Sleeper, a fantasy sports startup that has more than 3 million users, raised $40 million in a funding round that gave it a valuation of $400 million, more than four times its previous valuation. The new capital will help the company fund product development and hire more staff in finance, marketing, engineering, design and customer support positions.
Andes, an agricultural biotechnology startup that developed seeds that reduce the need for synthetic fertilizer, raised $15 million in a Series A funding round that included an investment from Leaps by Bayer. The company will use the new capital to fund further research and development, expand into South America and step up sales of its seeds in the US market.
Concreit, a startup online platform for investing in real estate funds, raised $6 million in its seed funding round. "We are democratizing the real estate investing process," said CEO Sean Hsieh.
Hedge fund Luxor Capital led a Series B funding round that raised $43.7 million for Volta Trucks, a UK startup getting ready to build electric trucks. The new capital will fund test vehicle fleets in London and Paris, Volta said.
IASO Biotherapeutics, a Chinese biotech startup working on treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, raised $108 million in its Series C funding round. The new capital will fund development of its therapeutic projects and regulatory procedures for several cell therapies.
Economists at JPMorgan Chase have altered forecasts for economic growth in the third and fourth quarters, lowering the forecast to 5% from 7% in Q3 and raising the forecast to 3.5% from 3% in Q4. Economist Michael Feroli cites a decline in demand, supply chain issues and the Delta coronavirus variant for the Q3 revision.
Mergers and acquisitions within the private equity sector are on course to surpass $1 trillion by year-end when all aspects of deals are combined, according to Bain & Co. "Lots of funding and investment opportunities have created a real boom in private equity," Bayes Business School professor Meziane Lasfer says. A surplus of cash is said to be driving the activity, particularly in the UK, though the unprecedented volume is starting to draw attention from regulators and politicians.
The Federal Reserve is conducting an ethics review, as requested by Chair Jerome Powell, in light of concerns about share trading last year by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren. Kaplan and Rosengren say they will offload shares in question, but there are concerns the issue might impair the Fed's asset purchases and work on controlling inflation.
Invesco and State Street are discussing a potential merger of their asset-management units, sources say. The discussions reportedly are preliminary, but such a deal could mark one of the largest ever in the asset-management business.
With the acquisition E-Trade and Eaton Vance, Morgan Stanley Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Pruzan says the firm is well placed to make significant headway in developing client relationships. The firm has grown its customer base to 14 million from 3 million in 2019, with $8 trillion in assets under management, Pruzan says, noting "the ability for us to provide services for a much larger customer base is important."