SEC reportedly probing Altria’s Juul investment

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into Altria’s investment in e-cigarette start-up Juul Labs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Regulators are examining whether the tobacco company sufficiently disclosed to shareholders the risks when it invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul in 2018, sources told the Journal. Altria took a $4.1 billion impairment charge for its investment in Juul in January. Juul is being sued by multiple states for its role


The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into Altria’s investment in e-cigarette start-up Juul Labs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Regulators are examining whether the tobacco company sufficiently disclosed to shareholders the risks when it invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul in 2018, sources told the Journal.
Altria took a $4.1 billion impairment charge for its investment in Juul in January.
Juul is being sued by multiple states for its role
SEC reportedly probing Altria’s Juul investment Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-21  Authors: hannah miller
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, altria, investment, probing, sources, juul, sec, startup, reportedly, stake, told, investigation, journal, altrias


SEC reportedly probing Altria's Juul investment

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into Altria’s investment in e-cigarette start-up Juul Labs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Regulators are examining whether the tobacco company sufficiently disclosed to shareholders the risks when it invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul in 2018, sources told the Journal. Altria’s stake valued the start-up at $38 billion.

Altria took a $4.1 billion impairment charge for its investment in Juul in January. The company said the charge reflects the growing legal charges against Juul and the expectation that the number of lawsuits will only increase. Juul is being sued by multiple states for its role in promoting vaping among teens and children.

Juul and Altria have both responded to subpoenas from the SEC, sources told the Journal. The e-cigarette maker turned over documents to the SEC that included correspondence with Altria and financial projections that it gave to Altria prior to its decision to invest in Juul, one person said to the Journal.

When reached by CNBC, Altria declined to comment. Juul did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Read more about the investigation in the Journal’s report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-21  Authors: hannah miller
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, altria, investment, probing, sources, juul, sec, startup, reportedly, stake, told, investigation, journal, altrias


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Start-up partners with BlackRock to offer high-yield investments once reserved for the super rich

That’s why YieldStreet created the Prism fund, which will contain a mix of the company’s relatively esoteric investments along with corporate and sovereign debt managed by BlackRock. Blurred boundariesFor investors in the Prism fund, YieldStreet will aim to liquidate the assets of the fund after four years and return the initial principal. “It’s a fund that’s not designed to be aggressive, it’s for passive income,” Weisz said. Private equity firms are now attempting to persuade regulators to ope


That’s why YieldStreet created the Prism fund, which will contain a mix of the company’s relatively esoteric investments along with corporate and sovereign debt managed by BlackRock.
Blurred boundariesFor investors in the Prism fund, YieldStreet will aim to liquidate the assets of the fund after four years and return the initial principal.
“It’s a fund that’s not designed to be aggressive, it’s for passive income,” Weisz said.
Private equity firms are now attempting to persuade regulators to ope
Start-up partners with BlackRock to offer high-yield investments once reserved for the super rich Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-18  Authors: hugh son
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, blackrock, investors, rich, highyield, income, startup, partners, offer, users, prism, reserved, weisz, investments, fund, access, super, retail, yieldstreet


Start-up partners with BlackRock to offer high-yield investments once reserved for the super rich

A digital platform that offers alternative investments to the masses is attempting to broaden its appeal with a new fund created with BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager. For the last five years, New York-based start-up YieldStreet has been giving its users access to a category of deals that had previously been the domain of institutions like hedge funds or billionaires’ family offices. The investments — usually private loans in the real estate, shipping, legal or art finance sectors — offer potentially higher returns than say, the typical Vanguard bond fund. But the $1.3 billion in transactions YieldStreet has crowdfunded so far have always been individual deals, meaning users didn’t have access to an all-in-one diversified fund. That’s why YieldStreet created the Prism fund, which will contain a mix of the company’s relatively esoteric investments along with corporate and sovereign debt managed by BlackRock. The fund has targeted a 7% annual distribution rate, paid out in quarterly increments, and 1.5% in management fees and administrative costs, according to documents viewed by CNBC. The company’s partnership with BlackRock, a behemoth that manages $7.4 trillion for investors globally, may signal that crowdfunding platforms are ready for wider adoption. BlackRock spent 18 months vetting YieldStreet for the Prism partnership, according to co-founders Michael Weisz and Milind Mehere. YieldStreet is one of a group of new platforms with names like Lex Markets, Cadre and Artivest that emerged after the 2012 JOBS act made it easier for companies to raise funds. “By combining BlackRock’s expertise in fixed income investing with YieldStreet’s technology know-how, this fund provides investors with attractive opportunities beyond their usual sources of income,” Robert Stanley, BlackRock’s global head of fixed income product strategy, said in a statement.

