Finance Knuggets

Jun 28, 2024

I recently came across news about the U.S. Department of Justice charging intermediaries for facilitating the transfer of funds between Chinese nationals and the Sinaloa drug cartel. It is alleged that wealthy Chinese individuals sought informal alternatives to move their funds out of China, and they did so by partnering with drug traffickers to take advantage of the large demand for U.S. dollars from Chinese nationals. The funds transferred in China were then used to pay for goods purchased by businesses and organizations in Mexico, such as consumer goods or items needed to aid the drug trafficking organization.

The news also covered the potential IPO of Shein, a fast-fashion giant, in London, which is facing pushback from some British politicians due to concerns over the company’s labor practices. Additionally, the pioneering JPMorgan portfolio manager has mentioned that it’s a lot easier these days to find market losers, indicating a shift in the investment landscape.

Venture capital deals were also highlighted, including a venture capital firm raising $300 million for its second fund and various other companies raising significant amounts through Series funding rounds. These developments provide insight into the current trends in the financial and investment sectors. Today, I learned about various funding rounds and acquisitions in the financial world. For instance, BoxedUp, a Seattle online commerce platform for equipment rental companies, raised $2.8m in seed funding, with Lavrock Ventures leading the round. Also, JohnWallStreet, a sports business newsletter, raised $1m co-led by Bolt Capital and Roger Ehrenberg. Rondo Energy, an Oakland, Calif.-based thermal batteries developer, is raising $100m in Series B funding, backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Ventures. In addition, we saw some significant acquisitions, such as Carlyle and KKR winning the auction for a $10b student loan portfolio from Discover Financial Services and CVC Capital Partners agreeing to buy M Group Services, a British infrastructure contractor, for an estimated $1.9b PAI Partners.

I also came across some public offerings, including Animoca Brands, a crypto gaming conglomerate, considering an IPO in Hong Kong or the Middle East as early as 2025. Lineage, a Novi, Mich.-based real estate investment trust focused on cold storage facilities, filed for an IPO that Renaissance Capital estimates could raise $3.5b. Additionally, Webtoon, an online cartoon company carved out of South Korea’s Naver, raised $315m in its IPO. Lastly, there were some significant liquidity events, with Blackstone considering a sale or IPO for Legence, a San Jose, Calif., sustainability consultancy that could be valued at around $5b, and Chime, a banking app most recently valued at $25b, acquiring Salt Labs, a loyalty payments platform for hourly workers. These are just a few highlights from the financial news today.

Stay Well!