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IAC has asked the board of Match Group—which also owns Hinge and OkCupid—to let it spin its 80.5 per cent stake in Match off to IAC shareholders, thereby separating it from its other businesses. (The Logic)

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Talking point: In August, IAC said it would spin off Match and Angi Homeservices, which owns HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List. The latter is on hold until the Match sale goes through. Match has a US$21-billion market cap, so a sale would bring in significant cash for the American holding company. It could use that influx to revive Angi, whose shares are down 56 per cent this year, and boost recent acquisitions Turo, a car-sharing firm, and Fixd Repair, a home-warranty firm. There are, however, a number of potential complications for the sale. One of Tinder’s co-founders is suing IAC for allegedly undervaluing Tinder’s growth potential.

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There have been 22 short-selling campaigns against Canadian companies in the last year. Spruce Point Capital Management—whose claims that Dollarama was overvalued caused a temporary drop in the stock in October 2018—is planning to increase its activity in the country. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: Ben Axler, Spruce Point’s founder, said the smaller number of analysts and stocks makes Canada a good market for activism. In the most high-profile recent case, Shopify was the target of critical reports from short-seller Citron Research in March 2018 and October 2017, but the stock has more than recovered from the small drops it suffered at those times.

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Dandelion’s environmentally-friendly heating and cooling system, which operates beneath homes, aims to cut customers’ electricity bills in half. The company raised the money from Google’s venture arm and Comcast Ventures. The announcement comes the same morning that Makani, another project from Alphabet’s X lab that creates wind power-generating kites, announced its spinoff and a minority investment from Shell. (VentureBeat)

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Talking point: X lab—best known for incubating Waymo—is Alphabet’s way of entering new industries with moonshot ideas. The lab is responsible for creating Alphabet’s healthcare play Verily, Google Glass and Chronicle, which provides cybersecurity for enterprises. It’s not afraid to spend to keep experimenting; in Q4 2018, it reported over US-$1.3 billion in operating losses for its “Other Bets” category, which includes X lab projects.

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Malta Inc., a spinoff of Alphabet X moonshot lab’s energy-storage project, has raised US$26 million led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures LLC. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Breakthrough Energy Ventures is a fund that includes billionaire investors such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, Bloomberg LP’s Michael Bloomberg and former Bridgewater Associates CEO Ray Dalio. Bill Gates is the fund’s chairman. The newly independent company will use the funding to continue its development of a system that stores electricity generated from sources including solar or wind in large vats of molten salt and cooler liquid. The startup will likely require additional rounds of funding to build a full facility for the technology, according to CEO Ramya Swaminathan.

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Markus Braun quit after Ernst & Young auditors said they couldn’t account for US$2.1 billion in cash on the German fintech’s balance sheet. The firm said roughly US$2.2 billion would be terminated if it failed to produce audited financial statements. The company’s shares have gone into a tailspin as a result, with its capitalization at less than US$5.6 billion from a high of US$26.8 billion. (CNBC, Reuters)

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Talking point: Founded thanks to a reverse merger in 2005, Wirecard was once ranked among Germany’s blue chips thanks in large part to aggressive expansion beyond the country’s borders, with an Asia-Pacific subsidiary and a footprint in the U.S. market. But the company reeled in the wake of a 2019 Financial Times investigation that detailed a litany of suspicious transactions, forged and backdated contracts and potentially fraudulent money flows on the part of a senior Wirecard executive.

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The funding was raised from parent company Alphabet and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). SIP was launched in August 2019 by Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs and OTPP. Upon its launch, the Sidewalk Labs spinoff said it would focus on technology-enabled infrastructure projects, and The Wall Street Journal reported that SIP would be investing in projects that require more than US$100 million of equity. (Fortune)

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Talking point: The news came hours before Sidewalk Labs announced it was pulling out of its smart-city partnership with Waterfront Toronto to develop Toronto’s Quayside neighbourhood. “SIP is an independent company backed by Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan,” an OTPP spokesperson told The Logic. “It holds, acquires and invests in technology-enabled infrastructure throughout North America. The decision not to pursue the Quayside project has no impact on Ontario Teachers’ commitment to SIP.”