Blurred boundaries

For investors in the Prism fund, YieldStreet will aim to liquidate the assets of the fund after four years and return the initial principal. The 7% distribution rate means that a $10,000 investment would yield $700 every year, Mehere said in a telephone interview. “It’s a fund that’s not designed to be aggressive, it’s for passive income,” Weisz said. “It’s a fund where you’re getting access to some of the best management talent that exists in the credit space.” The traditional boundaries between retail and institutional investors have begun to blur. Blackstone, the world’s biggest alternative asset manager, has long catered to institutional investors but is now fueling its growth from individuals, gathering $26 billion in 2019. Private equity firms are now attempting to persuade regulators to open up more of their products to retail investors. They say that in an era when companies have delayed going public for years, small investors have been locked out of the best gains. In that vein, the appeal of YieldStreet, according to its co-founders, is that it gives users access to the type of high finance deals that huge institutions and the wealthy use to generate income. Still, with products as arcane as student-housing mortgages or loans to cargo vessels, one could question their suitability for retail investors. Users must be accredited investors, which the Securities and Exchange Commission defines as individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year or have a net worth over $1 million. “Anybody could put money out; it’s about bringing it back home,” Weisz said. “You have to understand the collateral that you’re investing in. If we invest $6 million in a $10 million building, even if s— goes sideways, we’ll still foreclose, we’ll go through the process and ultimately we’ll collect because there’s enough equity in the building.”

‘Winter is coming’


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-18  Authors: hugh son
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, blackrock, investors, rich, highyield, income, startup, partners, offer, users, prism, reserved, weisz, investments, fund, access, super, retail, yieldstreet


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Indian hospitality start-up Oyo fights to keep hotels open in China amid coronavirus outbreak

While stores, factories and hotels shutter in China amid a coronavirus outbreak, Indian hospitality start-up Oyo is fighting to keep hotels open. Oyo operates a chain of leased and franchised hotels and offers vacation homes and living spaces using a model similar to U.S.-based Airbnb. It works with 9,000 hotels in China, making the country Oyo’s second-biggest market. However, the company recently reported that its annual losses have widened to $335 million. Oyo has also faced allegations that


While stores, factories and hotels shutter in China amid a coronavirus outbreak, Indian hospitality start-up Oyo is fighting to keep hotels open.
Oyo operates a chain of leased and franchised hotels and offers vacation homes and living spaces using a model similar to U.S.-based Airbnb.
It works with 9,000 hotels in China, making the country Oyo’s second-biggest market.
However, the company recently reported that its annual losses have widened to $335 million.
Oyo has also faced allegations that
Indian hospitality start-up Oyo fights to keep hotels open in China amid coronavirus outbreak Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-18  Authors: hannah miller
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, recently, oyo, agarwal, chain, hotels, indian, hospitality, company, china, open, startup, works, coronavirus, virus, wuhan, outbreak, fights


Indian hospitality start-up Oyo fights to keep hotels open in China amid coronavirus outbreak

While stores, factories and hotels shutter in China amid a coronavirus outbreak, Indian hospitality start-up Oyo is fighting to keep hotels open.

“We’re trying to keep as many of our hotels open as possible, including in Wuhan and in Hubei,” Oyo CEO and founder Ritesh Agarwal told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” Tuesday.

Oyo operates a chain of leased and franchised hotels and offers vacation homes and living spaces using a model similar to U.S.-based Airbnb. It works with 9,000 hotels in China, making the country Oyo’s second-biggest market.

The hospitality chain is keeping locations open at reduced prices in the provinces most affected by the virus to support visiting doctors and people who’ve been stranded by travel restrictions, Agarwal said.

There are even available Oyo stays around the Wuhan hospital that recently made headlines after it was built in less than two weeks.

Agarwal said it was too early to tell how the virus would impact business for Oyo. The company recently announced restructuring efforts that included layoffs in China, India and the U.S.

