Why Is Twilio Stock Falling Today?

Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO) shares are trading lower Friday after the company reported better-than-expected financial results, but issued guidance below analyst estimates. Several analysts also downgraded and cut price targets on the stock following the company’s results.

Twilio said second-quarter revenue jumped 41% year-over-year to $943.35 million, which beat the estimate of $919.66 million, according to data from Benzinga Pro. The company reported a net loss of 11 cents per share, which beat the estimate for a loss of 21 cents per share.

“Based on our results and what we’re currently seeing, we remain confident in our growth trajectory as our customers continue to turn to Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform to help build direct relationships with their customers,” said Jeff Lawson, co-founder and CEO of Twilio.

Twilio said it expects third-quarter revenue to be between $965 million and $975 million versus the estimate of $977.88 million. The company expects a third-quarter adjusted earnings loss between 43 cents and 37 cents per share.

The company also announced that Miyuki Suzuki would be joining Twilio’s board of directors.

See Also: Recap: Twilio Q2 Earnings

Analyst Assessment:

  • Stifel analyst Parker Lane downgraded Twilio from a Buy rating to Hold and lowered the price target from $200 to $90.
  • Atlantic Equities analyst Peter Sazel downgraded Twilio from an Overweight rating to Neutral.
  • Mizuho analyst Siti Panigrahi maintained Twilio with a Buy rating and lowered the price target from $200 to $125.

TWLO Price Action: Twilio has a 52-week high of $266.74 and a 52-week low of $77.14.

The stock was down 8.82% at $89.53 at press time.

Photo: Web Summit from Flickr.

See Also: Recap: Twilio Q2 Earnings

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/why-is-twilio-stock-falling-today-1031655717?op=1

Are Rising US Lottery Sales an Economic Indicator?

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Economists turn to lots of peculiar things when trying to make sense of the world. Alan Greenspan, the Oracular US Federal Reserve Chairman from…

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Economists turn to lots of peculiar things when trying to make sense of the world. Alan Greenspan, the Oracular US Federal Reserve Chairman from 1987 to 2006, famously looked at dry cleaning and men’s underwear sales. Others skip closets and go straight for the wallet to assess the health of the American consumer.

Lottery ticket sales surged ahead of last week’s $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot — but whether that trend offers any true insights into the state of the economy is an ongoing debate for the people with elbow patches in ivory tower offices.

The $1.3 Billion Question

Last Friday’s Mega Millions was the second-largest drawing ever. The huge jackpot quickly led to $704 million in national lotto sales, something state leaders were quick to tout. In Arizona, sales for draws and scratch-off lottery games rose 152% year-over-year to $124 million in the July 1 to July 29 period. The Texas Lottery said its sales of $264 million last week were a new all-time record “catapulted” by the Mega Millions draw.

Is there a deeper story behind the numbers? Economic research over the years is divided:

  • Some studies, like a 2006 report by the John Locke Foundation in North Carolina, found that counties with high unemployment and poverty rates were home to the strongest lottery sales. Today, US unemployment remains near historic lows — 3.6% in June — although data released this week hinted at a slowing labor market as US job openings fell 605,000 to 10.7 million, a nine-month low.
  • There’s also evidence to the contrary. During the last global financial crisis, for example, US lottery sales fell by $215 million, or 2%, from July through September 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to La Fleur’s Lottery World.

The paradox of low unemployment and high inflation makes 2022 an interesting case study. Tim Quinlan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo, told The Wall Street Journal “we’re not in another financial crisis today, but a lot of individual households and families are in a financial crisis of their own,” he said, nodding to the latest inflation level of 9.1%, which is making it difficult even for the people with a job to afford amenities.

Something Borrowed: Over half of Americans told a Bankrate survey they have no savings lined up for a potential downturn, while 43% told a LendingTree survey last month that they expect to take on additional debt in the next six months to get by. Small wonder folks are daydreaming of a $1.3 billion payday.

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Our Most Popular Articles Lottery ticket sales surged ahead of last week’s $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot — but whether that trend offers any true insights into the state of the economy is an ongoing debate for the people with elbow patches in ivory tower offices.

