SIRIN Labs Loses One Quarter of Its Staff to Poor Finney Sales

SIRIN Labs

According to media site Globes, the team behind blockchain smartphone Finney has laid off a quarter of its workforce. Sirin Labs has let go of 15 team members after overestimating sales of its innovative device.

The company said it had received 160,000 Finney pre-orders in late 2018, so what’s happened?

Sirin Labs Loses Workforce

The company has said in late 2018 that it only needed to sell 80,000 devices in order to make a profit. Now it seems, not only have those pre-orders not translated to actual sales, it hasn’t managed to hit the …

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EYES – Why Second Sight Medical Products Has Skyrocketed 723% In 2 Trading Sessions

Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ: EYES) shares have soared above 723% over the previous two trading sessions with the stock touching an intraday high of $14.83 on Monday. The shares registered a spike of nearly 103% as of Monday’s closing.
What Happened: The California-based developer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics said on Friday that the United States Food and Drug Administration had approved its Argus 2s Retinal Prosthesis System.
The Argus 2s is used for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa and is made up of glasses and a video processing unit to be used in combination with the company’s previously implanted Argus II system.
“We are very pleased to have received this approval, as it presents an opportunity to offer external hardware that we believe enhance comfort and aesthetics compared with the legacy Argus II system,” said Matthew Pfeffer, acting CEO of Second Sight.
Why It Matters: Second Sight’s prosthetics are aimed at creating an artificial form of useful vision for blind individuals, as per the company.

The decision on when or if to begin production of the newly approved hardware is pending completion of Second Sight’s planned business combination with Pixium Vision, which is currently underway, the company said in a statement.
The new management will take a call on how to proceed with the Argus 2s system.
Price Action: Second Sight shares closed 103.28% at $11.77 on Monday and fell 1.02% in after-hours trading.
For news coverage in Italian or Spanish, check out Benzinga Italia and Benzinga España.

© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

MSFT – What to expect from Microsoft's blockbuster Bethesda acquisition as deal gets EU approval

Bethesda’s Ghostwire: Tokyo will remain a timed console exclusive for the PlayStation 5, despite Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda being cleared to go forward. (Bethesda Image)
The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the Maryland-based holding company for the video game publisher Bethesda Softworks.In conjunction with last week’s Note of Effectiveness from the SEC, the deal — one of Microsoft’s largest acquisitions ever — now has a clear legislative runway. It’s expected to take full effect later this year.
With ZeniMax and its studios added to its current lineup, Microsoft now has a total of 23 first-party Xbox developers, as well as the licensing rights for a bevy of landmark video game franchises. Through Bethesda, ZeniMax currently publishes and develops games in the Doom, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and Wolfenstein series, as well as a number of well-liked original titles like Dishonored and The Evil Within, all of which are now Microsoft’s property.

While Microsoft has yet to offer any further public comment on details of the acquisition, it quietly created a new subsidiary in February called Vault, which will be merged with and into ZeniMax. The name is likely a nod to the numbered survival bunkers found throughout the Fallout series, which is suggestive regarding what Microsoft would like to do next.
Microsoft initially announced the ZeniMax acquisition back in September, and confirmed shortly afterward that it would continue to honor platform-exclusive deals that had been worked out before the acquisition. The Bethesda-published games Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo are still planned as timed console exclusives for the PlayStation 5 when they launch later this year.
The studio director for ZeniMax’s popular MMORPG, The Elder Scrolls Online, also confirmed back in September that it would continue to be supported on all its current platforms, which include the PS4 and Google Stadia.
The $7.5 billion price tag for Bethesda makes it one of Microsoft’s largest acquisitions yet. (GeekWire Chart)
Future Bethesda/ZeniMax games, according to Xbox’s Phil Spencer, are planned to come out for the PC and Xbox, with other console ports coming on a “case by case basis.”