“They are to make sure that we focus on locations and cities that are more profitable,” Agarwal said of the restructuring measures.

Founded in 2013 by Agarwal when he was 19, Oyo has since become the fastest-growing and second-largest hotel chain in the world. It operates over 23,000 hotels in more than 800 cities in 60 countries. However, the company recently reported that its annual losses have widened to $335 million. Oyo has also faced allegations that it inflates occupancy levels and does not pay some of the hotels it works with.

Oyo is backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the $100 billion dollar megafund that has also invested in Uber, SoFi and WeWork-parent The We Company.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-18  Authors: hannah miller
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, recently, oyo, agarwal, chain, hotels, indian, hospitality, company, china, open, startup, works, coronavirus, virus, wuhan, outbreak, fights


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Wells Fargo backs a start-up that helps banks manage cryptocurrency risks

Greg Doherty | Getty ImagesWells Fargo has invested $5 million into U.K. start-up Elliptic, which helps banks manage the risks associated with being exposed to cryptocurrencies. The aim of Discovery is to give banks a sense of their exposure to crypto-assets through their customers’ transactions and identify whether there are any money laundering risks. The investment into Elliptic from Wells Fargo’s venture unit, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, is an extension of the start-up’s $23 million Serie


Greg Doherty | Getty ImagesWells Fargo has invested $5 million into U.K. start-up Elliptic, which helps banks manage the risks associated with being exposed to cryptocurrencies.
The aim of Discovery is to give banks a sense of their exposure to crypto-assets through their customers’ transactions and identify whether there are any money laundering risks.
The investment into Elliptic from Wells Fargo’s venture unit, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, is an extension of the start-up’s $23 million Serie
Wells Fargo backs a start-up that helps banks manage cryptocurrency risks Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: ryan browne
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, banks, helps, transactions, manage, money, million, risk, startup, wells, backs, cryptocurrency, elliptic, crypto, understand, risks, fargo


Wells Fargo backs a start-up that helps banks manage cryptocurrency risks

Wells Fargo’s iconic stagecoach. Greg Doherty | Getty Images

Wells Fargo has invested $5 million into U.K. start-up Elliptic, which helps banks manage the risks associated with being exposed to cryptocurrencies. The London-based firm has become known for its analysis tools, which it sells to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms — including Binance and Circle — to help them find and block illicit digital currency transactions. For instance, the company’s technology was able to uncover a terrorist group using bitcoin to finance its operations by tracking suspicious transactions on the cryptocurrency’s digital ledger known as the blockchain. It then flagged this to its clients so they could cut off the funds. But the firm, founded in 2013, has been increasingly working with financial institutions to get them on board with its so-called Discovery platform, which helps banks identify whether clients’ funds are passing through cryptocurrency platforms without the appropriate compliance checks in place. “If they see payments going between their customers and one of a long list of crypto entities, they can understand more about who that entity is and whether it’s something they should be concerned about,” Elliptic co-founder and CEO James Smith told CNBC in an interview.

The aim of Discovery is to give banks a sense of their exposure to crypto-assets through their customers’ transactions and identify whether there are any money laundering risks. The investment into Elliptic from Wells Fargo’s venture unit, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, is an extension of the start-up’s $23 million Series B funding round announced in September. The additional investment brings the company’s total money raised to over $40 million. Elliptic didn’t disclose its valuation. Smith said the fact that Wells Fargo was backing the company shows banks are “interested in how we can help them understand and manage risk that relates to crypto.” “More and more financial institutions realize even if they don’t touch crypto themselves, they are adjacent to crypto. They are exposed to crypto risk and have a responsibility to understand what the risk is and how to manage it.” He said it also reflects an improving regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies, citing legislation such as newly introduced anti-money laundering rules from the European Union. He also highlighted a regulatory framework from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that includes crypto assets. The FATF is an intergovernmental organization tackling dirty money.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: ryan browne
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, banks, helps, transactions, manage, money, million, risk, startup, wells, backs, cryptocurrency, elliptic, crypto, understand, risks, fargo


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Fintech Varo gets one step closer to becoming an actual bank: ‘We see it as a pretty big moat’

