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Lone Wolf announces strategic investment from Stone Point Capital to accelerate growth – Canada NewsWire

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The real estate industry is undergoing digital transformation as legacy manual processes and disparate systems transition to fully connected digital experiences. These trends are further spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, with real estate professionals requiring digital tools to provide first–class experiences for buyers and sellers. Lone Wolf leads the way, offering the industry’s only end-to-end digital experience through transaction management tools, Marketplace partnerships, and back office products.

This investment by Stone Point empowers Lone Wolf to continue transforming real estate technology by enabling the acceleration of innovation with a mission to simplify the real estate experience for all. Stone Point’s expertise in real estate services and technology will help Lone Wolf streamline the end-to-end experience for agents and brokers, enabling them to deliver unparalleled experiences to their clients and members. Stone Point will provide Lone Wolf with additional growth capital to accelerate organic and inorganic product development. 

Over the past five years, Lone Wolf has significantly expanded its product portfolio beyond its flagship back office solution to encompass forms and transaction management through the national member benefits in the U.S. and Canada, Transactions (zipForm Edition) and CREA WEBForms®, respectively. The company has also incorporated new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning with the launch of Lone Wolf Insights, while its most recent offering, Lone Wolf Marketplace, brings together over 30 partners to provide an all-in-one platform for agents and brokers. Collectively, these solutions now serve more than 1.4 million agents, 8,000 brokerages, and hundreds of MLSs and associations across North America.

“We’re excited to work with the team at Stone Point to continue our strategic growth,” said Jimmy Kelly, CEO of Lone Wolf. “Stone Point’s investment aligns with our vision to create a truly connected, fully digital real estate experience. We are thankful for the partnership and leadership of Vista Equity Partners over the last five years, and we remain committed to serving the real estate industry going forward.”

“We are enthusiastic about the long-term opportunities within the real estate services and technology industry,” added Chuck Davis, Stone Point’s CEO. “This industry is undergoing rapid digital transformation, and we are pleased to partner with Jimmy and his colleagues, who together have built a remarkable company and have demonstrated the vision to continue to grow and better serve their clients.”

Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed. Jefferies LLC and GCA Advisors, LLC served as financial advisors to Lone Wolf and Vista, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as their legal counsel. For Stone Point, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal counsel.

About Lone Wolf Technologies

Lone Wolf Technologies is the North American leader in residential real estate software, serving over 1.4 million real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S. With cloud solutions for agents, brokers, franchises, MLSs and associations alike, the company provides the entire real estate industry with the tools they need to amaze clients, build their business, and improve profits—from transactions to back office, insights, and more, all in one place. Lone Wolf’s head offices are in Cambridge, ON and Dallas, TX. For more information, please visit www.lwolf.com.

About Stone Point Capital LLC

Stone Point Capital is a financial services-focused private equity firm based in Greenwich, CT. The firm has raised and managed eight private equity funds – the Trident Funds – with aggregate committed capital of more than $26 billion. Stone Point targets investments in companies in the global financial services industry and related sectors. For more information, please visit www.stonepoint.com.

About Vista Equity Partners

Vista is a leading global investment firm with more than $58 billion in cumulative capital commitments. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, credit, public equity and permanent capital strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista’s investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity. Further information is available at vistaequitypartners.com. Follow Vista on LinkedIn @Vista Equity Partners.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Annis
VP, Marketing
Lone Wolf Technologies
Tel. 866.279.9653
Email. [email protected]

SOURCE Lone Wolf Technologies

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Guggenheim Partners prepares to dip investment fund’s toes into Bitcoin – Cointelegraph

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An SEC filing on Friday indicates that the next Wall Street institution to take a public position in Bitcoin may also be among the largest yet: the $275 billion financial services firm Guggenheim Partners. 

The Guggenheim filing allows the Macro Opportunities fund to purchase GBTC, a publicly-traded Bitcoin investment vehicle from Grayscale, at an indeterminate point in the future. 

“The Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Fund may seek investment exposure to bitcoin indirectly through investing up to 10% of its net asset value in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (“GBTC”),” the filing reads.

According to independent ratings firm Morningstar, the Guggenheim Macro Opportunities fund currently has $5.3 billion in assets under management and sports a four-star rating “based on risk-adjusted returns out of 270 Nontraditional Bond funds.”

Guggenheim describes the overall fund strategy for the institutional-grade shares (ticker: GIOIX) as a product of the investment team’s “highest-conviction ideas.” If the fund were to take the full 10% stake in GBTC, it would be worth north of $500 million.

The filing also notes a long list of potential investor risks associated with cryptocurrencies, which it refers to as “digital assets designed to act as a medium of exchange.” Risks include lack of cryptocurrency exchange regulation, GBTC’s historical “significant premium” to net asset value, and uncertainty regarding tax laws and regulations, among others.

This preparatory move by Guggenheim appears to be part of a cascading series of investments indicating increased acceptance of Bitcoin among major financial institutions. In August, business intelligence firm Microstrategy purchased nearly 40,000 Bitcoin, leading to a parabolic move in share price. Likewise, financial services firm Square, Inc bought $50 million in Bitcoin in October.

This rolling snowball of institution interest may quickly become an avalanche, as noted by one prominent voice in crypto journalism: 

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This Is Where Healthcare Leaders Are Investing Their Money – Forbes

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2020 has certainly highlighted the value that a strong healthcare system can provide for a community. Moreover, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare systems and patients worldwide have turned to more creative solutions in order to deal with crises, deliver care when needed, and innovate as necessary.

Throughout this time, funding and investment in the healthcare industry has by no means slowed down. In fact, the need for innovation in a coronavirus pandemic-driven, socially isolated world has provided even more inspiration for investors to put their money into avenues which can provide viable solutions.

