Tech stocks remained in focus this week as AI arms race heats up; possible TikTok ban looms


Tiktok’s parent company has a new app available in the US, ChatGPT is facing a defamation suit in Australia and more happened this week in the never-dull technology sector.

Here’s what the big and small caps alike have been up to:

Wishpond Technologies Ltd is a stock to watch with a new all-in-one marketing and sales solution on the market and more acquisitions potentially to come, according to analysts at PI Financial.

The Vancouver-based company received a ‘Buy’ rating and C$1.75 price target, up from C$1.50.

Lumentum Holdings has warned investors of a weaker March quarter after the cancellation of a major order.

The San Jose-based optical and photonic products maker lowered its fiscal 3Q revenue range to between $380 and $384 million, compared to the company’s previous expectation of $430 to $460 million.

While TikTok is in the crosshairs of US politicians considering banning the app, its Chinese parent company has launched a new app that could draw similar concerns.

The app, called Lemon8, didn’t make waves when ByteDance launched it in the US in February, but as TikTok’s future becomes less certain Lemon8 already has nearly 300,000 US downloads.

MySize Inc (NASDAQ:MYSZ) said it expects to report strong year-over-year growth with revenue ranging between $4 million and $5 million when it posts its 2022 year-end financials in the upcoming week.

The company said in a statement that it expects to report revenue for 2022 about 30 times higher than that of 2021 when it achieved $131,000 in revenue.

Iris Energy Limited (NASDAQ:IREN) said in March it mined 173 bitcoin at an average operating hashrate of 1,912 PH/s, up 11% from February, while its mining revenue surged 22% from February $4.3 million.

Releasing its corporate update for March, the company said electricity costs were nearly $2.2 million. The increases in bitcoin mined and electricity costs were mainly due to the installation of additional miners and three additional days in the month. Adjusted electricity costs per Bitcoin were $11,500 in March compared to $10,600 in February, driven by an increase in the difficulty-implied global hashrate during the period.

Big Tech employees across Europe are being offered elaborate severance packages as part of a widespread redundancy push by the likes of Meta, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet.

Bloomberg reported that the US tech giants, complacent with relatively low employee protections in the US, are coming up against strict labour protections in France and Germany in particular.

Nextech3D.AI (CSE:NTAR, OTCQX:NEXCF) said it has entered into an arrangement agreement with its wholly-owned subsidiary Toggle3D and a special purpose financing company, 1400330 B.C. Ltd (FinanceCo) for the spin-out of Toggle3D to a SpinCo.

The agreement, effective April 5, 2023, sets out the terms on which Nextech will complete a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) whereby the Toggle3D platform and associated assets will be spun out.

Fadel Partners Inc, which handles automated rights management for Marvel Entertainment and other big brands, has become the fifth float on London’s AIM so far in 2023, raising ?8mln via a share placing and loan.

Headquartered in New York, the company’s initial public offer run by broker finnCap is a slight reversal of what has seemed a one-way flow of UK companies going to list in the USA in the past few years.

Cash App founder Bob Lee was fatally stabbed in an apparently random attack in San Francisco, his father confirmed on Facebook.

The 43-year-old, who was the chief executive of cryptocurrency company MobileCoin, died of injuries at the hospital following the attack.

Brian Hood, the mayor of Hepburn Shire, Australia, is contemplating suing OpenAI for defamation after its ChatGPT service falsely accused him of serving prison time for bribery, according to multiple reports overnight.

If pursued, this would be the first lawsuit of its kind against the AI-driven text service.

LQwD FinTech Corp has announced the appointment of Alex Guidi as the company’s newest independent director.

LQwD said Guidi is an experienced public company executive, investor, and successful venture capitalist, having founded, and was principal shareholder in, a group of highly successful senior board-listed companies, known as the IREMCO Group of Companies.

Bitfarms (TSX-V:BITF) received a ‘Speculative Buy’ rating and a $2 target price from analysts at Stifel GMP as the brokerage kicked off coverage of the low-cost crypto miner.

With a long-standing track record as a proof-of-work mining company, analysts at Stifel said Bitfarms has strategically established a footprint of 10 facilities across geographically diverse regions that provide access to sustainably low-cost, surplus electricity.

Analysts at Stifel GMP have reiterated their ‘Buy’ rating and C$3.75 price target for software-as-a-service (SaaS) company after it signed a three-year agreement with a division of a top 20 global pharmaceutical company for e-logbook management in its quality control laboratories.

Ireland-based Kneat designs and supplies proprietary software, sold mainly as a SaaS offering for the validation space with a focus on manufacturing for life sciences.