Mobile-only finance start-up Varo Money just got one step closer to becoming a full-scale bank. “We see it as a pretty big moat,” Varo Money CEO Colin Walsh, told CNBC in an phone interview. Until now, fintech firms like Varo, Chime, Robinhood and Square have managed to tap into the financial system without being a bank. Digital bank Chime, by comparison, was last valued at $5.8 billion. While a handful of start-up banks such as Chime, Revolut and N26 have popped up in the U.S., new fully charte


Mobile-only finance start-up Varo Money just got one step closer to becoming a full-scale bank.
“We see it as a pretty big moat,” Varo Money CEO Colin Walsh, told CNBC in an phone interview.
Until now, fintech firms like Varo, Chime, Robinhood and Square have managed to tap into the financial system without being a bank.
Digital bank Chime, by comparison, was last valued at $5.8 billion.
While a handful of start-up banks such as Chime, Revolut and N26 have popped up in the U.S., new fully charte
Fintech Varo gets one step closer to becoming an actual bank: ‘We see it as a pretty big moat’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-11  Authors: kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, startup, step, bank, money, customer, fintech, chime, banks, pretty, varo, gets, actual, closer, valued, big, moat


Fintech Varo gets one step closer to becoming an actual bank: 'We see it as a pretty big moat'

Mobile-only finance start-up Varo Money just got one step closer to becoming a full-scale bank.

After three years and multiple rounds of applications, the FDIC approved the fintech company’s national bank charter application, which allows it to take customer deposits.

“We see it as a pretty big moat,” Varo Money CEO Colin Walsh, told CNBC in an phone interview. “It was a long process — for this to finally see daylight is a big deal for the industry.”

Until now, fintech firms like Varo, Chime, Robinhood and Square have managed to tap into the financial system without being a bank. They partner with community banks to actually hold customers’ money while the start-up handles consumer interface and app. Apple and Goldman Sachs are the most high-profile partnership with the launch of the Apple Card. Google also recently partnered with Citi for a debit card.

Varo launched its branchless bank by partnering with Bancorp. Those customer deposits will be transferred over to Varo in the second quarter, assuming it passes final regulatory tests, according to the company.

Varo was last valued at $417.8 million and is backed by TPG and Warburg Pincus, according to Pitchbook. Digital bank Chime, by comparison, was last valued at $5.8 billion.

While a handful of start-up banks such as Chime, Revolut and N26 have popped up in the U.S., new fully chartered banks are almost unheard of.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-11  Authors: kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, startup, step, bank, money, customer, fintech, chime, banks, pretty, varo, gets, actual, closer, valued, big, moat


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FTC aims to block Edgewell’s $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry’s over competition concerns

The Federal Trade Commission said Monday it plans to sue to block Edgewell’s $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry’s, citing competition concerns in the consumer shaving space. The deal, announced last May, would give Edgewell access to Harry’s data and subscription base. By the time Harry’s announced its sale to Edgewell, it did roughly half its sales in stores like Target and Walmart. The FTC announcement caught some industry insiders by surprise, given Harry’s small hold of the


The Federal Trade Commission said Monday it plans to sue to block Edgewell’s $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry’s, citing competition concerns in the consumer shaving space.
The deal, announced last May, would give Edgewell access to Harry’s data and subscription base.
By the time Harry’s announced its sale to Edgewell, it did roughly half its sales in stores like Target and Walmart.
The FTC announcement caught some industry insiders by surprise, given Harry’s small hold of the
FTC aims to block Edgewell’s $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry’s over competition concerns Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-03  Authors: lauren hirsch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, block, shaving, harrys, acquisition, razors, brands, edgewells, aims, competition, startup, edgewell, billion, concerns, ftc, market, company


FTC aims to block Edgewell's $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry's over competition concerns

The Federal Trade Commission said Monday it plans to sue to block Edgewell’s $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry’s, citing competition concerns in the consumer shaving space.

The agency argues that the shaving industry needs upstarts like Harry’s to keep giant companies like Gillette owner Procter & Gamble and Schick maker Edgewell in check.

The deal, announced last May, would give Edgewell access to Harry’s data and subscription base. For Harry’s, it would provide a platform through which to expand beyond its nine factories.

“For many years, Edgewell and Procter & Gamble operated their respective Schick and Gillette brands of men’s razors, and Intuition/Hydro Silk and Venus brands of women’s razors, as a comfortable duopoly characterized by annual price increases that were not driven by changes in costs or demand,” the FTC alleged.

