VBT Newsletter

September 23rd

Good morning!

This edition of the VBT newsletter is featuring:

  • A Miami tech company sets its IPO terms

  • Microsoft debuted new Surface hardware

  • Salesforce fully integrates Slack

  • The crypto market is rebounding

  • And the Epic v Apple saga continues

It’s Thursday, September 23, 2021.

1. #MiamiTech

Allvue Systems looks to raise up to $291 million as IPO terms are set (MarketWatch)

Allvue Systems has set the terms of its IPO, in which the Coral Gables-based technology provider for investment managers looks to raise up to $290.7 million. The stock will list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "ALVU." Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and Credit Suisse are the lead underwriters.

The company is offering 15.3 million Class A shares in the IPO, which is expected to price between $17 and $19 a share. The company expects to have 50.13 million Class A shares and 35.09 million Class V shares outstanding, which could value it up to $1.62 billion.

Allvue recorded a net loss of $20.8 million on revenue of $71.3 million for the six months ended June 30, after a loss of $14.5 million on revenue of $62.5 million in the same period a year ago.

2. Hardware

Microsoft debuts new Surface hardware (Axios)

Microsoft unveiled updates to its Surface line, including laptops, convertible tablets, and improved versions of its Android-based Surface Duo. The new hardware lineup includes:

  • Surface Laptop Studio: Microsoft has swapped the detachable screen approach on its high-end laptop, opting instead for one that tilts. It's a big device at 4.4 pounds, but offers versatility along with a 14-inch display and starts at $1,599.99.

  • Surface Pro 8: The tablet adds a larger, faster-refreshing display to the now-familiar design and starts at $1,099.

  • Surface Pro X: This year's model, which uses an ARM chip instead of an Intel-based processor, is being offered in both WiFi-only and LTE versions, with a lower $899 starting price.

  • Surface Go 3: The entry-level device looks similar to past devices but adds the new operating system and faster processors.

  • Surface Duo 2: Microsoft's Android-based clamshell device adds better cameras and 5G along with its dual 5.8-inch displays. The WiFi-only models start at $399, with LTE versions coming.

  • Microsoft also debuted a mouse made partly from ocean plastics and an adaptability kit to make its Surface devices more accessible.

The new devices come ahead of Windows 11's official launch on Oct. 5.

3. Enterprise

Salesforce combines Slack into most products for hybrid work (Bloomberg)

Salesforce announced the majority of its products are now integrated with Slack, saying the unified software creates an online corporate command center for companies with workers spread across offices and remote locations.

The chat app also will be part of Salesforce cloud products focused on specific industries, including banking, health care, and sustainability. For example, customers of retail companies will be able to use Slack to update and resolve issues with orders. 

One area Slack doesn’t plan to try to own: the teleconferencing space where Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google compete. The lack of a strong offering in that area kept Slack from benefiting as much as rivals from the pandemic work-from-home boom.

4. Crypto

Bitcoin, Ethereum recover as Evergrande fears subside, Fed talks ‘tapering’ (Decrypt)

Bitcoin—and the wider cryptocurrency market—today bounced back after a troubling start to the week for investors, aided by a Federal Reserve announcement and good news from Chinese property developer Evergrande. 

The biggest digital asset by market cap was trading at $44,080 as of 08:00 in Tel Aviv. Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency, also made hopeful gains in 24 hours and was trading at $3,189.

Ethereum had been hit hard Monday—harder than Bitcoin—and was just yesterday trading below $2,900, the first time it dipped that low since August 6. The wider crypto market followed suit and was largely in the green today.

5. Epic v Apple

Apple denies request by Epic to bring ‘Fortnite’ developer account back (The Wall Street Journal)

Apple won’t be letting “Fortnite” back onto the iPhone anytime soon. Epic Games Chief Executive Tim Sweeney said Wednesday that Apple told the maker of “Fortnite” that its ability to release software on Apple platforms won’t be reinstated until its litigation against the iPhone-maker is resolved. According to Epic, Fortnite has around 400 million registered accounts.

Mr. Sweeney revealed in a Twitter thread that he had sought the game’s reinstatement of its developer account last week. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Apple was well within its right to boot “Fortnite” from its platforms after Epic breached the iPhone maker’s contract last year. Epic has said it is appealing the verdict.

The exchange is the latest development in the high-profile legal battle between Epic and Apple over the control the tech giant holds over its digital marketplace. The fight began a little more than a year ago when Epic filed a lawsuit that claimed Apple held an improper monopoly over the distribution of apps on its mobile devices and forced developers to use its in-app payment system.

6. Funding, IPOs, M&As

As always, please feel free to share questions, feedback, or requests for future newsletters.