That’s the first big takeaway from the deal for game enthusiasts: none of Bethesda’s games going forward will necessarily be Xbox exclusives. For PC players, it’s business as usual, right down to many first-party Microsoft games, including Halo Infinite, eventually becoming available on Steam. The only potential loser here is Sony. Even then, it’s not that weird when Microsoft’s current franchises, such as Minecraft, show up on the PlayStation.
“The excitement for gaming is bigger than the excitement for exclusive games,” Spencer said to Game Reactor to October. “…Our high-level goal inside of our team… is how many people are playing on Xbox, and when we say ‘playing on Xbox’ it doesn’t mean an Xbox console. It could be on an Android phone. It could be on a Switch.”
Xbox Series X/S launch and Game Pass push Microsoft’s quarterly gaming revenue past $5 billion
Bethesda’s games all also tend to be cultural events, when they do show up. Titles like the Fallout series and Skyrim become touchstones in the games industry almost immediately, due to a combination of widespread appeal, open-ended gameplay, meme value (the “arrow to the knee” gag in Skyrim will outlive us all), and their tendency to glitch out in hilarious ways. Skyrim in particular had sold over 30 million copies by 2016.
As such, the real value for Bethesda’s lineup for Microsoft, based on what the company has said, is in putting them all on the Xbox Game Pass.

The Game Pass, which reached 15 million subscribers in September, is a major driver of Microsoft’s gaming business. The Netflix-style subscription plan lets players download and play the basic retail versions of a rotating assortment of video games, with most of Microsoft’s first-party titles appearing on Game Pass on launch day.
The Game Pass is already a solid per-hour deal for your entertainment dollar, but the presence of a new Fallout or Elder Scrolls game adds a lot of value to that. It also dramatically cuts the price of a new game, as an interested buyer could theoretically pick up a new Fallout or Elder Scrolls game for a $10/month subscription, then play it on an Android phone or an Xbox on an All Access plan.
This ordinarily wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the Bethesda deal is moving forward at a point when studios like Take-Two are putting up trial balloons for increasing the base MSRP for a brand-new video game to $70. Microsoft was already making a lot of interesting moves regarding lowering video games’ basic cost of entry, but now it’s actively moving against the tide.
The overall gamble seems to be that if it’s cheaper and easier to play a game on Xbox — via a phone app, web browser, or an inexpensive subscription — then it doesn’t matter if that game is an Xbox exclusive. It’s an unconventional strategy, and must-have games like Bethesda brings to the table could be what pushes it to the next level.

VLDR – VLDR ALERT: The Klein Law Firm Announces a Lead Plaintiff Deadline of May 3, 2021 in the Class Action Filed on Behalf of Velodyne Lidar, Inc. Limited Shareholders

New York, New York–(Newsfile Corp. – March 8, 2021) – The Klein Law Firm announces that a class action complaint has been filed on behalf of shareholders of Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (NASDAQ: VLDR) alleging that the Company violated federal securities laws.

Class Period: November 9, 2020 and February 19, 2021Lead Plaintiff Deadline: May 3, 2021
Learn more about your recoverable losses in VLDR:http://www.kleinstocklaw.com/pslra-1/velodyne-lidar-inc-loss-submission-form?id=13459&from=5
The filed complaint alleges that Velodyne Lidar, Inc. made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) certain of Velodyne’s directors had failed to operate with respect, honesty, integrity, and candor in their dealings with the Company’s officers and directors; (2) the Company was investigating the foregoing matters; and (3) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.
Shareholders have until May 3, 2021 to petition the court for lead plaintiff status. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn’t require that you serve as a lead plaintiff.
For additional information about the VLDR lawsuit, please contact J. Klein, Esq. by telephone at 212-616-4899 or click the link above.
J. Klein, Esq. represents investors and participates in securities litigations involving financial fraud throughout the nation. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.
CONTACT:J. Klein, Esq.Empire State Building350 Fifth Avenue59th FloorNew York, NY 10118jk@kleinstocklaw.comTelephone: (212) 616-4899Fax: (347) 558-9665www.kleinstocklaw.com
To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/76536

BMBL – The Best Recent IPO to Buy

Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL) went public on Feb. 11 in a highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO). The company has shaken up the online dating world with its namesake app, and it has a lot of potential to keep growing. Bumble’s namesake app stands out from the field because it’s tailored toward women, who send the first message and generally have a greater degree of control over interactions on the platform compared to other leading apps.Amid recent volatility for technology stocks, Bumble at the time of this writing is trading roughly 13% below its opening price of $70 per share. Investors who build a long-term position could enjoy stellar returns, and it stands out as my favorite recent IPO. Here’s why the company has what it takes to thrive through market volatility and deliver lots to love for long-term investors. 
Image source: Getty Images.

