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Inflection AI: LinkedIn and DeepMind co-founders raise $225 million

Inflection AI, the new artificial intelligence start-up from DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, has secured $225 million in funding, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The funding, first reported by TechCrunch, has been raised at an undisclosed valuation and it’s not clear who the investors are at this stage. It’s likely that a large chunk of the funding will be used to hire AI experts that can command high salaries. Inflection did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

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With the Pullback in IPOs,
Shareholders in Private
Companies Are Selling —
And Prices Are Dropping

Although current owners might not be so happy, investors that missed out on owning a stake in some of the most celebrated private companies are getting a second chance.

That’s because the investible universe in the private market has never been so big and so cheap. According to PitchBook, the number of private companies valued at more than $1 billion reached 340 in 2021, more than the past five years combined. And they’re now trading at a 20 percent discount compared to the last quarter of 2021, according to the latest monthly report from Forge Global, a private market trading platform.

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FNEX, a Private Securities Liquidity Platform and Investment Bank, Launches the FNEX Institutional Dark Pool

FNEX, a leading private securities liquidity platform and fintech-enabled investment bank, announced the launch of the FNEX Institutional Dark Pool — an internal, proprietary software platform and data tool for investment bankers to match institutional, private security transactions.

The FNEX Dark Pool offers a confidential venue for FNEX financial professionals to source and transact large blocks of private securities.

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Activist investors are hunting targets in the SPAC market, but battles won’t be easy to win

The once red-hot SPAC market is becoming a fertile ground for activist investors who push for changes at problematic companies and profit from them.

A record number of companies went public over the past two years by merging with special purpose acquisition companies, a fast-track IPO alternative vehicle. New to the public markets and often underperforming, industry experts believe these companies could increasingly become vulnerable to activist involvement.

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Shares of Dubai utility Dewa surge in Middle East’s largest IPO since Aramco

ares of Dewa, the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, surged more than 20% Tuesday as the giant utility company began trading on the public market, marking the first listing of its kind in the region.

Shares were trading at 3.02 UAE dirhams (82 cents) on the Dubai Financial Market exchange in the first few minutes of trading, versus the IPO price of 2.48 dirhams per share. They soon pared some gains to trade at 2.88 dirhams per share by 1 p.m. local time.

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China’s SenseTime postpones $767 million Hong Kong IPO after U.S. ban

Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group postponed its $767 million Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) on Monday after being placed on a U.S. investment blacklist.

SenseTime said it remained committed to completing the offering and would publish a supplemental prospectus and an updated listing timetable.

Reuters first reported earlier on Monday the company’s plan to withdraw the offering and update its prospectus to include the potential impact of the U.S. investment ban, with the aim of relaunching the IPO process.

SenseTime had planned to sell 1.5 billion shares in a price range of HK$3.85 to HK$3.99, according to its regulatory filings. That would raise up to $767 million, a figure that had already been trimmed earlier this year from a $2 billion target.

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A fintech helping banks enter the cloud hits $1 billion valuation in JPMorgan-backed investment

British fintech start-up Thought Machine has raised $200 million in a fresh round of funding that lifts its valuation above the coveted $1 billion mark.

The cash injection was led by Nyca Partners, a U.S.-based venture capital firm that has previously bet on companies including Affirm and Revolut, with additional backing coming from major lenders including JPMorgan ChaseStandard Chartered and ING.

Existing investors Lloyds Banking GroupEurazeo, and SEB also increased their holdings.

Founded in 2014 by former Google engineer Paul Taylor, Thought Machine says its software helps big banks move away from legacy IT infrastructure to a modern, cloud-based platform.

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European start-up funding triples to a new record above $100 billion this year

Start-ups in the region are on track to haul in a record $121 billion in funding this year, according to a report from venture capital firm Atomico, roughly three times the $41 billion of capital raised in 2020.

It’s the first time European start-ups have raised more than $100 billion in a single year, and highlights surging interest from investors in the continent’s rapidly-growing tech industry.

“It’s been a defining year for European tech,” Tom Wehmeier, Atomico’s head of insights, told CNBC. “I think what we’ve seen in the numbers is that European tech is creating value faster than ever.”

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