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SmartRent to Merge With Fifth Wall SPAC in $2.2 Billion Deal [WSJ]
SmartRent, whose technology is in use in about 185,000 apartments in the U.S. and Canada, said it would merge with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp., which raised about $345 million in an initial public offering earlier this year. The special-purpose company was sponsored by Fifth Wall, a venture-capital firm that invested in SmartRent last year through one of its funds.
Separately, some of the largest apartment-building owners and housing developers in the U.S.—which are also customers of SmartRent—have agreed to invest a total of $155 million in the startup, the company said. This group includes Blackstone Group Inc., Starwood Capital Group LLC, Lennar Corp. and Invitation Homes Inc.

Despite SPAC woes, record-breaking run of money into IPOs may continue [CNBC]
“There seems to be an endless supply of capital looking for a home,” said Conor Moore, national leader of KPMG Private Enterprise, a global professional services advisory….
In the first quarter, the U.S. saw births of a record 64 unicorns, or private companies that had accumulated a $1 billion valuation…. Traditional IPOs also soared, part of $69 billion in venture capital money spread across 3,042 deals. There were nine $1 billion deals globally, also a new record.

Blackstone Notches Record $1.75 Billion Profit as Growth Strategy Pays Off [WSJ]
That compares with a loss of $1.07 billion, or $1.58 a share, in the coronavirus-battered first quarter of 2020…. “What we’re beginning to see is growth in the physical world,” Mr. Gray said on a call to discuss the earnings Thursday. There has been “record slots activity” at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, a Blackstone-owned property, he said. “In our infrastructure business, our ports company saw more volume than it’s ever had in a month, well up from 2019 levels.”

Hedge fund Odey takes short bet against Deliveroo [FT]
The bet against Deliveroo’s share price was taken by James Hanbury and Jamie Grimston, fund managers at London-based Odey, according to investor documents seen by the Financial Times. The position appears to have been taken on March 31, the day of Deliveroo’s listing…. Advisers said at least three hedge funds had taken an early short position immediately after the float, in what one banker described as “the worst IPO in London’s history”.

Europe Proposes Strict Rules for Artificial Intelligence [NYT]
The draft rules would set limits around the use of artificial intelligence in a range of activities, from self-driving cars to hiring decisions, bank lending, school enrollment selections and the scoring of exams…. Companies that violate the new regulations, which could take several years to move through the European Union policymaking process, could face fines of up to 6 percent of global sales.

Cathie Wood's ARK Invest piles into UiPath, trims Tesla [Reuters]
UiPath's shares surged 23.2% in their New York Stock Exchange debut, underscoring investors' appetite for high-growth tech stocks.
ARK Invest's data showed the firm's exchange traded funds bought a total of about 2.7 million shares, about a third of the day's traded volume.


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