Source: https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/08/03/are-rising-us-lottery-sales-an-economic-indicator/

If You Own This Stock, It’s Time to Sell

AMC Entertainment Group (AMC 5.45%) has had a wild ride in the last few years. The company was devastated at the pandemic’s onset when it was forced to shut its doors for several months. Then it was part of the epic meme-stock frenzy of 2021 when retail investors grouped to buy and hold downtrodden businesses.

Fortunately, with the help of retail investors, AMC has survived the worst of the pandemic. That said, the company is still far from profitability, and its stock price is unreasonably elevated. If you are caught holding AMC shares in your portfolio, it’s time to sell.

A group of people laughing in a movie theater.

Image source: Getty Images.

AMC is moving in the right direction but has a long way to go

In its most recent quarter, which ended March 31, AMC reported a five-fold increase in revenue to $786 million. Of course, it was compared to a quarter last year when folks were still hesitant to leave their homes and enter a potentially crowded movie theater. Overall, AMC is well behind its sales pace from before the outbreak, and it’s unclear whether it will ever return to that level.

AMC Revenue (Annual) Chart

AMC Revenue (Annual) data by YCharts.

Folks have many entertainment options, and visiting a movie theater has been declining in popularity for decades. The industry has done little in the form of innovation over that time. To make matters worse, ticket prices have continued to increase despite a lack of improvement. That’s in stark contrast to in-home entertainment systems, which have improved considerably while their costs have decreased.

There was concern that studios would forgo the movie theater altogether and release films straight to streaming after the pandemic. Fortunately, that risk has been removed for the most part, as several blockbusters have delivered exceptional results. For instance, the most recent Spider-Man flick earned almost $2 billion at the box office. Still, it wasn’t enough for AMC to turn positive on the bottom line.

AMC Net Income (Quarterly) Chart

AMC Net Income (Quarterly) data by YCharts.

The lack of profitability makes AMC’s $5.5 billion in debt more troubling. Typically, firms need to earn cash to pay down the interest and principal of borrowings, but it’s unclear whether AMC can manage that feat. Another option is to refinance the debt and extend the payment terms (i.e., kick the can down the road). AMC paid $82 million in interest expenses in its most recent quarter.

Moreover, with eager enthusiasm, AMC management capitalized on the meme-stock frenzy that boosted its share price by selling additional shares of AMC stock. As of March 31, it had 516 million weighted-average shares outstanding, up from 104 million as of Dec. 31, 2019, before the outbreak. If the company ever returns to profitability, those profits will be split among 412 million more shares, making each share less valuable.

AMC’s stock price is overvalued

If you are holding AMC, you have likely heard colorful arguments in favor of the stock. It is unlikely that any of those arguments were supported by the company’s fundamental business prospects.

Those who know the most about the company’s value, AMC’s management, have sold nearly every share they can. CEO Adam Aron alone has pocketed $40 million in share sales since November 2021. Again, a nice-sounding story may try to influence retail investors to hold while management sells, but the most likely reason is they think the stock is overvalued.

Before the outbreak on Dec. 30, 2019, AMC was trading at $7.12 per share, but the pandemic and subsequent higher share count and debt have undoubtedly made each share less valuable. Meanwhile, the stock price has risen to $10.69 as of this writing.

Based on its expensive valuation and poor long-term prospects, investors who have AMC shares can feel good about selling now.

Source: https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/05/14/if-you-own-this-stock-its-time-to-sell/

Spotify CEO Buys $50M in Stock

Spotify ( (SPOT) – Get Spotify Technology SA Report) CEO Daniel Ek said he purchased $50 million of stock this week as shares of the company have tanked in 2022.

The music streaming and podcasting company’s stock has plummeted by 63.57% since Jan. 3 when it was trading at $244.16.

Ek reiterated his confidence in the company that has faced challenges as it builds up its podcasting business.