“By bringing the disruptive Harry’s under Edgewell’s control,” it added, “the proposed acquisition would eliminate important and growing competition among suppliers of wet shave razors, and would inflict significant harm on consumers of razors across the United States.”

Edgewell President Rod Little and Harry’s co-CEOs Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield said their companies are reviewing the FTC’s decision and will respond.

“We believe strongly that the combined company will deliver exceptional brands and products at a great value and are determined to bring those benefits to consumers,” the two Harry’s CEOs said in a statement.

Harry’s is one of many “direct-to-consumer” brands that have popped up over the past several years, launching first online and later expanding to traditional retail. Online roots provide unique customer insight and access, as well as the ability to offer cheaper prices without a middle man. Strictly selling online, though, can make broad expansion difficult and costly. By the time Harry’s announced its sale to Edgewell, it did roughly half its sales in stores like Target and Walmart. It expected to be “generally” breakeven in 2019, Edgewell executives then told investors.

The FTC announcement caught some industry insiders by surprise, given Harry’s small hold of the razor market and precedent for similar deals. Harry’s rival Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever in 2016 for about $1 billion. P&G announced plans to acquire direct-to-consumer women’s shaving brand Billie earlier this year, for an undisclosed amount.

In 2018, Harry’s had a 2.6% share of the U.S. razor market, according to Euromonitor.

The action is not the FTC’s first recent move to object to smaller consumer deals. In December, it challenged Post Holdings’ $110 million acquisition of Treehouse Foods’ private label cereal business, and in 2018, it challenged Conagra’s $285 million acquisition of Wesson Cooking Oil.

The FTC is chaired by Joseph Simons, who was appointed by President Donald Trump. The committee prohibits more than three of its five commissioners from being in the same party. It falls under the executive branch but is independent and also reports to Congress.

The FTC said Monday an administrative trial is scheduled to begin on June 30.

Shares of Edgewell on Monday were up nearly 8% Monday, giving it a market capitalization of $1.4 billion. Year-to-date, shares of the company are down nearly 10%.

As part of the proposed acquisition, Edgewell would give Harry’s shareholders an 11% stake in the combined company and pay the remaining deal value in cash.

Shares of P&G, meantime, were mostly flat Monday, giving it a market capitalization of $307 billion. Shares of the owner of Pampers and Vicks are down a less than 1% year-to-date, with net sales growth last quarter falling short of expectations.

While P&G’s shaving business has rebounded more recently, it has been a sore spot for the company. The company took an $8 billion charge related to Gillette last July.

“More recently and much less of an impact, new competitors have entered at prices below the category average,” CFO Jon Moeller said at the time.

CNBC’s Amelia Lucas contributed to this report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-03  Authors: lauren hirsch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, block, shaving, harrys, acquisition, razors, brands, edgewells, aims, competition, startup, edgewell, billion, concerns, ftc, market, company


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Alto, a pharmacy start-up, just raised $250 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and others

Alto Pharmacy has raised $250 million from investors including SoftBank’s second Vision Fund, three people familiar with the matter told CNBC. The investment has already been approved by the Vision Fund’s investment committee, meaning it’s a done deal, the sources said. SoftBank’s Vision Fund has already done just over half a dozen deals in the health and life sciences sector, including 10x Genomics, which subsequently went public, and employer health-focused Collective Health. SoftBank said in


Alto Pharmacy has raised $250 million from investors including SoftBank’s second Vision Fund, three people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
The investment has already been approved by the Vision Fund’s investment committee, meaning it’s a done deal, the sources said.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund has already done just over half a dozen deals in the health and life sciences sector, including 10x Genomics, which subsequently went public, and employer health-focused Collective Health.
SoftBank said in
Alto, a pharmacy start-up, just raised $250 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and others Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-30  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, public, softbanks, alto, billion, raised, million, health, vision, fund, funds, pharmacy, went, company, 250, including, startup


Alto, a pharmacy start-up, just raised $250 million from SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 and others

Alto Pharmacy has raised $250 million from investors including SoftBank’s second Vision Fund, three people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

The investment has already been approved by the Vision Fund’s investment committee, meaning it’s a done deal, the sources said. It also marks one of the first handful of known bets from the SoftBank’s new fund. The deal values the company at more than $700 million, according to one of the people.

