buy Her Dog A Tuxedo (HuffPo)
That is, until authorities accused her of fraudulently charging $200,000 to a Garland County credit card. Goss used the card to purchase a diamond bracelet, tickets to Arkansas Razorbacks football games, sequined throw pillows and pet insurance, according to The Associated Press. Oh, and this admittedly adorable tuxedo for her dog.