More than two years after the bankruptcy, the scandal surrounding the payment service provider is being worked up. Also: With Kanye West, even Elon Musk is pulling the Twitter brake and Tesla is delivering the first semi trucks.
Good morning! Even during the weekend, work in the digital scene continued in many places.
The top topics:
The trial of the century scam begins this week Wirecard. More than two years after the payment service provider went bankrupt, the ex-managers around former Wirecard boss Markus Braun have to answer in court. According to a report by “Manager Magazin”, the indictment shows how meticulously the public prosecutor’s office will roll up one of the largest white-collar criminal proceedings in Germany.
The former model group Wirecard went bankrupt in the summer of 2020. In order to unravel the background of the company collapse, a team of more than 20 investigators had to interview dozens of suspects in 25 countries, including Singapore and the Philippines. For the upcoming trial there were 450 interrogations, 40 offices and buildings were searched and more than 710 files were filled with results. The public prosecutor believes that the accused have committed several crimes at once: commercial gang fraud, misrepresentation, market manipulation and breach of trust. [Mehr bei Manager Magazin]
on Founder scene: First bet Volkswagen too long on the diesel engine, then songs of praise for plug-in hybrids followed. Now a manager of the group is demanding state aid in order to be able to promote investments in electromobility. That’s not a smart strategy, as our author Don Dahlmann writes in his new torque column. Mainly because VW has so far preferred to invest its profits in China rather than in Germany. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
And here are the other headlines of the night and the past few days:
TwitterBoss Elon Musk draws the first limits to the short message service: Rapper Kanye West, who has recently been criticized for anti-Semitic statements, has now been blocked again on Twitter. “I tried my best. Despite this, he again violated our policy against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended,” Musk wrote on Friday. According to media reports, Musk is referring to a now-deleted tweet from West, where he spread the image of a swastika. Overall, according to one executive, Twitter now relies heavily on automation to moderate content. [Mehr bei Welt und Reuters]
Tesla has started delivering the first semi trucks. However, it is not known how many tractor units the US electric car manufacturer will initially deliver. Tesla first introduced the truck design in December 2017. Production has been delayed, among other things, by the Covid pandemic and supply problems with battery cells. During the delivery launch event, CEO Elon Musk briefly alluded to the turmoil of the past five years and quipped, “Sorry for the delay.” Pepsico will be Tesla’s first customer for the semi trucks. [Mehr bei The Verge und CNBC]
Amazon loses one of its key executives for a second time: Jeff Blackburn, senior vice president of global media and entertainment, will only stay with the company until early 2023. Blackburn joined Amazon in 1998 and has worked in advertising, Amazon Studios and Prime Video services, and the music business. As a former junior investment banker at Deutsche Bank, he helped Amazon go public. In February 2021, Blackburn announced a one-year sabbatical. But then he returned as senior vice president of the new Global Media & Entertainment division, leading Amazon’s video, music, podcast and gaming businesses. Now he wants to spend more time with his family. [Mehr bei The Information, Bloomberg und CNBC]
Cryptocurrencies: Galaxy Digital has a successful takeover bid for the Tel Aviv based GK8a subsidiary of the bankrupt crypto firm Celsius, submitted. The crypto investment firm paid significantly less than the $115 million Celsius raised when it acquired GK8 in November 2021, according to a media report. However, no exact amount was given. GK8 will continue to provide self-custody support. In the crypto market, self-custody means that users are in possession of the private keys for their crypto assets. At the same time it became known that the crypto exchange Bybit plans to lay off 30 percent of the workforce. [Mehr bei Bloomberg und The Information]
Investments: Das US-Startup Plant Prefab has raised $42 million in additional investments. With the new funds, the company plans to build a new factory for its “extremely sustainable” prefabricated houses, which the company says are particularly suitable for urban areas. Reach Powera Silicon Valley startup that delivers wireless power, has raised $30 million. [Mehr bei Techcrunch und Reuters]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: First startup, first financing – and in a difficult one at that gastronomy industry. Nevertheless, the founders were successful with this pitch deck. [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]
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Have a good start into the week!
Your Gründerszene editors