After tech sell-off: Neobank Chime to postpone IPO

The fintech wants to focus on launching new products. Also: Virgin Galactic loses its chairman and the Activision Blizzard takeover crime thriller.
Chime will initially focus on investment and credit products.


Good Morning! Even during the weekend, work in the digital scene continued in many places.

The top topics:

According to a Forbes report, the neobank Chime is to postpone the IPO originally planned for March until the second half of the year. Just last month, the company hired Goldman Sachs to prepare for its IPO. The company will initially focus on launching investment and credit products. The news follows a broad sell-off in technology stocks. Fintech stocks like Robinhood and Block have stumbled lately, and shares of PayPal have also fallen 60 percent over the past six months.
Chime is a so-called challenger bank, known for, among other things, fee-free banking and a feature that allows users to go into the red on their accounts without overdraft fees. In August, the San Francisco-based company raised 750 million US dollars in a financing round from financiers such as Sequoia Capital and Softbank. After the cash injection, the financial technology startup was valued at around $25 billion, and the planned IPO is expected to be worth between $35 and $45 billion. [More at Forbes]
On the start-up scene: Philipp Klöckner has advanced from being a search engine expert to being a sought-after investor: he reaches hundreds of thousands of listeners every month with his tech podcast “Double”. On top of that, almost 17,000 people follow him on Twitter. [More at Gründerszene+]
And here are the other headlines of the night and the past few days:
Virgin Galactic just announced the first commercial flights into space, but now the space company loses its chairman. Chamath Palihapitiya, who took the company founded by billionaire Richard Branson public via Spac, is stepping down. Palihapitiya, who has earned the nickname "Spac King" for his quick blank check deals, has accompanied ten Spacs in total. Evan Lovell, Virgin Group's chief investment officer, will serve as interim chairman until a permanent replacement is appointed. [More at Wall Street Journal and The Information]
Activision Blizzard has disclosed in a regulatory filing that Microsoft started takeover talks three days after the Wall Street Journal reported allegations of sexual misconduct at the company. Microsoft arguably initially offered $80 a share for the game maker, while Activision wanted $100 a share. Ultimately, they agreed on $95 per share and sealed the deal. Four other companies, identified only as Companies A, C, D, and E, are said to have also considered a purchase or partnership with Activision Blizzard. Although the companies are not named, one could speculate that Sony or Electronic Arts were among them. [More at Wall Street Journal and The Information]
Meituan, one of China's most valuable internet platforms, fell 15 percent on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday. Meituan, which operates a mobile app that hundreds of millions of people use to order food, has been hit hard by a new directive from Chinese authorities. These said on Friday that online grocery delivery platforms need to lower their fees. Overall, Meituan lost around $26 billion in market cap. [More at Wall Street Journal]
Roku's shares also closed more than 22 percent lower on Friday after the streaming company reported disappointing fourth-quarter sales Thursday night. The Californian company posted sales of $865.3 million – analysts had expected $894 million. The forecasts for the first quarter also fell short of investors' expectations. Roku stock is currently down about 77 percent from its peak in late July 2021. Draftking's shares also fell sharply at the end of the week. Despite good quarterly figures, the US gaming company did not convince investors with its forecast for 2022. [More at CNBC and CNBC]
Investment: Icon, which creates homes using 3D printing, has raised $185 million in a round led by Tiger Global Management. The funding is said to be an increase on the $207 million Series B announced last August. According to a media report, the Austin, USA-based company is now approaching a valuation of two billion dollars. [More at Techcrunch]
Our reading tip on the start-up scene: The boom in digital pandemic winners seems to have come to an abrupt end. Prices are falling on the stock exchange. We spoke to an expert to understand what's happening at Delivery Hero, Zalando or Hellofresh right now. [More at Gründerszene+]
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Have a good start into the week!

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