Friday, October 15, 2021

Month: November 2020

Foundation Ventures launches debut Egypt-focused fund with 4 investments

Foundation Ventures, a regional venture capital firm founded at the start of 2019, has announced the close of its first Egypt-focused fund, with four investments made so far.

Managed by Mazen Nadim, Omar Barakat, and Ziyad Hamdy, in partnership with HOF Capital, a US based VC firm, and BPE Partners, Foundation Ventures backs best-in-class founders building high-impact new technology companies. 

Aside from providing capital, the firm works closely with the founders to help them grow their businesses. Its first fund is focused on early-stage investments ranging from pre-seed to Series A, with the fund backed by some of the largest family offices and business leaders from Egypt and the MENA region. 

The announcement of the fund comes with Foundation Ventures also revealing it has invested in four Egyptian startups, three of whom it names. Its portfolio includes B2B marketplace Capiter, employee wellness platform NowPay, and Minly, which helps connect celebrities with their fans. The fourth, unnamed, startup is in the logistics space.

HBO Max Looks to Lasso Big Gains in 2021 After Stumbling Out Of The Gate

Despite tech delays, brand confusion, leadership changes and a lengthy carriage dispute with Amazon, HBO and HBO Max quietly added an impressive 4.9 million combined U.S. subscribers from the beginning of April through the end of September.

HBO Max’s two huge news items this month — launching on Amazon Fire TV devices and scheduling Wonder Woman 1984 to premiere on Christmas Day — have put the streamer on the growth track. In the third quarter of 2020, HBO and HBO Max added 1.7 million U.S. subscribers, outpacing Hulu (1.1 million), CBS All Access (900,000), Disney+ (250,000) and Netflix (200,000).

“We suspect high profile IP at no extra cost in Wonder Woman 1984 will go a long way to driving HBO Max subscribers to start using HBO Max,” LightShed Partners media analyst Rich Greenfield wrote in a recent research note, suggesting that as many as 2 million HBO Max subscribers may watch the film on Christmas Day.

UEFA Champions League scores: Barcelona, Chelsea, others qualify for knockout round; PSG notch big win

Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League slate saw eight matches and had four teams — Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus and Sevilla — qualify for the knockout round. Chelsea, Sevilla and Juventus all got those victories with late winners, while Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 win with an American flavor. 

PSG, in the day’s biggest match, was a 1-0 winner over RB Leipzig to keep their UCL title hopes afloat.

Eight more games are set for Wednesday as Matchday 4 wraps up. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Find all the scores and more from Tuesday’s action below.

Champions League schedule, scores

(All times U.S./Eastern)

  • FINAL: Chelsea 2, Rennes 1 
  • FINAL: Sevilla 2, Krasnodar 1
  • FINAL: Lazio 3, Zenit St. Petersburg 1
  • FINAL: Borussia Dortmund 3, Club Brugge 0
  • FINAL: Barcelona 4, Dynamo Kiev 0
  • FINAL: Juventus 2, Ferencvaros, 1
  • FINAL: Paris St. Germain 1, RB Leipzig 0
  • FINAL: Manchester United 4, Istanbul Basaksehir 1

UEFA Champions League Matchday 4 came to a close on Tuesday with eight more matches. There were 26 goals scored today throughout the matches including some history making Champions League play from American Sergiño Dest. Let’s take a look at the action and top performances from the day.

EU says it could be self-sufficient in electric vehicle batteries by 2025

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its fast-growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday.

As part of its plan to become climate neutral by 2050, the EU wants to boost local production of the building blocks for green industries – including hydrogen fuel to make low-carbon steel and batteries to power clean vehicles.

“I am confident that by 2025, the EU will be able to produce enough battery cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry, and even to build our export capacity,” Sefcovic told the online European Conference on Batteries.

Today, China hosts roughly 80% of the world’s lithium-ion cell production, but Europe’s capacity is set to expand fast.

Europe has 15 large-scale battery cell factories under construction, including Swedish company Northvolt’s plants in Sweden and Germany, Chinese battery maker CATL’s German facility, and South Korean firm SK Innovation’s second plant in Hungary.

‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Scores as Netflix Most-Watched Scripted Limited Series to Date

“The Queen’s Gambit” set the record as the most-watched scripted limited series to date on Netflix — with 62 million member accounts tuning in to the show in the first 28 days, according to the company.

There’s a caveat, though: The way Netflix reports viewing is based on the number of viewers who have watched at least two minutes of a piece of content, which is very different from how the TV industry measures audience. And the streamer cherry-picks which originals it decides to tout with the proprietary metric.

Netflix boasted about the success of “The Queen’s Gambit,” saying that the show made the Top 10 in 92 countries and ranked No. 1 in 63 countries, including the U.K., Argentina, Israel and South Africa.

“The Queen’s Gambit” premiered Oct. 23 on Netflix worldwide. The seven-episode limited series stars Anya Taylor-Joy alongside Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, Harry Melling and Bill Camp.

For now, “The Witcher” Season 1 remains Netflix’s biggest original series overall in the first 28-day window with 76 million households choosing the title, at least based on the two-minute minimum viewing methodology (which the company introduced in the fourth quarter of 2019). Meanwhile, docu-series “Tiger King” was sampled by 64 million member accounts in the first month of its release, per Netflix.

“Three years ago when Scott Frank (‘Godless’) first approached us about adapting ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ — Walter Tevis’ 1983 book about a young chess prodigy — we felt it was a compelling tale,” Netflix VP of original series Peter Friedlander wrote in a blog post. “However, I don’t think any of us could have predicted that ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ — and the extraordinary Anya Taylor-Joy — would become the global phenomena they are today, or our biggest limited scripted series ever.”

Currently, “The Queen’s Gambit” has an impressive 100% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, and an average audience score of 96%.

Scott Frank serves as co-creator, executive producer, writer, director and showrunner. “The Queen’s Gambit” is executive produced by William Horberg (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”) and Allan Scott (“Don’t Look Now”), who is also a co-creator of the series.

The coming-of-age story “explores the true cost of genius,” according to the show’s summary. Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late ’50s, a young Beth Harmon (Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess — while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.

Champions League storylines: PSG under pressure as Barcelona and Juventus eye latter stages

Source: Soccer magazine.

The fourth round of Champions League group stage fixtures is upon us and this week’s matches have the potential to prove decisive in a number of groups. Halfway through the group stage, where the top two of each four team group advance, while third place is relegated to the Europa League, and fourth place goes home, some of Europe’s biggest teams look set to cruise on through, while others are in for a bruising qualification fight.

Barcelona and Juventus in Group G as well as Chelsea and Sevilla In Group E are on course to reach the latter stages easily, but Group H is finely poised and could even see all sides with six points after four games depending on Tuesday’s results.

In particular, last season’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain are under massive pressure after a poor start to the campaign domestically and in Europe where only a win will do for beleaguered coach Thomas Tuchel as RB Leipzig visit Parc des Princes.

This is what we are looking forward to this midweek.

GROUP H: Do or die for PSG

The mission is simple for the Ligue 1 giants: beat Tyler Adams’ Leipzig at home in order to live to fight another day away at Manchester United next week.

Anything but a win will likely prove fatal to PSG’s chances of reaching the latter stages and even a drop into the Europa League would be a disaster for a team that went all the way to final last season.

Les Parisiens have faced tricky situations in the group stage before — notably back in 2018 — and overcome them but they need to do so again with a third loss of the domestic season away at Monaco last week piling even more pressure on Tuchel and his men.

The situation is not as pressurized at Old Trafford with United set to host Istanbul Basaksehir but another surprise win for the Turkish champions against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men could really open the group up.

If the visitors were to emerge victorious and PSG beat Leipzig, Group H would be tantalizingly poised with each team on six points with two matches left to play.

Can PSG put their recent disarray behind them and can Basaksehir repeat their impressive victory from the last round of fixtures?

Public Business Sector Ministry to participate in Cairo ICT

The Public Business sector Ministry will participate in Cairo ICT 2020, to be held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattal El Sisi on November 22-25.