The news was previously reported by Reuters.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund has already done just over half a dozen deals in the health and life sciences sector, including 10x Genomics, which subsequently went public, and employer health-focused Collective Health. It has several venture partners dedicated to the space, with Silicon Valley-based Deep Nishar taking the most active interest in health care.

Alto represents its first foray into pharmacy. The market opportunity is massive, given that the U.S. alone spends more than $330 billion on prescription drugs. But it’s highly complex, and there are incumbents including the pharmacy benefits managers, which negotiate drug prices on behalf of insurers and employers, that have done battle with upstarts.

Alto was founded in 2015 by former Facebook employees who saw an opportunity to reduce the inefficiencies in pharmacy. Its approach involves delivering medications to people’s doors from its pharmacies. It competes with Capsule Pharmacy in New York and PillPack, which is owned by Amazon, but has focused much of its effort in California.

It has a physical pharmacy in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco, but the majority of its users will request that their meds are delivered same day to their home or office for free. The company also says it will work with doctors to find its users a more affordably priced drug, and it acquired a start-up in 2017 with a bottle to remind people when to take their medications.

Alto also offers a team of pharmacists that can provide advice after prescriptions are ordered.

SoftBank said in July that it planned to raise $108 billion for its second fund, dubbed Vision Fund 2, with investments from companies including Apple, Foxconn and Microsoft. Not all of these contributors are confirmed to invest, but the company is still focused on raising more than $100 billion. The first fund, which raised $100 billion, is looking to use remaining funds for follow-on investments in existing companies.

SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son has told partners that he hopes to focus on companies with a clearer path to profitability. That follows the fund’s experiences with Uber and WeWork, which went public without a clear path to profitability and garnered a negative reaction from the public market.

SoftBank has recently backed away from investing in several start-ups, including home-care provider Honor, after submitting term sheets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Axios. That’s unusual behavior for an investor.

Other investors in the Alto round included Greenoaks Capital, Jackson Square Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, and Zola Global, the people said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-30  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, public, softbanks, alto, billion, raised, million, health, vision, fund, funds, pharmacy, went, company, 250, including, startup


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Ford and EV start-up Rivian plan to produce an all-electric vehicle for Lincoln

The first all-electric vehicle for Ford Motor’s luxury Lincoln brand is being developed with EV start-up Rivian, the automaker announced Wednesday. The vehicle will use Rivian’s “flexible skateboard platform,” which underpins the vehicle, as part of a previously announced $500 million investment by Ford into the private company. The companies said last year they will partner to develop a vehicle but did not say it would be a Lincoln. “Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting


The first all-electric vehicle for Ford Motor’s luxury Lincoln brand is being developed with EV start-up Rivian, the automaker announced Wednesday.
The vehicle will use Rivian’s “flexible skateboard platform,” which underpins the vehicle, as part of a previously announced $500 million investment by Ford into the private company.
The companies said last year they will partner to develop a vehicle but did not say it would be a Lincoln.
“Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting
Ford and EV start-up Rivian plan to produce an all-electric vehicle for Lincoln Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-29  Authors: michael wayland
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wednesdaythe, announced, allelectric, rivian, statement, previously, plan, lincolns, investment, vehicle, produce, lincoln, ford, startup


Ford and EV start-up Rivian plan to produce an all-electric vehicle for Lincoln

The first all-electric vehicle for Ford Motor’s luxury Lincoln brand is being developed with EV start-up Rivian, the automaker announced Wednesday.

The vehicle will use Rivian’s “flexible skateboard platform,” which underpins the vehicle, as part of a previously announced $500 million investment by Ford into the private company.

“Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles,” Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln, said in a statement Wednesday.

The companies said last year they will partner to develop a vehicle but did not say it would be a Lincoln. Details regarding what type of vehicle it will be, production and on-sale date were not released.

“Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting opportunity to pair our technology with Lincoln’s vision for innovation and refinement,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement. “We are proud to collaborate on Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle.”

