This is the largest round of funding for a video game company in two decades. Also: Elon Musk’s Twitter saga continues and Shopify plans stock split.
Good Morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.
The top topics:
American video game developer Epic Games has struck a massive deal. Sony and Lego invest two billion US dollars in the company behind the popular video game “Fortnite”. It’s the largest investment made by a gaming company in the past two decades.
This catapults the market value of Epic Games to almost $32 billion. The news follows last week’s announcement of a partnership between Epic and Lego aimed at jointly developing a “family-friendly” metaverse for kids. Lego already has a successful line of video games based on lucrative franchises, including Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ and Warner Bros.’ “Batman”. [Mehr bei CNBC und Wall Street Journal]
On the founding scene you hear from today Franzi Kuehne. With your digital agency TLGG she explained the internet to big companies. Kühne is not only Germany’s youngest member of the supervisory board, she has also recently become a board member and does job sharing at board level. In the current podcast episode of “So geht Startup”, she talks to the Gründerszene about how this came about and how the cooperation has worked so far. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
And here are the other headlines of the night:
Twitter does not get a new member on the board of directors after all: Tesla boss Elon Musk, which had previously become Twitter’s largest shareholder with a 9.2 percent stake, ultimately turned down the post. Twitter boss Parag Agrawal commented, “I think this is the best thing.” Musk had quite a few over the weekend Made suggestions for improving the short message service on its platform (some of which he has since deleted). Giving up the position now allows Musk to continue acting as an “activist investor.” Analysts even think a hostile takeover of Twitter by Musk is possible. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal, CNBC und Handelsblatt]
Shopify on Monday proposed a 10-for-1 stock split and changes that would protect CEO Tobias Lütke’s voting rights. Under the proposal, the e-commerce firm would issue a “founder share” to Lütke, which would give him a total of 40 percent of the company’s voting rights. The interest will expire if Lütke, who founded Shopify in 2004, should leave the company and cannot be transferred to others. Both proposals are subject to approval at Shopify’s June shareholder meeting. The Canadian company follows a string of other tech companies, including Tesla and Amazon, which have split shares following share price declines in recent months. Shopify’s stock has also suffered hefty losses. [Mehr bei Bloomberg und The Information]
Apple has to settle with the Swedish music streaming service Spotify prepare for another EU antitrust lawsuit. This was reported by the Reuters news agency, referring to an insider. Spotify had previously triggered an investigation with a complaint. Neither the EU Commission nor Apple wanted to comment on the news, it said. The lawsuit would be about the in-app payments that Spotify users have to process through Apple and from which, of course, Apple benefits. [Mehr bei Reuters]
Thoma Bravo continues its enterprise software buying spree and acquires the public cybersecurity company Sailpoint for $6.9 billion in cash. Sailpoint, which was founded in Texas in 2005 and went public in 2017, sells software that companies use to control their own data and applications. With the deal, the private equity company underlines how important the issue of cyber security has become in times of increasing hacker attacks. [Mehr bei Reuters, CNBC und The Information]
Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors that develops self-driving cars, caused a rather unusual situation in San Francisco over the weekend. A Cruise vehicle, whose fleet previously chauffeured San Francisco-based employees, was pulled over by police for failing to turn on its headlights. The autonomous vehicle stopped at the request of the police, but one published on social media Video shows what went wrong afterwards and how the police were overwhelmed by the situation. Because there is still a lack of guidelines on how to deal with autonomous vehicles in the future. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: Lasse Dumstrei, Eike Diestelkamp and Daniel Pothoff founded the startup in 2020 resource heroes. The company is a kind of Check24 for farmers. During the Ukraine war, the founders want to ensure the economic survival of farmers. But they themselves were also in need. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
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