“I’ve always been vocal about my strong belief in Spotify and what we are building,” he tweeted. “So I am putting that belief into action this week by investing $50M in $SPOT. I believe our best days are ahead…”

Morgan Stanley said the purchase is viewed by investors as a “nice” gesture since his net worth is over $2 billion.

Ek said he was not required to disclose his stake, but wanted shareholders to be aware of his purchase.

“While I’m not required to disclose these purchases because of our foreign company status, I thought it was important for shareholders to know,” he tweeted.

The company reported first-quarter revenue of 2.66 billion euros compared to estimates of 2.62 billion euros, per Refinitiv, which resulted in earnings of 21 euro cents per share compared to an estimated loss of 24 euro cents, per Refinitiv.

Spotify said its ads generated 282 million euros, consisting of 11% of total revenue. Analysts had expected 304.1 million euros in ad-supported revenue, according to FactSet.

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The number of paid subscribers rose by 15% year over year, reaching 182 million. The company had forecast 183 million paid subscribers. Exiting Russia led to a loss of 1.5 milion subscribers. During the first quarter, Spotify reported 422 million monthly active users, an increase of 19% year over year, beating its own estimate by 4 million listeners.

By the end of quarter, Spotify reported 4 million podcasts on its platform, a slight increase from 3.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Spotify predicts it will reach 428 million monthly active users and 187 million total paid subscribers during the second quarter.

Analysts have downgraded their price targets of Spotify. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target to $225 from $300 while Canaccord Genuity Group reduced their price target to $250 from $300..

Truist Financial is even more bearish and lowered the target to $150 from $210.

In April Spotify launched its video podcasting and other video features to podcasters in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The company has been working to share its revenue with more artists.

In 2021 the company said there were over 50,000 artists who generated over $10,000 in royalties with over 1000 artists who were able to produce $1 million in revenue, ek wrote in a blog post.

“Spotify represents 20%+ of global recorded revenue, so you can multiply these amounts by ~4 to estimate how much the artist is generating beyond just Spotify,” he wrote. “In fact, the number of artists crossing every revenue threshold on Spotify (e.g., $10K, $100K, $1M, and even $5M) has more than doubled in the last five years.”

“I’ve always been vocal about my strong belief in Spotify and what we are building,” he tweeted. “So I am putting that belief into action this week by investing $50M in $SPOT. I believe our best days are ahead…”

Source: https://www.thestreet.com/investing/spotify-ceo-buys-50m-in-stock

Why Are Honest Company Shares Trading Lower Today

Shivani Kumaresan , Benzinga Staff Writer

March 25, 2022 6:33am 186 Comments

Why Are Honest Company Shares Trading Lower Today

  • Honest Company Inc (NASDAQ: HNST) reported fourth-quarter FY21 sales growth of 3% year-on-year, to $80.38 million, missing the consensus of $84.59 million.
  • The revenue increase was driven by strong volume growth in Skin and Personal Care and Diapers and Wipes product categories.
  • Diapers and Wipes revenue rose 16% Y/Y, Skin and Personal care grew 26%, and Household & Wellness declined 68%.
  • Revenue through digital channel increased 17%, representing 51% to total revenue, whereas Retail fell 8% and constituted 49% of revenue.
  • The gross margin contracted by 360 basis points Y/Y to 30%.
  • The operating loss for the quarter narrowed to $(8.6) million.
  • EPS loss of $(0.10) missed the analyst consensus of $(0.06).
  • The company held $93.2 million in cash and equivalents as of December 31, 2021.
  • The company expects inflation and supply chain headwinds to continue to challenge the industry.
  • Outlook: Honest sees FY22 revenue to be flat Y/Y.
  • The company expects FY22 adjusted EBITDA loss of $(10) million – $(5) million.
  • The company expects Q1 revenue to decline by approximately 15% Y/Y, with subsequent three quarters to see mid-single-digit growth., with
  • Price Action: HNST shares are trading lower by 19.2% at $4.88 in premarket on the last check Friday.

© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Source: https://www.benzinga.com/news/earnings/22/03/26292410/why-are-honest-company-shares-trading-lower-today

Private-equity giant KKR in talks to back Animoca Brands in latest funding round doubling the metaverse-maker’s valuation to $5 billion

  • Private equity giant KKR is in talks to back Sandbox-owner Animoca Brands in its latest funding round.
  • KKR’s investment would bring the funding round to a total of $500 million, Bloomberg reported.
  • Animoca Brands said it’s targeting another round as early as this year.

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The owner of the hit metaverse known as The Sandbox may get backing from private equity behemoth KKR.

KKR is in talks to back Animoca Brands’ latest funding round, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg that cited people familiar with the matter. With an infusion from KKR, the company’s latest funding round would hit approximately $500 million, Bloomberg reported.

The metaverse creator initially announced a $358 million funding round in January involving the Winklevoss Twins and billionaire investor George Soros. KKR, according to Bloomberg, is in talks to add to that round. KKR declined to comment on the matter. A representative from Animoca Brands did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The funding round valued Animoca Brands at $5 billion, more than doubling a prior funding round from October. Bloomberg said the company is aiming for another funding round as early as this year to bring its valuation to $10 billion.

Insider previously reported that the company plans to use the cash infusion to fund acquisitions, product development, and licenses for intellectual property. Animoca Brands has been focused on the booming market for digital collectibles known as NFTs as well as the emerging virtual venue known as the metaverse.

The company is invested in more than 150 of these types of businesses, including metaverse-game Axie Infinity, NFT-marketplace OpenSea, and CryptoKitties-maker Dapper Labs.

In the metaverse — a virtual reality where people interact and play as digital avatars — property sales are booming. On top of that, sales of NFTs have also surged. Last year, the market grew to $41 billion, according to one estimate.

NFTs and the metaverse run on the blockchain, the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies. Venture capital funds from the Winklevoss Twins and Andreessen Horowitz have been pouring into the crypto world. For private-equity firm KKR, Animoca Brands could become one of several blockchain-related companies it has invested in recently, Bloomberg said.

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More: MI Exclusive Sandbox Metaverse NFTs

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/kkr-animoca-brands-funding-round-winklevoss-twins-george-soros-2022-2?op=1

Rumble SPAC News: 14 Things to Know About the Joe Rogan Offer Giving CFVI Stock a Rise

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CF Acquisition (NASDAQ:CFVI) stock is getting a boost Tuesday on news of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger target Rumble making an offer to Joe Rogan.

The Rumble (CFVI stock) platform displayed on a smartphone screen.

Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

Let’s dive into that news below to see why shares of CFVI stock are heading higher today.

  • First off, note that CF Acquisition and Rumble are preparing for a SAPC merger that values the combined company at $2.1 billion.
  • Also, Rumble is a video-sharing platform similar to Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL,GOOG) YouTube.
  • Rumble is offering Joe Rogan $100 million over four years to bring his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, to the service.
  • The video-sharing company says that this would cover both new and old shows from the podcast and promises no censorship.
  • This offer comes after Rogan has been the subject of controversy over recent episodes of his podcast concerning Covid-19, as well as old episodes with racial slurs.
  • As a result, Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) has been removing some episodes of the podcast and placing warnings prior to others.
  • It’s worth noting that Spotify signed an exclusive licensing deal to bring The Joe Rogan Experience to its platform.
  • While official financials of the deal were announced back in 2020, estimates put it at $100 million.
  • Despite all of the controversy, Spotify isn’t planning on removing Rogan from its service.
  • CEO Daniel Ek said that he doesn’t believe “silencing Joe is the answer.”
  • Instead, Ek is focused on creating content guidelines that won’t be crossed as “canceling voices is a slippery slope.”
  • All of this recent news brings heavy trading to CFVI stock today.
  • That has some 20 million shares trading as of this writing.
  • The company’s daily average trading volume is about 8 million shares.

CFVI stock is up 4.3% as of Tuesday afternoon.

Investors searching for more stock market news today are in luck!