Bernard Arnault, chairman of French luxury goods maker LVMH, has once again surpassed Elon Musk as the world’s richest person, after the 74-year-old’s fortune increased by $2.4 billion on Tuesday to $201 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Arnault’s wealth has risen by $39 billion so far this year as LVMH shares have climbed 30% due to soaring demand for luxury goods. were down another 15% on Wednesday after short-seller Kerrisdale Capital came after the firm with allegations of “serious accounting and disclosure issues” yesterday.

The company used “highly aggressive accounting to inflate its income statement metrics” to meet sell-side analyst estimates for revenue and certain profit metrics, and to conceal “significant deterioration in its underlying operations,” according to Kerrisdale.

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB) expects its artificial intelligence answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT to generate revenue by the end of 2023, the company’s chief technology officer said.

CTO Andrew Bosworth unveiled Meta’s plan to roll out applications for AI-led advertisements by December, building on a previous announcement that the Facebook parent would start a new organization to develop AI, according to reports.

Fobi AI (TSX-V:FOBI, OTCQB:FOBIF) Inc, which harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to enable digital transformation, revealed that it has signed a new annual North American license agreement with courier company ParcelPal Logistics Inc.

The Vancouver-based company data intelligence company said Fobi will provide its Wallet Pass platform and digital ID verification solution, AltID to ParcelPal Logistics. The deal includes a one-year contract with auto-renewal and includes an annual license fee of $55,000 and a fee of $0.10 per active pass per month, plus an additional $0.95 for each AltID verification.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT could face its first defamation lawsuit from an Australian mayor who said he may sue the company if it does not correct the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot’s false claims that he had served time in prison for bribery.

Brian Hood, who is the mayor of Hepburn Shire located 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Melbourne, said ChatGPT had falsely named him as a guilty party in a foreign bribery scandal involving a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia in the early 2000s, according to a Reuters report.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)‘s search giant Google has claimed that the processors powering its supercomputers used to train its PaLM AI model beats market leader Nvidia Corp’s comparable processors in both speed and energy efficiency.

A new scientific paper on Google’s Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), which is a custom-designed chip that the company uses for over 90% of its AI training work, detailed how it has strung more than 4,000 of the chips together into a supercomputer, using custom-developed optical switches to connect individual machines. Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are facing a UK competition probe into their dominance of the internet ‘cloud’ after Ofcom said it had become aware of “concerning practices” by the duo.

The telecoms regulator said it had referred the cloud market to the UK competition watchdog the CMA after uncovering the activities during its own investigation last year.

Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) has been found to be in breach of the UK Advertising Standards Agency’s (ASA) code of conduct pertaining to comparisons with identifiable competitors for making an unverified claim that it was the only ride-hailing service in London to offer certain benefits to its drivers.

The company had placed paid-for ads on The Economist mobile app and national newspapers, claiming that benefits such as sickness cover, parental payments, and access to free Open University courses were unique to Uber. shares fell more than 25% on Tuesday after short-seller Kerrisdale Capital alleged “serious accounting and disclosure issues” at the company.

The company used “highly aggressive accounting to inflate its income statement metrics in order to meet sell-side analyst estimates for revenue and certain profit metrics, and to conceal significant deterioration in its underlying operations,” Kerrisdale’s chief investment officer Sahm Adrangi alleged in a letter to Deloitte & Touche LLP, C3.AI’s auditor, per a Bloomberg report.

Over 6,100 Rolexes and other luxury watches were reported stolen in London in 2022, marking a grim new record.

More than ?139mln worth of watches have been stolen since 2018, often through violent attacks by weaponised moped gangs, according to data sourced from a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request by online marketplace Watchfinder & Co.

Video-sharing app TikTok has been fined ?12.7mln by UK privacy watchdog Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for illegally using the personal data belonging to more than one million underage children.

The ICO found that ByteDance-owned TikTok violated UK data laws by allowing 1.4 million children aged under 13 to sign up in 2020 alone, despite claiming to ban them from the service.

Nextech3D.AI (CSE:NTAR, OTCQX:NEXCF) announced that Toggle3D has increased the converting power of its CAD to POLY importer by over 10 times, and is now able to convert manufacturing files over 1,000mb.

These new features will allow the company to close new revenue opportunities for enterprise-level manufacturers looking to unleash their CAD files for usage on the web. Toggle3D enables the conversion, texturing, customizing, and sharing of the highest quality 3D models at scale, using CAD files, and is creating an industry-leading solution for the $160 billion CGI market.

ARway Corporation (CSE:ARWY, OTC:ARWYF) has announced the release of ARwayKit SDK Version 2.3, packed with significant upgrades and improvements aimed at enhancing AR experiences for users and expanding opportunities for developers.