The core business looks very strong
CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 after having been a co-founder at Match Group’s Tinder, bringing dating app experience and a new vision for how the market could evolve.
While men typically send the first message on most dating apps, Bumble’s core hook revolves around women making the first move. The Bumble app also has two secondary features: one that allows users to search for friends online and one that allows users to seek out potential business connections. 
Bumble’s namesake dating app is well differentiated, and its strong brand and highly engaged user base point to unfolding long-term growth opportunities. The service is currently the second-most-used dating app in the U.S., trailing Tinder, and it stands a good chance of gaining market share.

The company ended the third quarter with roughly 42 million monthly active users, and total paying users across its platforms rose 18.8% year over year to reach 2.4 million. That’s still far behind the 10.9 million average quarterly subscribers that Match Group registered in its fourth quarter, but Bumble’s core app has a large addressable market to grow into. The company also owns Badoo, a more traditional dating app, courtesy of its combination with MagicLab.
A long runway for growth
Bumble should have opportunities for growth as it attracts more users to its platform and increases revenue per user. The company has already built a strong brand in the U.S. and European markets, but it still has plenty of growth potential in other areas and as dating increases as the world emerges from the pandemic. Increased engagement should help the company boost advertising sales on the platform, and Bumble should have opportunities to drive in-app spending through the introduction of new features and machine learning applications that improve the user experience.
With more users joining its platforms, each user will have more potential opportunities to interact and form romantic connections. This creates a powerful network effect within a dating app, and Bumble should be able to leverage a broader network inside and between its apps. Tech improvements introduced for one service can later be tested, introduced, or modified on a sister platform, for example.

Bumble also looks like an attractive pandemic recovery stock. It managed to grow its active user base 10.9% year over year in the fourth quarter, according to tracking from analytics website AppTopia. As the world moves closer to a state of normalcy, dating apps will likely see a surge in activity, and Bumble should benefit.  
Not for the faint of heart, but the payoff could be huge
Bumble is a growth-dependent stock. Even with recent sell-offs, investors are valuing the company with the expectation that it will be able to increase its sales at a healthy clip and swing back into profitability after a year of losses spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. 
Charting the company’s performance at this stage involves speculation even though the business currently looks very strong, and risk-averse investors will have to weigh how they feel about growth-dependent tech valuations in the face of market volatility. But some companies in the tech space should continue to justify high price-to-sales multiples.
Bumble’s forward and trailing price-to-sales multiples actually look relatively appealing, and the business should be able to shift into consistent profitability after the pandemic headwinds dissipate. The company did $488.9 million in sales in 2019 and posted a profit of $86 million in the period, and the business should be able to return to profitability as it adds new paying members and eventually has room to ease up on marketing and technology platform spending.

The company recorded $376.6 million in sales across the first nine months of last year, and it saw engagement increase on a year-over-year basis according to AppTopia’s tracking, so there’s a good chance it will report sales above the $500 million mark for 2020. The company is scheduled to report results on March 10.
With a market capitalization of roughly $7 billion, trading at roughly 14 times 2020 sales wouldn’t be discouraging in the context of the business’s post-pandemic comeback potential.
Bumble managed to grow sales 36% and post a significant profit in its fiscal year before the pandemic hit. Growth will be slower in the near term, but momentum should pick back up as pressures from COVID-19 ease. Given the stock is still fresh off its recent IPO, investors should expect volatility in the near term, but the company has what it takes to be a big winner for long-term shareholders. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.