We’ve got all the most recent stock coverage that traders need to know about for Tuesday. Among that is what’s going on with shares of Tritium (NASDAQ:DCFC), Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), and GameStop (NYSE:GME) stock. You can find all of that at the links below.

More Tuesday Stock Market News

On the date of publication, William White did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

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The post Rumble SPAC News: 14 Things to Know About the Joe Rogan Offer Giving CFVI Stock a Rise appeared first on InvestorPlace.

Let’s dive into that news below to see why shares of CFVI stock are heading higher today.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/rumble-spac-news-14-things-to-know-about-the-joe-rogan-offer-giving-cfvi-stock-a-rise-1031173117?op=1

It’s not too late to invest in crypto, because adoption could only now be nearing a ‘hyper-inflection point,’ Wells Fargo says

  • Cryptocurrencies are poised for an adoption “hyper-inflection point” soon, Wells Fargo said on Monday.
  • You aren’t too late to invest in crypto because it’s still early days for the asset class, the bank said.
  • Performance figures of cryptocurrencies are skewed because prices have risen from virtually zero, the team noted.

Investors who fear they may have missed out on the cryptocurrency boom might be wrong, according to new research from Wells Fargo.

In a note published Monday, the bank’s global investment strategy team said cryptocurrencies might be hitting an “adoption inflection point,” much like the internet did in the mid-to-late 1990s.

That means the bank expects a pronounced expansion in the pace of global crypto adoption.

Currently, only 221 million people in the world use cryptocurrencies, according to data from Crypto.com. That equates to roughly 3% of global population. 2021 was an especially notable year for the space, with crypto users doubling in just four months between February to May — to 203 million from 106 million.

Wells Fargo said it acknowledges the “too late to invest” argument, but doesn’t subscribe to it. Instead, the bank said it places itself in the “early, but not too early” bucket — based on swelling global crypto adoption rates.

“If this trend continues, cryptocurrencies could soon exit the early adoption phase and enter an inflection point of hyper-adoption, similar to other technologies,” Wells Fargo said. “There is a point where adoption rates begin to rise and do not look back.”

“Precise numbers aside, there is no doubt that global cryptocurrency adoption is rising, and could soon hit a hyper-inflection point.”

Although cryptocurrencies remain in the nascent stages of investment evolution, Wells Fargo said it believes they make for viable investments today.

Still, the bank noted that “regulatory roadblocks” could be a major obstacle as this is the number one reason why high-net-worth investors are unwilling to invest in crypto.

Past performance of cryptocurrencies may not be a good indicator because prices have essentially risen from from virtually zero, the team said.

Wells Fargo used bitcoin as an example, pointing out that the first real-world transaction made using the coin took place 16 months after its creation when it was valued at about $0.004. Bitcoin was launched in January 2009, but it didn’t cross $1 a coin until February 2011.

Bitcoin price

Wells Fargo

Bitcoin was trading just above $43,000 a coin on Tuesday, down 0.65% on the day, but close to its highest in a month. It’s down 8% so far this year, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Since a vast majority of digital tokens are under five years old, the bank described cryptocurrencies as a “relatively young investment space.” They’re also a unique investment product — owing to the complexity of the underlying technology — which makes it difficult to attract inflows or research coverage, the note said.

Multiple US corporates like MicroStrategy, Tesla, and Block have bought cryptocurrency worth millions, showing how volatility in prices has unfazed large investors.

Moreover, US senators have spoken positively about leading crypto bitcoin. Last week, Senator Pat Toomey said crypto-assets are here to stay and should be included in a “thoroughly diversified portfolio.” Separately, Senator Ted Cruz disclosed he bought bitcoin worth up to $50,000 in January.

Wells Fargo itself began offering crypto exposure to its wealthy clients last year. The bank said it recommends buying crypto via professionally-managed private placements.

Read more: A bitcoin bull and investing chief overseeing $1.7 billion lays out how to tackle a crypto winter that could last for at least a year — and 4 cheap projects that will thrive when the halving triggers the next bull cycle

That means the bank expects a pronounced expansion in the pace of global crypto adoption.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/crypto-investing-buy-bitcoin-adoption-hyper-inflection-point-wells-fargo-2022-2?op=1

Sequoia makes a big bet on Web3, leading $450 million investment in Polygon blockchain

The logo of cryptocurrency network Polygon.

Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sequoia Capital is playing catchup with arch-rival Andreessen Horowitz in the race to invest in what could be the future of the internet — so-called Web3.

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm led a $450 million investment in Polygon, a blockchain network.

Blockchains are the distributed logs of transactions that underpin many of the world’s major digital currencies. They are maintained by a network of computers, which have to reach consensus across the whole system to confirm transactions and mint new units of currency.

Polygon serves as a support layer to Ethereum, the platform behind the ether cryptocurrency, helping it process transactions at scale.

The Ethereum network is different from bitcoin’s in that it supports applications for things like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) services, not just peer-to-peer transfers.

How Polygon works

Over the years, the Ethereum blockchain has become congested as more and more users have piled in, resulting in slower transaction times and higher processing fees. This has led to the creation of so-called “Layer 2” network like Polygon, which aim to take a load off the main blockchain.

Polygon sits on top of the Ethereum network as a proof-of-stake blockchain. Whereas Ethereum uses power-intensive crypto mining to verify transactions, participants in Polygon’s network just need to show they hold some tokens — in other words, a “stake” — to become validators.

The result is much faster transaction times — in the thousands per second, according to Polygon. In comparison, Ethereum’s network can handle about 15 transactions per second. Polygon says it’s completed over a billion transactions to date and has around 2.7 million monthly active users.

Ethereum is embarking on an upgrade, called Ethereum 2.0, that would make it faster and more efficient. The upgrade still has a way to go before becoming reality, but some experts fear it poses a threat to Polygon. For its part, Polygon says it expects demand for blockchain scaling services to remain strong even after Ethereum 2.0 is implemented.

Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal says he sees the company becoming a decentralized version of Amazon Web Services, the e-commerce giant’s cloud computing arm. Polygon’s grander ambitions form part of a movement in the crypto world known as “Web3.”

What is Web3?

Web3 is a hazy concept in tech that refers to efforts to build a more decentralized version of the internet based on blockchain technology.

It’s generated quite a bit of chatter in Silicon Valley. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has criticized it as a “centralized entity” controlled by venture capitalists, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it seems like more of a “marketing buzzword” than reality.

Read more about cryptocurrencies from CNBC Pro

“Web3 for me means ownership, censorship resistance and verified compute,” Nailwal told CNBC. Whereas companies like Facebook or Twitter control their own computations, Web3 promises “transparency” around those processes, Nailwal said.

Polygon wants to be the platform for big brands to develop their own Web3 strategies. It’s already got companies like Adidas and Prada experimenting with NFTs on its network. Nailwal says not all corporations are sold on crypto yet, but NFTs have been easier for them to digest.

Big-name investors

Hype around Web3 has attracted some of the biggest names in venture capital, including Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global and Sequoia.

So far, Sequoia has stayed relatively quiet about its interest in crypto, while Andreessen has its own dedicated fund for investing in the sector. Now, Sequoia is becoming more vocal.

“Thousands of developers across a range of applications are choosing Polygon and their complete set of scaling solutions for the Ethereum ecosystem,” said Shailesh Lakhani, managing director of Sequoia India. “This is an ambitious and aggressive team, one that values innovation at its core.”

Like Ethereum and other blockchains, Polygon has its own token, called matic. Rather than issuing new shares, the company sold units of token to investors in a private round. Polygon’s backers are making a bet that matic will go up in value as adoption of its network increases. The funds came from Sequoia’s India unit, with SoftBank, Galaxy Digital and Tiger Global also investing.

It echoes a similar deal involving Solana Labs, the start-up behind Ethereum-rival Solana, which raised $314 million in a private token sale backed by Andreessen Horowitz.

Polygon plans to allocate $100 million of the funding to an “ecosystem fund” supporting the development of new projects on its network. The rest will serve as “buffer money” to help Polygon’s 240-person team continue building out the platform in the years to come.