Famed consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights recently published a report highlighting the latest trends in venture capital funding for healthcare related industries. These key findings indicate where investors are focusing the majority of their time and efforts, and hence likely portray where the healthcare industry is moving.

Location

In terms of “dollars raised,” the report indicates that Silicon Valley, New England, North Central, San Diego, and the New York Metros are the top 5 regions for healthcare. In Q3 of 2020, Silicon Valley raised nearly $2.5 billion, with New England raising $1.9 billion. But this statistic is not entirely surprising, given the sheer amount of capital and technology talent that’s present in the Silicon Valley area. As some of the world’s largest technology companies are so heavily invested in healthcare, this makes sense. Furthermore, Silicon Valley has always been a “startup” hub, with executives easily transferring their talents from one firm to another, seeking to develop the next innovation. New England is no different, given that it is home to some of the largest pharmaceutical and biomedical innovation companies in the world.

Sectors

On a similar note, biotechnology is the leading subsector in healthcare investments. In Q3, investors poured nearly $3.9 billion into this subsector, marking an astounding 38% increase from Q2 2020, which raised $2.8 billion. The push for new innovation in biotechnology has never been more prevalent—ranging from new ways to develop and test treatments, to novel technological tools and interfaces for healthcare. The second heaviest area of investment was medical devices and equipment, with nearly $892 million raised.

Deals

The largest healthcare deals in Q3 2020 were the following:

a.    Bright Health—Value of Deal: $500 Million

b.    Tizona Therapeutics—Value of Deal: $300 Million

c.    Village MD—Value of Deal: $275 Million

d.    Freenome—Value of Deal: $270 Million

e.    Thrive Earlier Detection—Value of Deal: $257 Million

f.     Recursion Pharmaceuticals—Value of Deal: $239 Million

g.    Instil Bio—Value of Deal: $170 Million

h.    Kronos Bio—Value of Deal: $148 Million

The last three of these, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Instil Bio, and Kronos Bio are all listed as biotechnology companies, yet again driving the point that biotechnology leads the healthcare investments realm.

Overall, this report provides a very pragmatic yet illuminating picture of where investors are placing their money and time. Indeed, 2020 has truly ignited a fire in many to continue to innovate to solve some of healthcare’s toughest challenges. However, given the cyclical nature of healthcare, and the fact that new technology continues to drive forward medical innovation as quickly as it can get developed, these trends are by no means stagnant. Rather, as with any legitimate industry that fosters growth, healthcare will inevitably continue to undergo dynamic transformation in the coming decades.

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Verv: "Applying for a new investment was tough" – Innovation Origins

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When the UK went into lockdown in mid-March, the small Verv team, surprising as it may sound, was well prepared for the turbulent time ahead of them. “In 2019, we had already made significant cost savings after reviewing our business strategy,” says Louanne Steyn, CFO of Verv, “so we had a good overview of all our costs. We knew what we could do to reduce them in the short term.”

For example, Verv canceled the lease of their London office. “We are a small team and now we all work from home. If necessary, we can rent a space to get together.”

Steyn herself works from Devon, southwest of London. “During this pandemic, it is important to cut costs wherever possible and to be intelligent with spending. This will make a difference later on.”

Better focus on product strategy

Verv already had plans to invest in 2020. At the same time, the start-up focused on the latest predictive maintenance technology currently being applied to household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators. Verv’s technology measures and analyzes the energy consumption of appliances at very high speeds. By applying specialized algorithms to this data, it is able to detect behavioral anomalies that can signal a fault in the machinery. Due to the high resolution of the technology, errors can be detected and prevented in real time, right down to the level of parts of a device.

Integrated microchip

The solution is available in multiple forms, including built-in firmware on an integrated microchip and an online adapter. By remotely performing a thorough analysis, Verv can provide the manufacturer with a detailed diagnosis and recommendations that can be passed on to repair departments and engineers at the companies involved as well as to consumers who own the device.

With sustainability at its core, Verv wants to offer the market more opportunities to repair rather than replace so that devices and appliances last longer and result in less waste. Steyn thinks that the corona crisis may create new opportunities in the market. “People have less money to spend. They want their things to last longer. Maybe now they’ll start thinking more carefully about the use of raw materials.”

Technology for all electrical products

Manufacturers can integrate the microchip into their devices or devices. But owners of existing devices can also benefit from the predictive maintenance solution. The concept is simple: It uses an online adapter with technology to collect the required data and send it to the platform.

The technology can be applied to any electronic device. “Think of chargers for electric cars where it is important to be able to quickly detect anomalies,” says Steyn. This market is expected to grow due to the need for sustainable transportation.

At one point, Verv was looking for new investments to further develop the technology and prepare for a commercial rollout. “This was a lot harder because investors were first looking at their existing portfolios and were reluctant to invest in new start-ups.”

Re-screened by InnoEnergy

In March, one of the owners of Verv, EIT InnoEnergy, investigated the possibility of reinvesting in some of the start-ups it has in its portfolio. “The process of applying for this was very tough,” says Steyn looking back. “We already knew in 2019 that 2020 would be a challenging year. But corona made that even more difficult.”

Verv further increased its focus on business strategy and product development. At the same time, the company went through the selection procedure set up by the EIT InnoEnergy start-up team. “Now that they have made additional investments, we are in a position to much more easily attract other investors.”

Product delivery likely in 2022

Steyn is happy that Verv is experiencing good traction this year and expects the company to survive the corona crisis. “I have worked for other companies within the circular economy before. I think it’s important to contribute to a more sustainable world with Verv.”

Verv’s business objectives and business strategy will not be greatly influenced by corona, Steyn thinks. Its technology remains on track for mass production, which is likely to start in 2022.

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