The ministry said in a statement on Sunday that it will showcase several projects in its pavilion including digital transformation and initiatives to improve financial inclusion.

The ministry will also present the online platform of Misr Travel which aims at promoting the tourism movement via online booking and various programs for clients, according to the statement.

At its pavilion, the ministry will showcase a series of services to increase the Egyptian exports, including promotion, transportation and logistic services, the statement added.  

In 2020 Cairo ICT can look back on 23 years of success. Launched 24 years ago as the first and only ICT trade fair and forum in Egypt and North Africa, Cairo ICT rapidly became a major regional success. With the expert knowledge of Trade fairs International team, long years of experience and a keen understanding of the latest disruptive technology trends and the implications of fast-paced technological industry development, Cairo ICT established itself as MEA’S leading ICT trade fair and forum.

Over the past 23 years, Cairo ICT has not only grown in domains, size, exhibitor numbers and regional attendance, it has also become a comprehensive showcase for new technologies from around the world.

Every year Cairo ICT draws attendees from the world to the MEA region to do business.

ITIDA, AUC Venture Lab launch Startup Launchpad to boost Egyptian ecosystem

Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and the AUC Venture Lab accelerator are collaborating on Startup Launchpad, a capacity-building program that aims to empower local entrepreneurs as they launch their technology startups.

The partnership between ITIDA and AUC Venture Lab, the accelerator program based at the American University in Cairo (AUC), aims to support entrepreneurs through extensive training and rich content.

The eight-week Startup Launchpad program offers tech entrepreneurs all over Egypt extensive training, networking and skill development opportunities to help them effectively develop business ideas and increase their startups’ chances of survival and success.

Tesla’s Addition to S&P 500 Shows Why Indexes Are So Weird

Aficionados of Tesla Inc. have been celebrating final week because the electric-car maker was accepted into the S&P 500, propelling its shares up 22% in two days.

Step again from the extraordinary positive aspects, and the truth that America’s seventh-biggest firm by market worth is simply now to be admitted to the index of the nation’s 500 most-valuable shares is bizarre. However it is just the obvious of many unusual however stock-price-moving ways in which indexes rumble markets. Indexes play two essential however usually conflicting roles: They measure broad market efficiency, and they’re funding instruments.

Begin with Tesla. It should join the S&P 500 next month after a choice by the committee that oversees the index. The identical committee had rejected the company in September even after it lastly met the index’s qualification situation of being worthwhile for 12 months.

Index membership actually issues, as a result of there’s about $11 trillion listed or benchmarked to the S&P. Passive funds should purchase tens of billions of {dollars} of Tesla inventory—therefore, the massive transfer in worth. A lot cash might want to transfer when the index is reconstituted subsequent month that S&P is consulting on including the automotive maker in two chunks.

Once more, for each the passive investor and people utilizing the index as a gauge of market efficiency, that is unusual. Why do firms should be worthwhile earlier than they’re allowed into the index? The entire level of investing passively is to go away it as much as different folks to resolve if an organization earns sufficient to justify its inventory worth. A gauge of efficiency ought to measure the worthwhile and the loss-makers alike. Loads of firms are loss-making after they be part of the index, particularly this 12 months; it’s odd that after within the membership, the situation not applies.

White House vaccine chief says first Americans could be vaccinated next month

Washington, DC (CNN)Moncef Slaoui, the head of the US government’s effort to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, said the first Americans to receive a vaccine — if all things go according to plan — could be as early as the second week of December.”Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I would expect maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or on the 12th of December, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States, across all states, in all the areas where the State Departments of Health will have told us where to deliver the vaccine,” Slaoui told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.On Friday, Pfizer submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, and an FDA vaccine advisory committee is slated to meet December 10.Slaoui said that means, if authorized, the vaccine could be rolled out the next day.Slaoui also said that based on plans, the amount of the population who need to be vaccinated for life to return to normal is likely to happen in May.Slaoui told Tapper that with the level of efficacy that has been shown in both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, “70% or so of the population being immunized would allow for true herd immunity to take place, that is likely to happen somewhere in the month of May, or something like that based on our plans.”

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