Home » What’s Up: Week of March 8th

What’s Up: Week of March 8th


Roblox targets $45 per share ahead NYSE debut

The New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday set a reference price of $45 for shares of U.S. gaming platform Roblox Corp before its public market debut, reports Reuters. It implies a market value for the company of around $30 billion.

Roblox is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children that offers a host of games across mobile devices and gaming consoles.

The reference price is a performance benchmark for when Roblox’s stock starts trading on the stock exchange. Roblox has opted to go public through a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering (IPO). This means the company is not selling any shares in advance of its market debut, as is the case with IPOs.

Reuters reported last week that U.S. grocery delivery app Instacart is considering going public through a direct listing, concerned that it could leave money on the table through an IPO.

Roblox said in January it had raised around $520 million in a new Series H private fundraising round in a deal which valued it at $29.5 billion, more than seven times the $4 billion the company was valued at in its Series G round 11 months earlier.

German software company SUSE targets pre-summer IPO

Open-source enterprise software company SUSE is targeting a pre-summer initial public offering in a deal that may value the private equity-backed company with German roots at 7-8 billion euros, reports Reuters.

The Linux specialist’s owner, buyout group EQT, has stepped up preparations for the deal and chosen a syndicate of banks to organise the deal, which is expected to kick off in May. Bank of America and Morgan Stanley will execute the deal. A SUSE IPO would add to a busy season of new listings in Europe, which has already seen a $12 billion flotation from Polish firm InPost, $10 billion listing by German used-car trading platform AUTO1 and British boot brand Dr. Martens’ $5 billion IPO.

SUSE, founded in 1992, was acquired two years ago by EQT from Micro Focus International for $2.5 billion. The private equity firm has strengthened SUSE with add-on acquisitions such as that of Rancher Labs for about $600 million in July.

SUSE’s revenue exceeded $450 million in the fiscal year to Oct. 31, with both the top line and profit growing in double digits. The annual contract value of bookings worth more than $1 million grew by 21% in its fiscal fourth quarter, while cloud bookings jumped by 87%.

PayPal to buy Israeli digital asset security provider Curv

PayPal Holdings considers a purchase of Israel-based digital asset security provider Curv, as the payments processor looks to strengthen support to cryptocurrencies.

The terms of the deal, which is expected to complete in the first half of 2021, were not disclosed. Curv would be part of PayPal’s recently created cryptocurrencies-focused unit.

PayPal said in October last year, it would allow customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in its online wallets.

The move to acquire Curv comes as digital currencies have soared this year, with growing involvement of institutional investors including Tesla, Bank of NY Mellon and Square.

Quantum computing provider IonQ to go public via $2 billion SPAC deal

Quantum computing company IonQ will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal that gives the combined company a pro-forma market capitalisation of $2 billion.

The merger will provide IonQ with gross proceeds of $650 million. Founded in 2015, Maryland-based IonQ has partnered with Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to make its quantum computers available through cloud technology. Other investors of IonQ include Samsung Catalyst Fund, Lockheed Martin Corp and Airbus Ventures.

Stockholm pilots delivery droid

Swedish telecoms operator Tele2 and Delivery Hero’s foodora have joined forces on a pilot scheme for self-driving home deliveries by robot in Stockholm, reports Reuters.

Demand for contactless deliveries around the world has shot up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating trials of autonomous robots to replace human couriers.

Aside from its mainstay of restaurant take-away food, foodora also now delivers books, technology and beauty products.

Stockholm’s new droid, known as Doora, has a camera that sends information in real time via Tele2’s 5G network to foodora, which can then track and send data to and from it.

Doora would do its first test deliveries around the Stureplan square in central Stockholm on Friday, carrying up to 20 kilogrammes of goods, according to Tele2.