The vehicle is part of Ford’s previously announced investment of more than $11.5 billion into electrification, which includes the Ford Mustang Mach-E and an all-electric version of the Ford F-150 pickup.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-29  Authors: michael wayland
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wednesdaythe, announced, allelectric, rivian, statement, previously, plan, lincolns, investment, vehicle, produce, lincoln, ford, startup


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Silicon Valley health-tech start-up took kickbacks to push doctors to prescribe opioids, DOJ finds

In the middle of the opiate crisis, a Silicon Valley start-up called Practice Fusion saw an opportunity. Instead of charging for the software, like its competitors, the company generated the bulk of its revenue by advertising to doctors. And it used that advertising system to encourage physicians to prescribe opiates, according to the Department of Justice. “We remain committed to Practice Fusion and believe this matter should not overshadow the important and valuable work it is currently perfor


In the middle of the opiate crisis, a Silicon Valley start-up called Practice Fusion saw an opportunity.
Instead of charging for the software, like its competitors, the company generated the bulk of its revenue by advertising to doctors.
And it used that advertising system to encourage physicians to prescribe opiates, according to the Department of Justice.
“We remain committed to Practice Fusion and believe this matter should not overshadow the important and valuable work it is currently perfor
Silicon Valley health-tech start-up took kickbacks to push doctors to prescribe opioids, DOJ finds Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-28  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, practice, allscripts, opioids, doctors, software, prescribe, fusion, opioid, company, million, valley, finds, technology, took, healthtech, kickbacks, system, startup, push, silicon


Silicon Valley health-tech start-up took kickbacks to push doctors to prescribe opioids, DOJ finds

In the middle of the opiate crisis, a Silicon Valley start-up called Practice Fusion saw an opportunity.

The company developed an electronic medical record system for doctors. Instead of charging for the software, like its competitors, the company generated the bulk of its revenue by advertising to doctors.

And it used that advertising system to encourage physicians to prescribe opiates, according to the Department of Justice.

“As part of the criminal resolution, Practice Fusion admits that it solicited and received kickbacks from a major opioid company in exchange for utilizing its EHR (electronic health record) software to influence physician prescribing of opioid pain medications,” the Department of Justice news release states.

Specifically, Practice Fusion solicited a payment of nearly $1 million from an opioid company to create an alert that would would encourage doctors to prescribe more extended release opioids, while in the room with a patient. These alerts are known in the industry as “clinical decision support,” and are intended to guide doctors to the most appropriate care.

Practice Fusion, which is now owned by AllScripts, a larger company in the space, agreed to pay $145 million in fines to resolve criminal and civil charges. That includes $113.4 million to the federal government, and up to $5.2 million to states, to resolve claims related to the kickbacks. The remainder of the fines are to settle other claims over how company allegedly misrepresented the capabilities of its software to get government certifiations.

One of the investigators on the case described the practice as “abhorrent.”

“The companies illegally conspired to allow the drug company to have its thumb on the scale at precisely the moment a doctor was making incredibly intimate, personal, and important decisions about a patient’s medical care, including the need for pain medication and prescription amounts,” said Christina E. Nolan, U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont.

Nolan said her district will not tolerate technology companies “influencing” patient treatment.

Brian Farley, Allscripts’ chief administrative officer and general counsel, said in a comment to CNBC that the company is “pleased” to complete the settlement and that the conduct was disclosed prior to the acquisition in January of 2018. “As a company, we are committed to maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and integrity, and since learning of this matter we have further strengthened Practice Fusion’s compliance program.”

Farley also notes that Allscripts is using its technology to fight the opioid epidemic. “We remain committed to Practice Fusion and believe this matter should not overshadow the important and valuable work it is currently performing.”

Practice Fusion was once a darling of the burgeoning health-tech industry. The business was doing so well in 2015 that the New York Times reported that the company had hired banks to evaluate a 2017 IPO that would have valued the company at up to $1.5 billion. However, it ended up selling to AllScripts for $100 million — less than the amount of venture capital it raised from investors including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Once the company sold, most employees got nothing while the company’s executives walked away with millions of dollars in a pre-arranged carve-out, CNBC previously reported.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-28  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, practice, allscripts, opioids, doctors, software, prescribe, fusion, opioid, company, million, valley, finds, technology, took, healthtech, kickbacks, system, startup, push, silicon


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We tried the Silicon Valley shower head backed by Tim Cook, here’s what it’s like

A San Francisco startup named Nebia, backed by some of the biggest names in technology, released a $199 shower head this week. Nebia seems a lot like a technology company: Gabriel Parisi-Amon, its CEO and co-founder, wrangled iPhone parts in Apple’s supply chain before designing the shower head. The Nebia shower that head launched this week ships in May, is Moen-branded and costs $200. I was able to adjust the angle and height of the shower head, bringing it closer to my head for a hotter, more