Blockchain gaming

The company is also making a push into gaming, having recently hired former YouTube executive Ryan Wyatt as head of its game studio.

“You’re seeing a lot of really great developers leaving major established studios to come create blockchain games,” Wyatt told CNBC. “We’re going to open up a whole new type of gaming experience with the people that are developing games on the blockchain.”

“Over the next two or three years, we’re going to point to examples of high-polish, triple-A games that are built on Polygon,” he added.

Polygon says it is now valued at $2 billion.

The group doesn’t consider itself as a company in the traditional sense. A lack of clarity over who controls the platforms behind certain digital currencies has been a key source of contention for regulators scrutinizing the fast-evolving world of crypto and DeFi.

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm led a $450 million investment in Polygon, a blockchain network.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/07/sequoia-leads-450-million-investment-in-polygon-blockchain.html

Leafly To Begin Trading On NASDAQ Today


Online cannabis company Leafly Holdings Inc. and Merida Merger Corp. I (NASDAQ: MCMJ), a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) sponsored by Merida Capital Holdings, closed their previously announced business combination on Friday. In connection with the closing, Merida has adopted the Leafly name, and Leafly’s common stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market on February 7, 2022, under the ticker symbol “LFLY.”

The deal looked like it might be facing trouble when in January when Merida’s special meeting to vote on the proposed business combination, was postponed to give Merida stockholders sufficient time to evaluate the terms of the note financing and certain additional information. Merida had announced in August that it had chosen Leafly as its qualifying transaction for the SPAC. The combined company’s transaction values at an implied, fully diluted enterprise value of approximately $385 million and equity value of approximately $532 million, subject to any redemptions by Merida stockholders. The company is projecting revenue of approximately $43 million in 2021 and $65 million in 2022, representing a roughly 52% annual growth with gross margins of roughly 88% as Leafly further penetrates current markets and capitalizes on its strong position in the newly legalized East Coast.

“Backed by substantial funding, tremendous advancements in cannabis legalization, and e-commerce tailwinds, we are relentlessly focused on investing in our technology, talent, and content to execute our growth strategy and create value for all stakeholders,” said Yoko Miyashita, Chief Executive Officer of Leafly. “Becoming a public company is an important milestone for the entire Leafly team and we thank Merida for their continued support and look forward to working with them and future shareholders to achieve new heights.”

Leafly reported a significant acceleration in year-over-year revenue growth and gross margin, as well as a 40% increase in total ending retail accounts, in the third quarter of 2021. Leafly has introduced new value-driving tools for brands subscribers and enhanced its iPhone and iPad app to enable users to place pickup orders for cannabis products in legal state markets. The Company has also announced a post-combination Board of Directors with wide-ranging expertise and bolstered its executive leadership team with highly experienced hires for Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, SVP of Sales, and SVP of Engineering.

Peter Lee, former President of Merida Merger Corp. I who will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors of the combined company, said, “Leafly has long been a critical resource in the cannabis ecosystem. With its three-sided marketplace and unparalleled content library, Leafly makes cannabis understandable and accessible for consumers, retailers, and brands alike – driving an incredible flywheel effect and tremendous brand loyalty across the country. Now, with an experienced management team and substantial funding, Leafly is poised to take the next step in its journey, and we are excited to continue to play a role.”

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Debra Borchardt is the CEO, Co-Founder, and Editor-In-Chief of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Masters degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

Leafly reported a significant acceleration in year-over-year revenue growth and gross margin, as well as a 40% increase in total ending retail accounts, in the third quarter of 2021. Leafly has introduced new value-driving tools for brands subscribers and enhanced its iPhone and iPad app to enable users to place pickup orders for cannabis products in legal state markets. The Company has also announced a post-combination Board of Directors with wide-ranging expertise and bolstered its executive leadership team with highly experienced hires for Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, SVP of Sales, and SVP of Engineering.

Source: https://www.greenmarketreport.com/leafly-to-begin-trading-on-nasdaq-today/