Move over, pot: Psychedelic companies are about to go public


The first companies developing medical treatments from psychedelic drugs like LSD, ketamine and the active ingredient in magic mushrooms are gearing up to list on Canadian stock exchanges.

Mind Medicine Inc., which is undertaking clinical trials of psychedelic-based drugs, intends to list on Toronto’s NEO Exchange by the first week of March, said JR Rahn, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive officer. A NEO spokesman confirmed the listing, which is pending final approvals.

The company plans to list via a reverse takeover under the ticker MMED. It’s not yet generating revenue and is targeting a valuation of approximately $50 million, Rahn said. MindMed counts former Canopy Growth Corp. co-CEO Bruce Linton as a director and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary as an investor.

“Our ambition is to be one of the first publicly listed neuro-pharmaceutical companies developing psychedelic medicines,” Rahn said in a phone interview.

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Automaker startup is fast and furious


 When it comes to startup investment, automakers are still going full speed ahead.

From ride-hailing apps to driverless car technology, transportation startups have attracted unprecedented sums of investment capital from auto manufacturers in recent years. In the past few quarters, that trend has been accelerating.

An analysis of Crunchbase data shows that since the beginning of 2019, the world’s largest car and truck manufacturers have led financing rounds valued at more than $6 billion. Over that period, they’ve participated in more than 50 deals for several million dollars and up, indicating an expanded willingness to pump significant sums into rounds.

“It has been a continuation of the trends for many of the automakers that have been particularly active over the past few years,” said Chris Stallman, a partner at Detroit-based transport venture firm Fontinalis Partners. “In 2019 and 2020, however, it has been interesting to see a few automakers—particularly those in Asia—aggressively ramping up their innovation efforts.”

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The world’s most valuable company

After multiple delays, Saudia Arabia is finally making it happen.

A much-watched step in the country’s goals to modernize and privatize parts of its economy, its state-owned oil business, Saudi Aramco, raised $25.6 billion in the world’s largest IPO ever after pricing 3 billion shares at 32 riyals ($8.53) apiece.

The raise beats the largest yet—that of Alibaba’s in 2014—by about $600 million. It also crowns the company as the most valuable among publicly-traded companies right now.

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Chinese passenger drone maker EHang is said to file for U.S. IPO



An EHang Inc. E-184 drone.

 Technology startup is working on producing passenger drones.

EHang may raise as much as $200 million in public offering.

EHang, one of China’s largest drone makers, has made a confidential application for an initial public offering with Nasdaq Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

EHang plans to float 10% to 15% of its shares, with the company’s valuation not yet set due to volatile market conditions, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. EHang may raise as much as $200 million in the IPO, one of the people said.

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America’s disappearing IPOs


What happened to all the IPOs?

It wasn’t so long ago that the market for initial public offerings — in which a promising and often young private company first allows public investors to buy its stock, often as a way to raise money and invest in the future — was booming. In the two decades before 2000, America was averaging some 300 IPOs a year. In fact, volume was considerably higher than that from 1990 to 2000, reaching 706 in 1996, for example.

Then they fell off a cliff. Last year, there were a mere 147. What happened?

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Spotify disrupted the music world, now it’s doing the same to Wall Street

If Spotify’s non-IPO goes forward this spring, it will be unusual in that it will be a “direct listing,” wherein the current shareholders will sell their shares directly to the retail-investing public on the NYSE, vs. to institutional investors. Spotify is the first company of its size to propose such a listing. If the listing yields a lucrative exit for existing shareholders, it will encourage other nascent high-growth firms to follow in Spotify’s footsteps.

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It’s the beginning of a new era for entrepreneurs and startups

There are over 20 million non-employer businesses out there today, with more starting every day.

There is a resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit ever since the recent recession, and more startup activity than ever before. The days of the “job work” mentality are waning, with more people looking to get satisfaction by making the world a better place, rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work to fund enjoyment elsewhere.



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IPO’s stifle startups’ creativity and innovation: Study

Is going public the beginning to the end of a startup?

A Stanford academic study has found that a firm’s IPO can put the lid on creativity and innovation. Shai Bernstein of the university’s Graduate School of Business studied thousands of startups between 1985 and 2003 to write a paper on the subject, and these are some of his findings:



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How much revenue does it take to be a $1B public company?


One billion dollars neatly stacked.

With all the chatter about Billion dollar valuations — like Instagram, Evernote, Splunk —  combined with recent S1 filings and IPOs, the topic of tech company valuation is coming to the forefront of people’s minds. Specifically related to the software industry, the growing number of SaaS IPO candidates of late is signaling an important shift in the way that enterprise software is built and sold. It also indicates that the subscription business model is here to stay. What does this shift towards a subscription economy means for startups, investors and the IPO landscape?

First of all – get Instagram out of your mind. The price it sold for is not relevant to us mere mortals who are building B2B software businesses. For all good, non-bubble reasons, SaaS companies need tens of millions in revenue, high growth, and solid business fundamentals. What you may notice though, is that revenue may be lower than what we’ve become accustomed to during the last few years of IPO drought…

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