A San Francisco startup named Nebia, backed by some of the biggest names in technology, released a $199 shower head this week.
Nebia seems a lot like a technology company: Gabriel Parisi-Amon, its CEO and co-founder, wrangled iPhone parts in Apple’s supply chain before designing the shower head.
The Nebia shower that head launched this week ships in May, is Moen-branded and costs $200.
I was able to adjust the angle and height of the shower head, bringing it closer to my head for a hotter, more
We tried the Silicon Valley shower head backed by Tim Cook, here’s what it’s like Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-25  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, heres, winter, week, water, took, technology, shower, head, parisiamon, tim, backed, silicon, valley, tried, nebia, cook, startup


We tried the Silicon Valley shower head backed by Tim Cook, here's what it's like

A San Francisco startup named Nebia, backed by some of the biggest names in technology, released a $199 shower head this week. It promises to provide a hotter, more satisfying shower using less water than traditional models. I went to their offices, disrobed and took a 10 minute shower. I’ll tell you what it’s like.

Some background

First, some background. Nebia seems a lot like a technology company: Gabriel Parisi-Amon, its CEO and co-founder, wrangled iPhone parts in Apple’s supply chain before designing the shower head. Nebia’s based in an industrial neighborhood in San Francisco that’s packed with software startups. Its investors include some high-profile executives: Apple CEO Tim Cook, former Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s family office and Fitbit CEO James Park. But Nebia by Moen, which launched this week, is not digital technology. There’s no chip, no app and no software. Instead, Nebia is a bet that non-software companies can combine product design techniques borrowed from some of the Valley’s most iconic firms with the marketing and online sales practices used by other tech-adjacent companies to sell products in stodgy sectors like mattresses, suitcases and now, plumbing fixtures. “When you’re making a new product, you have to look at it with a blank slate and an open mind,” co-founder and chief marketing officer Phillip Winter said. When Nebia was building prototypes of its shower heads, Parisi-Amon said it discovered that a 3D printer produced special nozzles faster than a supplier could ship them. This allowed for more frequent tests, more data and a faster development process. The founders are aware they’re selling a physical product that needs to be manufactured, warehoused, and shipped. Unlike software, you can’t produce another physical unit for free, so the margins are lower. And while the startup was founded in 2014, shortly after Google bought Nest and spurred a wave of investment in technology hardware companies, the sector has cooled. Investment in the sector declined during the last three years, according to Crunchbase. Winter told CNBC that his firm sold 20,000 units of its Nebia Spa Shower model, which launched in 2015 for $500. But unit sales are likely to increase. In the past two years, Nebia forged a partnership with Moen, a major Ohio-based distributor of faucets and fixtures, which helped the startup with its operations and distribution. The Nebia shower that head launched this week ships in May, is Moen-branded and costs $200. It’ll be available in home improvement stores later this year. I went to their offices, disrobed and took a 10 minute shower to see what it was like.

I took a shower

Nebia

Nebia’s founders say that getting investors under the shower is their key to getting so many big-name people on board. The company built a private shower inside what used to be a server closet in its loft office in San Francisco and encourages prospective employees, investors, and journalists like me to try it out. It can be awkward, Parisi-Amon said, but people who become involved with the startup nearly always accept the shower. Cook invested after he tried a prototype at a Silicon Valley gym, Winter said. He became the company’s first investor and has provided ongoing support. Moen signed on board after executives found the shower reminded them of a Tesla. It’s not a typical shower — it mists water instead of dumping it on you. Parisi-Amon recommended letting it run and mist for up to a minute before getting in. Low heat is a common complaint with so-called “low flow” showers. I was able to adjust the angle and height of the shower head, bringing it closer to my head for a hotter, more intense shower. It was definitely warm enough for me, and I like hot showers. I like the design, too. The shower head is clad in aluminum, like a MacBook or iPhone, and it has thoughtful touches, like a magnetic mount for a detachable shower hose. The part where the water comes out of is a graceful, curved loop, with six different jets that spray mist. It looks premium.

But it’s kind of expensive


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-25  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, heres, winter, week, water, took, technology, shower, head, parisiamon, tim, backed, silicon, valley, tried, nebia, cook, startup


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