These upgrades will address a wide range of markets, including retail, tourism, entertainment, and education, increasing ARway’s reach into the $44 billion Indoor Positioning and Navigation Market.

Givex Corp (TSX:GIVX, OTCQX:GIVXF) said it has signed a data-sharing agreement with Marketing Vitals that will allow mutual clients the opportunity to benefit from Marketing Vitals’ industry-leading machine learning data analytics software.

“Our integration with Marketing Vitals allows us to provide a seamless connection with their technology,” said Mo Chaar, chief commercial officer of Givex in a statement. “Our clients can use the fact-based data they are sitting on today to make smarter strategic decisions across every department.”

Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI) has been sued by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleging the salary cap for esports players in the Call of Duty and Overwatch leagues was anti-competitive.

The video game publisher agreed to settle the suit, the DoJ said overnight, which centred around its so-called ‘competitive balance tax’ system used by the leagues.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is poised to cut staff in its retail teams, joining the likes of Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in slimming down operations.

It had held off sacking full-time staff, despite beginning a cost-cutting drive last year which has seen it leave newly opened positions unfilled, reduce hirings and delay bonuses.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) owner and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) chief Elon Musk’s recent rebrand of his social media platform to incorporate Dogecoin (DOGE) comes only days after the world’s richest man petitioned US courts to throw out a lawsuit over his promotion of the memecoin.

Musk, who bought Twitter in October 2022 for US$44bn, replaced Twitter’s traditional blue bird icon with the cartoon Shiba Inu dog face synonymous with Dogecoin on Monday after tweeting “as promised” above an old conversation in which Musk said the rebrand would be “sickkk”.

Gamelancer Media Corp. (CSE:GMNG, OTCQB:GAMGF) told investors it expects to turn ‘EBITDA positive’ in its 2023 financial year as its posts triple-digit revenue growth.

Announcing management reviewed financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2022, and 2023 guidance, the company said booked revenue for the current year amounts to $8.6 million, a 238% year-over-year (YoY) increase, while its gross profit margin is expected to reach 68%, from 60%, as it reduces total expenses by 36%.

Rumour has it that Apple has set an official reveal date for its much-anticipated mixed-reality headset of June 5, coinciding with the world’s largest tech company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

In typical Apple fashion, few details about the headset have been leaked to the public, with even its name a matter of speculation.

Bridgeline Digital signed $1.4 million in new sales, including $600,000 in licenses representing more than $300,000 in annual recurring revenue, plus $800,000 in services during the second quarter of fiscal 2023.

Most new sales were for a three year-term with the bulk of the new bookings for Hawksearch, its AI-powered search engine, Bridgeline said in a statement. Group Inc has announced the launch of Recruiter Marketplace, a pioneering platform designed to transform the talent acquisition landscape.

It works by connecting employers with vetted freelance talent acquisition professionals by leveraging automation, unmatched flexibility, cost savings and access to a global talent network, the company said.

Shore Capital analysts have reiterated their buy rating for Accesso Technology Group PLC (AIM:ACSO, OTC:LOQPF), a technology provider to theme parks and visitors attractions, following today’s impressive trading update that underscored a revenue beat and strong cash flows.

Shore cap upgraded its cash EBITDA for full-year 2023 by 7% to $24mln, with a forecast of 6.6% revenue growth.

Iris Energy Limited (NASDAQ:IREN) has issued an update on the installation of its 5.5 EH/s of bitcoin mining capacity.

The company has increased its operating hashrate, essentially the speed at which bitcoin is mined, from 2.0 EH/s to a current level of 2.8 EH/s.

BlueRush Inc. (TSX-V:BTV) has reported a strong rise in second-quarter Software-as-a-Service (Saas) sales as demand for its IndiVideo platform continues to grow.

The Toronto-based company said SaaS revenues increased by 26% to $734,051 in the three months to January 31, 2022, taking six-month sales 34% higher to $1,499,075 compared to $1,121,962 in 1H 2022. SaaS gross margins were 94%.

Contact centres (call centres here in the UK) are set to experience a significant shift as AI-powered products like ChatGPT lead to a reduction in human agents, according to a recent report by Wedbush Securities.

The investment bank’s study, based on a conversation with an industry expert, suggests that contact centre solutions businesses may need to adopt new metrics for pricing their solutions, focusing on seat count and transactions or conversations.

Twitter and The New York Times locked horns over the weekend after the news publication refused to pay the US$1,000 a month fee for verification.

The paper, which has over 55mln followers on Twitter, was stripped of its verified status on Sunday.


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