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Stripe becomes the third most valued Silicon Valley start-up in the US

Catherina Ploumidakis

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Stripe
Image Credit: Flickr

The San Francisco based payments platform Stripe is mounting the gradation of being the most highly valuable Silicon firms.

On Thursday, the Fintech start-up announced a further $250mn funding round, bringing its worth to a whopping $35bn. This makes Stripe the third most valued startup in the US after Airbnb and Palantir Technologies.

According to Stripe, the raised sum of $250mn will be utilized to expand across the globe as well as unveil new products. General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital and other investors participated in the round. The previous valuation of Stripe was $23bn.

Stripe basically develops software which lets businesses accept payments through the internet. The company processes these payments for a huge list of firms, including Shopify, Lyft and Airbnb. It earns by taking over a part of every transaction.

Founded in the year 2010 by Patrick Collison and John Collison, Stripe’s latest round has drastically increased its valuation. This valuation climb comes in at a time when a few high-profile technology startups have scuffled in the markets.

Lyft and Uber, which listed their shares publicly in 2019, are trading lower than the IPO price.  On the other hand, the troubled We Co. has postponed its this year’s public offering. In fact, the market value of WeWork has been a matter of concern for the investors.

John Collison informed that the firm does not have any plans for an IPO currently. Stripe is happy to remain as an independent firm, he continued, saying that it’s quite early for this opportunity.

Meanwhile, Stripe launched an all-new Corporate credit card as well as a lending arm known as Stripe Capital previously in September. The goal of Stripe Capital is to help online firms borrow money in order to expand their businesses.

Wall Street Journal was the first to report about Stripe’s new cash injection.

Catherina previously worked as a journalist for several local newspapers until she realized the potential of internet for news reporting. She joined the team as a contributor which provided her a platform to dedicate her experience and knowledge for a wider range of audience. She excels in curating business news for the website.

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Business

LVMH wants to renegotiate $16.2 billion Tiffany deal

Erin Fox

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LVMH wants to renegotiate $16.2 billion Tiffany deal

LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault is exploring ways to reopen negotiations on the French luxury goods giant’s $16.2 billion acquisition of jewelry chain Tiffany & Co, as US social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic weigh on the retail sector, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

LVMH agreed to acquire Tiffany in November, but the deal has yet to close, pending regulatory approvals. Arnault said at the time that Tiffany would “thrive for centuries to come” under LVMH.

Arnault has been in talks with his advisers this week to identify ways to pressure Tiffany to lower the agreed deal price of $135 per share, the sources said. He is considering whether he can argue that the New York-based company is in breach of its obligations under the merger agreement, they said.

LVMH has not yet settled on a strategy to pursue a deal price cut and has not asked Tiffany to reopen negotiations, according to the sources. It is not clear whether it will do so, and what arguments it could pursue.

Tiffany does not believe there is a legal basis to renegotiate the deal, the sources said. The company is in compliance with financial covenants under the merger agreement with LVMH, and expects to remain so after declaring a quarterly dividend two weeks ago, the sources said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations, first reported on Tuesday by fashion trade publication WWD, are confidential.

LVMH declined to comment. Tiffany did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While Arnault now has concerns about overpaying for Tiffany, he still believes in the deal’s strategic rationale, according to the sources.

Tiffany will give LVMH a bigger share of the lucrative US market and expand its offerings in jewelry, the fastest-growing sector in the luxury goods industry.

Were Tiffany to rebuff LVMH’s bid to reopen the deal, their dispute could end up in Delaware court, the sources said. An acrimonious end to the deal would make it more difficult for LVMH to make another attempt at acquiring Tiffany in the future, they said.

Several acquirers have walked away from or renegotiated deals in the wake of the pandemic. In the retail sector, private equity firm Sycamore Partners walked away from a $525 million deal to acquire a majority stake in L Brands’ Victoria’s Secret.

Consultancy Bain expects global sales of high-end clothing, handbags, jewelry and cosmetics to fall by up to 35 percent this year, as the health crisis has forced brands to shut shops across the globe and international travel ground to a halt.

The deteriorating market conditions have been compounded for New York-based Tiffany and other retailers by the protests and attacks on shops that have followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25.

Tiffany, founded in 1837 and known for its signature robin’s-egg blue boxes, was already in turnaround mode, trying to rejuvenate its image and attract shoppers online. It is due to report first-quarter earnings on Friday.

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France coronavirus death toll over 29,000 By Reuters

Erin Fox

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A disinfection squad sprays disinfectant to clean beaches on the Croisette in Cannes
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A disinfection squad sprays disinfectant to clean beaches on the Croisette in Cannes

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s coronavirus death toll rose by 81 on Wednesday, or 0.3%, to reach 29,021, which is the fifth-highest death toll in the world.

The rate of increase has decreased compared to Tuesday, when fatalities were up 0.4%, and the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 dise ase has continued its long-running decline, the health ministry said in a statement.

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Snapchat will no longer promote posts from President Trump

Erin Fox

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Snapchat will no longer promote posts from President Trump

Snapchat is following Twitter’s lead in minimizing content from President Trump.

The social network famous for its funny face filters and disappearing photos on Wednesday confirmed to The Post that it would no longer promote Trump’s content on its “Discover” page, which hosts curated content from prominent accounts.

“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a spokesperson said. “Racial violence and injustice have no place in our society and we stand together with all who seek peace, love, equality and justice in America.”

The move does not remove any of Trump’s posts from Snapchat’s platform, nor does it block users from seeing anything he has posted. The president’s posts, however, will not be promoted on the platform to anyone who has not opted to follow his account.

Snap’s move arrives a week after Twitter set off a firestorm by flagging two of the president’s tweets about mail-in ballots as misleading and then shielding a tweet about police protests behind the warning label. The latter tweet referred to protesters calling attention to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police “thugs,” and wanted that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended his decision to let Trump’s posts speak for themselves — despite fierce backlash from employees who say the post that warns of shooting people violates its policies.

Twitter’s move prompted Trump to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to look at whether they can place new regulations on tech giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google, which owns Youtube, saying that companies “like Twitter enjoy an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform — which they are not.”

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