Fraud Charges For Trevor Milton

The Daily Dish (7/30/21)

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Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Charged With Securities Fraud

From the outside, Trevor Milton looks like a very successful business man. Milton had raised more than $200 million dollars for his company Nikola and had brought a once sleepy Boulder company to the forefront of a disruptive technology.

Now, that is all gone.

The Nikola Scandal Is a Cautionary Tale About Green Tech's Gauzy Promises |  The New Republic

The founder and famous ex-executive chairman of Nikola Corp. was indicted Thursday for allegedly lying about the business of making battery-powered trucks for enterprise customers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Mr. Milton in the Southern District of New York and Mr. Milton was released on $100 million bond the same day. Mr. Milton pleaded not guilty to the charges. The SEC is expected to go after all related gains Milton received from his time at Nikola.

Grooming Startup Manscaped Holds Bright Lights SPAC Talks

Manscaped’s grooming bundle

Manscaped, a startup mowing down competition in the lucrative below-the-waist grooming market, recently held merger talks with New York-based blank check firm Bright Lights Acquisition Corp. The two entities hope to achieve a successful merger by the end of 2021.

Founded In 2016, Manscaped made a serious bet on the concept of trimming some hedges. With sponsorship agreements with USA Triathlon, the UFC, and NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, they have successfully penetrated a growing market. Manscaped is expected to grow over $275 million revenue by the year’s end and make its debut at a $1.5 billion+ valuation.

SPACs and IPOs In Crowded Barbecue Market 

The popularity of at-home barbecuing and grilling has skyrocketed amidst the pandemic, with more than $1.8 Billion worth of grills, smokers and accessories being sold between March and May in the U.S, which is up 5% compared to 2020.

Several leading barbecue companies are looking to take advantage of the market, including Traeger, Weber and BBQGuys, either through Initial Public Offerings or through SPAC Mergers. 

Weber says it’s the industry leader in the US, with 23% market share, while Traeger claims 3% market penetration in the US. BBQGuys separates itself by being an online retail platform that not only sells grills and accessories, but other outdoor living products like fore pits and patio furniture, but has not disclosed market share.

Weber is seeking a valuation between $4 Billion and $6 Billion in its IPO, while Traeger is pricing its IPO at a valuation of $1.8 Billion. BBQGuys by comparison has been valued at $839 million post its SPAC merger. 

SPACs Face Crowded Market For Deals

SPACs looking for technology merger targets are facing a congested markets after a record amount of fundraising in the first half of the year, according to Hong Kong based firm Soul Ventures.

Soul is looking to take a late-stage, venture capital approach by focusing on smaller firms in the US that have the potential to be future unicorns and need help to expand in Asia.

Soul questions the motive of target companies which have a valuation of more than $1 Billion by suggesting that they would be better off going through an IPO route. The company recently sponsored Inception Growth Acquisition Limited, an SPAC seeking to raise $90 million in an IPO on Nasdaq later this year.

Soul is prominently known for being a backer of Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite; Hong Kong Logistics company GoGoX and Takopedia, which recently merged with Indonesian technology company Gojek. 

Reservoir Completes Public Debut After SPAC Merger 

Reservoir Media has become a public company by completing its listing on Nasdaq under the ticker ‘RSVR’. The music rights company closed its merger with SPAC Roth CH Acquisition II Co at a valuation of $788 million.

The combined company will continue to be led by Reservoir founder and CEO, Golnar Khosrowshahi. 

Since launching in 2007, the company has rapidly expanded both through organic growth and acquisitions with offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, London, Toronto and Abu Dhabi.

In total, the company represents over 130,000 copyrights and 36,000 master recordings with the catalogue going back as far as 1900. 

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